Rocky Props &
Last updated: 12/6/98
- Beginners will need someone else to help them into the wraps...and it
takes a long time. When you have made your wraps, PRACTICE. If you haven't
started putting them on by Time Warp, you won't finish in time.
- Practice is also essential to make sure Columbia and Magenta can get your
- The basic idea of the wraps is that they are held on by long strings down
each arm and leg. Magenta and Columbia pull out the strings, and the wraps
fall off by themselves. Of course, this is easier said than done.
- The bandage directions here were written primarily by Mark Becknauld and
Mae L. Young, then expanded after my husband and I made a set. If you have
experience with Rocky wraps and have suggestions, please
email me! The Rocky bandages are
surprisingly easy (if tedious) to make; the hard part is keeping them on until
your "unveiling." Practice and make sure the materials you're using will work.
- Experiment with different textures of bandages (cotton gauze, flannel, cut
up sheets, etc.) until you find a fabric that your cord zips through without
catching or breaking.
- Finally, it is a good idea to keep wraps in individual labelled bags so
you don't try to wrap your arm with a leg bandage or vice versa.
Body Wraps:Wrap the body before doing the
legs and arms.
- Buy a bolt of muslin. You may need less--the Rocky I made wraps with was 6
feet tall, and we needed only 16 yards. Thicker muslin works better. Unroll
the bolt, and cut a strip lengthwise that is about 10 inches wide. Now you
have a strip the length of the bolt (or however long), and 10 inches wide. You
probably won't need that much to wrap the body...but you will to wrap the arms
and legs, and you may as well buy it all at once.
NOTE: If you want
to hem the muslin so it doesn't ravel, you will need to cut this strip
wider--for example, you would need a 10.5" strip if you hem each edge with a
1/4" seam. You could also serge the muslin.
- Start by tucking the wraps one inch into the back of the Rocky shorts.
- The wrap should then come forward between the legs, go left across the
crotch and wrap back around the body over the left hip. Continue wrapping
counterclockwise over the butt and forward over the right hip, wrapping all
the way around the body. Keep the wrappings low-- almost all of Rocky's shorts
should be covered. Once you've done a few wrappings around the body, untuck
the end from your shorts for safety. (If you leave it tucked in, it should
come untucked during unwrapping if Columbia pulls it out with a short, sharp
jerk... but if there are problems, she may pull your shorts down or knock you
on your ass.)
- Continue wrapping your way similarly up and around the torso. The
wrappings overlap, each strip covering about half of the strip underneath it.
Once the chest is pretty well covered, wrap as much as you need to so the
strip wraps over the front of the chest to under your left arm.
- Wrap the strip under the left arm, around the back, and then bring it
forward over the right shoulder.
- Wrap under the left armpit, around the back, forward under the right
armpit, over the chest, and back over the left shoulder.
- Wrap around the back, over the chest, then under the left arm and repeat
previous two listed steps.
- To finish, tuck the end of the wrap into the back wrappings. You may want
to tie a colored thread onto the end of so Columbia can find it easily.
You need to do this with your Rocky in front of you. Wraps must be
constructed ON the Rocky to fit properly.
It helps to have a long stiff wire
or rod to pull the wraps against--we used a 3/8" bamboo stick.
It also helps
a lot to have two people doing the wrapping.
There are two ways to make arm/leg bandages: sewn and unsewn. Unsewn bandages
are more authentic, but take a lot longer to put on.
- Buy a bolt of muslin (use the same one you use to make the body wraps).
You may need less--the Rocky I made wraps with was 6 feet tall, and we needed
only 16 yards. Thicker muslin works better. Unroll the bolt, and cut a strip
lengthwise that is about 6 inches wide. Now you have a strip the length of the
bolt (or however long), and 6 inches wide.
NOTE: If you want to hem
the muslin so it doesn't ravel, you will need to cut this strip wider--for
example, you would need a 6.5" strip if you hem each edge with a 1/4" seam.
You could also serge the muslin.
