Luckily, you found this page. It's not the best looking close-up but it's cheaper than buying AND easier that making the real thing. (Not to mention safer for the accident-prone people... like me.)
Step 1: I'm a Material Guy!
You will need the following:
Wood - A wood board the same thickness and width as the sword I needs to be at least the same length as the sword. (I used a ? x ? x ?.)
More Wood - Once again, the same thickness and width as the sword but now the length of the handle. You will need two pieces.
Duck Tape - It can be any color or colors you wish... even pink and lime green if that's your thing.
Cardboard – A good yard by yard piece should be enough unless you’re sword is much longer than mine.
Cutting tool – It can be a hand saw, power saw, or anything else that can cut though wood. (I used my Dremel!)
Knife - Any straight blade with a point will work. For example: a box cutter.
Sandpaper – You can use a file or rasp instead. Anything that can remove and shape wood will do.
… what?!? Seriously, that’s the only tools you need! OK. You might need a ruler or tape measure if that’s your thing and a marker, pen, or pencil for your measurements... but we won't be using them.
Step 2: Blade! the Best Part of the Sword!
Next, sharpen the blade but leave area where the handle will be untouched. This is optional but it will look better if you do it.
Have you noticed that you will not be sanding the whole blade?
Step 3: Don't Cross the Guard, Tsuba!
First cut out enough squares or your preferred shape until you have enough to have a good thickness to them. A half an inch will do.
Line them up and using the knife, cut a slit through them where the blade will go.
Now just slide it to the very top of the handle. Easy-peasy, Japanese-y.
Even if the cardboard splits like mine, it's still usable.
Step 4: Can You Handle It?
If you're going to leave the grain exposed like I am, I hope you have at least slightly nice looking wood for this step.
First you need to know how big you need your wood to be and cut it that big. Oh, you'll need 2 of them.
Notice the before and after pictures? Getting Fancy, huh?
Step 5: It's What's on The... Outside?
You can tape your sword any color and any way you want but if you're use (WARNING! Spoiler Alert!) the scabbard, I suggests taping the blade lengthwise like I did in the pictures.
You can also tape the whole hilt but the wood I used of the handle looked good so I decided keep it exposed.
Step 6: Don't Pick at the Scabbard!
Now roll and fold the cardboard around the blade. It's easier if you use thin cardboard. (I couldn't get a picture of the rolling since I was alone... again... *sigh*)
When it's rolled, use some take to keep it in place.
Now let's tape up the new scabbard, too. Any color will work but I went with a simply but nice red.
Step 7: Just for Looks!
Step 8: Time to Be a Showoff!
Now make your own sword!