First, warnings. Blunted or not, a smack/poke from this sword will hurt. Be responsible, okay?
I definitely don't recommend dueling with these swords, or mass-producing them and fighting battles, or whatever, but you're probably going to do that anyway. Add a thick layer of foam in between the wood and the tape, and be careful.
That being said, these swords are really fun to make and use. On average, I'd say it takes 10 minutes to make one, though you can make a quick sword in like 5 minutes, or take your time and make a more detailed replica.
- Wood yardstick ($1)
- Metallic silver/gold duct tape, 2 yards ($3.50 x 2/10 = $0.70)
- Hot glue gun sticks, 1/2 mini stick ($4 x 0.5/24 = $0.08)
- Scrap leftover fur/leather/fabric, amount depends on your hilt (approx. $0.10-$0.50)
- Toilet paper, amount depends on bluntness (approx. $0.00-$0.10)
- Optional: Craft foam, 2 9"x12" sheets ($0.50 x 2 sheets = $1)
Minimum Total: 1 + 0.70 + 0.08 + 0.10 + 0.00 = $1.88
Maximum Total: 1 + 0.70 + 0.08 + 0.50 + 0.10 + 1 = $3.38
- Hot glue gun
- Optional: Saw/knife to trim yardstick
Also, apologies for the imperfections of Orcrist (The Hobbit) and Maedhros' sword (The Silmarillion).
And one more thing: if you make your own sword, please post pictures below! :)
Step 1: Base
Get a yardstick. Preferably, the markings on it shouldn't be etched into the wood.
Use a saw/knife to lop part of it off if you don't want a long sword.
Un-chopped, your sword will be a yard long INCLUDING its grip.
Beware of splinters.
If you want a short dagger, use a ruler instead of a yardstick.
Step 2: Structure
Fold some toilet paper into a roughly triangle-shaped ball. Hot-glue it to the tip of your sword. The more triangl-y, the pointier. Or: make a tip out of craft foam and hot-glue that to the sword.
Optional: Alter shape of the sword with craft foam & hot-glue. (Add a hand-guard, make the blade curved, etc.)
Use some toilet paper. Wrap it around the grip of your sword. Or: substitute foam, & hot-glue to attach.
For extra padding, take some toilet paper and neatly wrap it around the yardstick. Or: hot-glue foam onto the sides of the sword.
Step 3: Tape
Note: Try to use a thick metallic duct tape. It has a less smooth texture than thinner tapes, but will wrinkle less. (Unless you're using a perfectly smooth yardstick with a perfect foam tip, in which case you should use a thin tape.)
Roll out some tape. Put it on one side of the yardstick. Smooth it down.
Roll out some more tape. Put it on the other side of the yardstick. Smooth it down.
Trim tape hanging off the tip of the sword.
Add tape to the hand-guard or anything that needs a metallic color.
Step 4: Hilt
Hot-glue your fur/leather/fabric around the grip.
If you want, add sparkly jewels and stuff to the hand-guard and pommel.
And voila! You're done!
Step 5: Making Orcrist
Orcrist is the sword of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This design is based on the Orcrist in the Peter Jackson movie trilogy.
(I know I messed it up, sorry. The handle isn't even supposed to be leather, I did the curve design wrong, I didn't do the pommel or the inscription, etc. etc. But it's close enough, right?)
I hot-glued sheets of craft foam onto the yardstick (front and back), then cut Orcrist's curvy shape from the foam with an X-acto knife. Then, I hot-glued the edges of the craft foam together. I reinforced the hook-shaped hand-guard with more foam. I trimmed the yardstick's tip so it was pointy.
I layered the metallic tape on top and trimmed the excess from the curvy areas.
I wrapped fake leather around and around the grip and hot glued it in place.
Took approximately 30 minutes.
Step 6: Making Maedhros' Sword
Maedhros is an elf in The Silmarillion, also by J.R.R. Tolkien. Okay, his sword probably looked nothing like this one, but I was rushing, okay?
Used a ball of Kleenex for the tip, used blanket material for the hilt. That's it. Done.
Took approximately 6 minutes.