Cut 3 more strips so you have 4 really
long strips of muslin.
- Cut a length of muslin about 6" wide, and as long as each leg and arm (a
total of 4 more strips). These "tongues" will be placed underneath the string
when you put the wraps, so no skin shows.
- Roll the strips up so you can handle them easily.
- Cut two lengths of thin silky cord which are 12" (or more) longer than the
length of your leg (ankle to hip). Repeat for your arms (shoulder to where the
fingers begin). The cord should be silky to reduce friction (buy "rat tail" at
a fabric store). You will have to replace the cord every show. Don't knot the
ends--if you do, they may catch on the bandages and keep them from coming off
Making the leg wraps:
To start wrappings at the crotch, do this:
- Have Rocky stand in front of you, wearing his gold shorts, holding the
stick and the cord together down the center front of his leg. (Have him stand
on the cord to keep it taut. The tighter the cord is, the better.)
- When you lace the bandages (both when making them and putting them on for
a show), they need to be laced tight, so that the cord is straight. If it
zigzags between holes, Magenta and Columbia will have a hard time pulling it
out and you won't be able to get the wraps off quickly.
- Now loop about an inch of a long muslin strip around the stick and cord to
make the first loop of the wraps. Secure the loop to itself with a pin.
Rocky's bandages may actually start at his toes, and you can
start there, but it may be harder for you to move around. To start at the toes,
- With Rocky standing in front of you, pin the loop to Rocky's shorts above
the stick or have him hold the loop.
- Thread the muslin strip between Rocky's legs. Then thread the strip around
the back of his leg, and around to the front of the leg. Pass the strip under
the stick and cord, then back over the stick and cord onto itself, forming
another loop (with the stick and cord through it) across from the first loop
- Now, bring the strip back around the back of the leg and between the legs,
overlapping slightly over the first line of wrapping you just laid down. When
you bring the cord back around the front of the leg to the stick and cord,
pass the muslin underneath them, and work your way back around the leg again
in the opposite direction.
- If desired, stitch the bandages together all the way around, leaving an
opening about as wide as your thumb in each pre-made loop. Then all you keep
doing is wrapping and sewing. Do this all on your Rocky or the bandages will
- Scrunching the wrappings towards the top of the leg as you go, continue
passing the wrap around the leg, under the stick and cord, then back over the
stick and cord onto itself, working your way down to the ankle. (You may have
to remove the stick as you get below the knee.) Remember, you want the
- When you get to the knees, you may want to keep the bandages a little
loose, so that Rocky can bend his knees to stand up.
- When you get to the ankles, you can make little half booties at the ends
of the bandaging to cover the top half of Rocky's boots. (Hinwood's covered
the whole boot, but that's impractical to pull off live every week.) Slightly
cover the tips of the boots so you can tuck the boots into the fabric
- Repeat for other leg.
- If you want to cover your feet, too, just pass the bandage around under
the front of your foot (a little loosely) until it is covered.
- Pass the bandage around the back of your leg and around to the front of
- Pass the strip under the stick and cord, then back over the stick and cord
onto itself, forming another loop (with the stick and cord through it) across
from the first loop you pinned.
- Continue working up the leg, passing the bandage under, then back over the
stick and cord. Keep the cord taut (so that it follows the front of your leg)
and the bandages tight (tight enough not to fall down).
- When you get to the knees, you may want to keep the bandages a little
loose, so that Rocky can bend his knees to stand up.
- When you get to the crotch/hip, tuck the bandage in, or pin it just to one
side of the cord (pin it to the bandage you just passed under the cord, else
it won't fall off right). Secure the cord to the chest bandages -- hook it
with one of those hooks that comes with ACE bandages, tie it (make ties that
hang off the chest bandages), or pin it (with safety pins). Whatever you
do, make sure that Columbia and Magenta know how to undo it quickly.
