Picture of Custom Play Sword and Scabbard
I love sword play, but not the limited selection of foam or padded swords sold. PVC and pipe insulation are  fine, but the swords you can make with them are limited. However, with a bit of plywood and a saw, you can make custom sword of any shape or size. 

*Disclaimer: Swords of any kind are dangerous! This sword is padded but it WILL hurt if you get hit hard. Never use it to hurt another living being or someones property! I am not responsible for what you do with these instructions! They are ment only for informational purposes!*

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
To make a sword using this method you will need:


A scroll saw or jigsaw (I used a scroll saw, but for larger blades a jig saw is better)

A Rotary tool with a sanding head and a cutting head

A drill/driver



3 1" screws (you may need more depending on the blade size)

1/2" PVC pipe

1/2" plywood

Foam pipe insulation

Duck tape


Optional but recommended:

Large graph paper

Box cutter

Step 2: Design The Blade

Picture of Design The Blade
Using this instructable you can make a sword shaped however you like. To start I find that it is helpful to estimate the length of the blade. Doing this will give you a base to work off of. Draw the shape of the blade however you like. The finished product will have about 1/2" of foam on the edge so make your blade smaller than you want the finished product to be.  If the blade has complex turns it will be hard to add the foam, but it is not impossible to do. The handle will be 1/2" PVC so you don't need to draw it. to attach the PVC there dose need to be a 1/2" wide support where you want the blade with at least 1" of wood above it. I recommend that it is at least 2" long.
h88643 years ago
its called DUCT TAPE. DUCK TAPE is a brand
pie R []ed (author)  h88643 years ago
It was originally developed for making amo boxes water tight (like ducks). As such it was refereed to as "duck" tape. It was also called "duck" because of it's fabric based that resembled cotton duck (canvas). It was later discovered that it works well on ducts too. Because that is now it's main "official" application it is normally called "duct" tape. However, I like to use the original name. Both names are technically correct.

doomsdayltd3 years ago
hmm more like a halberd than a sword but i like the idea!
pie R []ed (author)  doomsdayltd3 years ago
The handle is not quite long enough for a halberd, but I do see the resemblance. It is styled partly after a sword from the anime Bleach.
ah, i thought it looked like that. but yea, halberd's are much a scabbed for one is redonkulus
its a good idea and i understand were you are coming from with the idea. Another idea is to use poly foam planks, i use two inch thick ones to make shields and weapons from. Just trying to pass one tips from one foam smith to another.
Wood is arguably the WORST core you can use for a padded sword of any kind. It's illegal in nearly EVERY game for a reason: It breaks. It splinters. Especially plywood. And with that "half-tang" construction, I have no doubts that sword will break at the handle. It's a nice idea, but don't expect any field-martial or Reeve to allow that sword onto a LARPing field.
pie R []ed (author)  Lt. Duct Tape4 years ago
Its not meant as a LARP sword. It is a simple alternative to the PVC boffer. I made mine for use as a prop or dueling sword. It is meant as a step up from a normal wooden sword in terms of safety, and as testing ground for sword designs before you spend money getting nice sword foam.