Introduction: Create a Harley Quinn Hammer on the Cheap!
Intro and Materials:
Who doesn't love Harley Quinn and her Puddin’? I set out to make a cool looking themed weapon prop for my Harley Quinn costume this year, and I always like doing things crafty and on a budget. I thought, I could make that! (Something like what she uses here, for example.)
I spent $6 at a dollar store (my local Dollar Tree, if you’re wondering) on the following items:
-1 handle yanked out of “Lobby Dust Pan” according to sticker ($1)
-2 Red plastic garbage cans to connect end to end for a big mallet head (other materials will work—get creative and keep an eye on your recycle bin before taking it out to the curb). ($2)
-3 rolls colored duct tape (I bought 2 red to match the garbage cans and one black for accents, but I stick haven’t needed to open the 2nd red 10 yard one yet - $3)
Other Found/Reused Materials Free at Home:
-Bag of plastic bags bound to go back to store for recycling
-Weekly sales circulars, old crumpled tissue paper, puzzle pieces and a destroyed old book.
(Both of the above were used as packing materials to make the mallet head solid and sturdier. I went a little over board with the old puzzle pieces and destroyed paperback—one side of my mallet is too heavy and it leans to that side.)
-Fairly large square of sturdy corrugated cardboard for the ends of each side of the mallet, taken from my bag of paper recycling
-Black permanent marker for dot guides and decoration
-Beer bottle caps to give the ends of the mallet head a studded look under black duct tape.
-A cool looking joker card harvested from a cheap/free deck of cards
-Extra roll of silver duct tape for extra underlying securing
Trolled the cleaning aisle for something with a good handle that was easily removable—I found success with a floor broom sweeping tray and asked my husband to yank out the handle with his man strength. (It’s not sexist, I just didn't want to hurt myself doing it by accident. ^_^) Also kept an eye out for something big enough to make up the cartoonishly large end of a hammer/mallet. This took a couple trips on different weeks until I saw the perfect red colored small plastic garbage cans.
This has just been updated with some fun outfit photos from when I went to work dressed as Harleen Quinzel, and my coworker Jonathan. I also wore this to the closing for my house on Halloween. (Oct 2013)
Here is just one example of another great version, here's another, and there was one on a forum that layered a handle with buckets and frisbees for the ends, but i can't find it just now...
Step 1: Joining Together the Hammer/Mallet Head and Harvesting the Handle
After gathering your materials creatively and on the cheap, yank out the handle from whatever it was originally intended for and tape the two garbage cans together after lining up the bottoms with each other.
Line up your handle where it will meet the mallet head items and mark the spot and approximate size with your permanent marker on the taped together garbage cans
I don't have a picture of this step, sorry! I do have a picture of the empty sweeping pan piece that was separated from the handle, and that is what I shall provide to you.
Step 2: Join the Hammer/Mallet Head and Handle Together
PLEASE USE COMMON SENSE AND SAFETY PROCEDURES AND THE HELP OF A RESPONSIBLE ADULT WITH THIS STEP. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO DO THIS, AND I IMAGINE A DRILL WOULD WORK TOO!
Open a window to ventilate your room, or better yet do it outside if you don’t live in an apartment building where this behavior would generally be frowned upon on the building lawns.
Take a lighter and carefully and slowly heat up the spot on the garbage cans you marked. When it seems soft enough, shove in the broom handle. My husband helped me with this step too, he was in charge of the lighter and I shoved in the handle. It took two tries before it went in pretty easily. This is my own very non-scientific and somewhat dangerous method. You have been warned. I’m sure commenters will offer better and/or safer alternatives to this method, but I don’t even have a power drill and this seemed to be the quick and dirty way to get it done.
Step 3: "Securing" the Handle
Secure your basic structure together with duct tape.
(I suspect a drill and a bolt with nuts at the end would be more stable and helpful here as well, but alas, I didn't have those at my disposal.)
The end of my handle was shaped like a U where it originally connected with the dustpan, and that fit well together around the match up bottom of the garbage cans as the mallet head.
I taped the two garbage cans more securely together and also taped the handle to them in the outside and inside.
More is probably better here.
Step 4: Create Hammer/Mallet End Caps With Cardboard
Trace the open end of each garbage can onto two pieces of cardboard.
Then cut them out to be the caps at the end of the hammer head.
Step 5: Stuff the Ends of the Mallet/Hammer for Weight/Heft and Stability for End Caps
Start stuffing your garbage can mallet head sides with packing materials.
I stuffed a bag of plastic shopping bags in one end, and crumpled up old tissue paper, and weekly coupon and sales circular for the other end since I ran out of plastic bags.
I also was worried that the plastic bag side was weighed more heavily so I threw in a bag of orphaned cardboard puzzle pieces found on the street a year or two ago and also a destroyed paper back copy of an Elie Wiesel book.
I think the book was where I went overboard and weighted one side too heavily and it leans to that side.
Learn from my over-zealousness in recycling and restrain yourself when packing in materials!It’s fun.
Step 6: Securing the Cardboard Mallet End Caps
Start a foundation of duct tape over the stuffing to secure it. I did it in kind of a spoke pattern to secure the end and keep it as flat as possible.
When an end is stuffed pretty firmly, roll up duct tape, sticky side out and stick the one of the cardboard ends to it after lining it up.
Repeat this step for both ends of mallet head.
Step 7: Start Decorating and Securing Those End Caps
Now we start with the more decorative aspects.
I ripped and cut off lengths of red duct tape a bit longer than the length of the end of the mallet head and carefully lined them up before sticking them down.
I kept laying down more strips parallel to each other with only a minimum of overlap to prevent any gaps.
Repeat this step for both ends.
Step 8: Bottle Caps + Black Duct Tape = Rivets
Now for even more decorative aspects!
I covered the center seam with black tape because I think it looked better.
I also lined up bottle caps (8 spaced evenly around each end, marked out with the marker first) on the ends and covered them with black duct tape going for a riveted look.
(This step might benefit from additional prep work, like sanding the plastic parts that will be taped over, and fewer tape pieces. My tape is coming up at the edges now, a couple days later.)
Step 9: Add Harley's Personality With Decoration!
Add your designs to ends or sides of mallet!
I just winged it, looking at other people’s costumes online and went for a big happy face on one side and a declaration of love for my puddin’ with permanent marker and the joker card on the other end.
Feel free to reinforce the handle connection with more tape at this point stretched and going in opposite directions to make it more stably attached.
You’re done and ready for a Halloween Party or a Comic Con!!! Now just rope someone in to dress up as the Joker and go with you…
I think I might get my husband to do a “Vacation Joker” with a wacky Hawaiian shirt ala The Killing Joke.