Making the arm wraps:
- The arm wraps are made the same way as the leg wraps. Have Rocky hold out
his arms with the palms down and lay the string and stick along the top of the
arm. If Rocky wears a sleeveless shirt, you can pin the shoulder end of the
string to that. Rocky should hold the hand end of the string. His arms will
get tired! It helps if you stand him next to a shelf or something for him to
rest his hand on while you wrap and sew.
Putting on the wraps:
- For each show you will need 2 new lengths of cord 12" (or more) longer
than the front of your leg (ankle to hip) and 2 lengths 12" (or more) longer
than the distance from shoulder to palm.
- If your wraps are unsewn, the procedure for putting on the wraps is
exactly the same as for making them.
- Before you start wrapping any of the bandages, make sure that you are in
your complete Rocky costume (boots, wig, and all), and that you have at least
one other person to help you. Your motion will be very restricted by the
- Wrap the chest bandages first. (See "Body Wraps" above.)
- When you lace the legs, have Rocky pin the string to his floorshow
underwear (underneath his gold shorts). Rocky must hold the string VERY
TIGHTLY right where it comes out from under his shorts so that you can lace
the leggings tightly without pulling his underwear out the leghole.
- Place the end of one long leg "tongue" underneath the center front of a
leghole of the gold shorts, and let the tongue lie along the front center of
your leg. Then start lacing on the leg wraps, running the string first through
the top loop, then the loop on the opposite side, and continue alternating
sides. Pull on the string as you go so instead of zigzagging, all the loops
are pulled into a straight line down the center of your leg, one stacked above
the next. When you get to the boots, pin the end of the string to Rocky's boot
or to the half-bootie. Or you can tie the free end of the string to a small
plastic ring (about 3/4" diameter, like a curtain ring). Secure the ring end
of the cord to the front of your ankle (perhaps thread a shoelace through it,
and tie it around the bottom of your foot). Mags and Columbia can either cut
the string, or, if it is tied with a slip knot, just untie it. This ensures
the end of the string is easy to find.
- For the arms, pin the safety pin with the string to the shoulder of the
body wraps. Have your Rocky hold the string right where it's safety pinned to
the body wrap on the shoulder, so that you don't end up pulling the body wraps
- Start lacing the arm wraps, running the string first through the top loop,
then the loop on the opposite side, and continue alternating sides.
- After lacing the first couple of loops, tuck the long arm "tongue"
underneath the string and top loops and drape it along the top of the arm.
Continue lacing the arm wrapping, keeping the string over the "tongue." Again, pull on the string as you go so instead of looking like a zig-zag, all the
loops are pulled into a straight line along the center top of your arm, one
loop lined up with the next.
- When you get done lacing the arms, tie the free end of the string around
Rocky's middle finger, or to a small plastic ring around his finger (a little
loose, about 3/4" diameter, like a curtain ring; this will keep Magenta and
Columbia from nicking your fingers when they cut the string). They can either
cut the string, or, if it is tied with a slip knot, just untie it.
Taking off the wraps:Make SURE you go over this with Magenta and
Columbia! All they need to do is:
- Scrunch the shoulder and arm wraps apart at the shoulder so you can see
the string. Cut the string at the shoulder, then at the middle finger), and
pull the string out of the loops, hard and straight. Pull off any wraps that
don't drop by themselves.
- Scrunch the body and leg wraps apart at the top center thigh so you can
see the string. Cut the string at the top of the leg where it comes out of the
gold shorts, then cut the string at the bottom of the booties. Yank again to
pull the string out of the loops. Pull off any wraps that don't drop by
themselves. Have Rocky kick off the half booties or ease them off. The tongue
and wraps at the ankles almost certainly will not come off all by themselves
- Columbia pulls the end of the chest wrap out of where it's tucked in back.
- When Rocky gets done unwrapping himself (by spinning in circles), on his
very last spin, while he's turning, he will face Columbia in the middle of the
last turn...and she just gives the wrapping a quick yank, pulling it out of
his shorts... Make sure he's facing you in his last turn is because if he's
not facing you, then when you yank, you have a higher percentage chance of
ripping the muslin, which will leave Rocky with a tail of muslin.