I made these for my "Rise of the Tomb Raider" Lara Croft cosplay, but I had a hard time finding much information on it or any tips on how to make it that didn't involve wood or metal or just skills, material, and money that I just don't have. So I decided to share the cheep, easy version that I created. Its about 18 in. long and, while it won't stand up to being used as a toy, its definitively sturdy enough for a prop!

You will need:

  • 6 sheets of 12x18 in. Craft Foam ($.99 a sheet at AC Moore)
  • Wood Glue
  • X-acto Knife
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Mod Podge (You don't need a lot, a small bottle will do)
  • Acrylic Sealant
  • Paint Brushes
  • Red, Black, Light grey, Dark grey, and Brown Paint
  • White Fabric scraps (optional)
  • Coffee Grounds (optional)
  • Shoelace or string (optional)
  • Paper Towels or a Sponge

For my project, I used the matte Mod Podge, but you could probably use any version with similar success. If I were to try this again, I would probably try using the Hard Coat Mod Podge, just to make the finished project a little more stiff and possibly negate the need for the wood glue. I also used the Americana Multi-pirpose Sealer for my acrylic sealant which I really liked because it dried quickly, was easy to paint over, and hardened quite nicely when dry. For the craft foam, I used black sheets and I liked how they added to the weathered effect I gave the pickaxe, but you can use whatever color you want. For the fabric scraps, I recommend using an old sheet or something similar. Medical gauze strips might even work if you don't have any fabric/don't want to buy any.

Step 1: Print the Pattern.

To make the pattern, I found an image of Lara's pickaxe online and traced the outline in photoshop, making separate images for the different layers I wanted to use. So that you don't have to do that, I've included the three images that I used as a pattern. I recommend printing onto card stock if you're able to so that your pattern doesn't get worn down after several uses. The pickaxe is 18 inches tall, so you won't be able to print it onto a single piece of paper. I solved this by using Adobe Reader's poster function in the print menu and sized the photo to 125%. You can use whatever function works best with your computer, just make sure it prints to be 18 inches tall (or whatever size you want it to be if you're not looking for it to be to scale). You'll have to tape or glue the pieces of your pattern together and cut it out. If you're using card stock, I recommend using an X-acto knife to cut out the holes in the middle.

<p>These are great looking prop pickaxes. Very nicely done! they look plenty real to me :)</p>
<p>Thank you! :)</p>

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