Introduction: How to Make a Duct Tape Battle Axe

Picture of How to Make a Duct Tape Battle Axe

This battle axe is perfect for a backyard battle or a game of LARP (Live action role play) in the nearby forests.
It is easy to make, and with adult supervision kids can make there own.

This is the first instructable in a series about how to make weapons and other equipment for LARP.
My main focus is that the weapons have to be safe, so kids can play with them without direct adult supervision, without getting hurt. And secondly so easy to make that big kids, with help, can make it them self.

Next edition to my duct tape weapons guide can be found here

Step 1: Things You Needed

Picture of Things You Needed

You will need
Sketch block
a pencil
A hobby knife, with interchangeable blades.
Extra blades
Used dull blade
a piece of cardboard
a black marker
a cutting pad
contact glue
duct tape
reinforcement Tape
foam pipe
a sleeping pad
65 cm of 3cm thick bamboo or broomstick

Step 2: The Design and Research Fase

Picture of The Design and Research Fase

Start by finding some pictures of "real" battle axes. Ex. do some google search.

Now you have enough inspiration to make you own design.
Just draw some quick sketches. They don't need to be beautiful, it is just so you will get the idea about how your axe will look like.

Step 3: Cardbord Template

Picture of Cardbord Template

Now draw the design of your choice on the cardboard. This will be your template so be careful and take your time to make it perfect.
I start by making the drawing with a pencil, and when I'm satisfied with the drawing, I make the final drawing with the black marker.

Step 4: Marking and Cutting the Foam

Picture of Marking and Cutting the Foam

Now draw the axe 3 times. And the smaller pieces 2 times on the foam. Pay attention to the placing of the pieces so you don't waste to much of the sleeping pad.
If the stick for the handle is to long, now is the time to cut it into length.
To be sure the pieces ends the right places I put numbers on them.
In piece 2 cut a hole for the handle.

Step 5: Reinforcing and Gluing

Picture of Reinforcing and Gluing

On piece 1 and 3 I put a cross of reinforcement tape. This will stabilize the axe to ensure that it will not break or be ripped apart  at the thin part.

Now apply glue to one side of piece 1 and 3. And apply glue to both sides on piece 2. Also apply glue to the end of the handle. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes, and press the pieces hard together.

Now apply glue to the two small side pieces and the outer side of piece 1 and 3. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes, and press the pieces hard together.

Be careful the two pieces glue together very quickly, so be sure that they are aligned you will not be able to correct it. The only way to correct it, is by cutting away on the outer side.

Now cut the sitting pad into strips. I need two pieces for this axe. Normal I use pipe insulation but it was sold out the places I use to buy it. But they had this sitting pad, and that will do the job.
Cut a triangle grove that fits into the triangle of the axe. And slip the pipe onto the handle.

Safety note
If your using the same glue I use you need to have good ventilation. If it's not to cold it's best to glue outside.
It's possible to get waterbased contact glue if you make this with kids, I recommend using that.

Step 6: Cutting and Shaping the Edges

Picture of Cutting and Shaping the Edges

To make the foam look like a real battle axe you need to cut the edge. If the layers got unaligned when gluing, this is the right time to cut that edge also.

Step 7: Taping

Picture of Taping

Put strips of duct tape on the axe. Be careful when applying the tape special around the corners. Take the hobby knife and cut the tape into strips so it will not get wrinkled. When applying a new strip of tape, don't make the overlay more than 1 cm. If you put on to much tape, the axe gets hard and heavy, making it dangerous to play with.

Step 8: Decoration

Picture of Decoration

I use the black marker to draw some decoration and to highlight the edge to give the axe more depth.

Step 9: Happy Kids With There Battle Axe.

Picture of Happy Kids With There Battle Axe.

Now make you own axe and start battling!


Dovakin (author)2014-10-21

Skyrim's Nordic Carved Axe!

Basically followed the sword template, used PVC piping, PVC pipe foam, and yoga mat for the blade.
Its actually surprisingly sturdy!


Pee-Ka-BooG (author)Dovakin2016-04-23


Veve Tech (author)2010-05-11

Not sure if you are aware, but your axe says "A-I-T-A-W-D-U-I" in Viking Runes. Not sure what it means though.

it does =p

Translated it says "Ash made". My viking alias is Ask. Ask is ASH in danish.


2h4d0wDK (author)morfmir2012-03-23

Hej Thomas:) (Hvis det er dit navn) Jeg kan godt lide din vikinge øxe :D Meget flot :) Har du nogle råd til at lave måske en Mace? (f.eks. Morgen stjerne) :D


Veve Tech (author)2h4d0wDK2012-03-26

Mitt navn er ikke Thomas, og jeg kan ikke snakke godt norsk. Jeg snakker engelsk.

2h4d0wDK (author)Veve Tech2014-09-28

I was replying to morfmir though, and it was Danish xD


The Rambler (author)2013-05-14

What is that multi-colored foam thing that you used for the handle?

cbarnes10 (author)2013-02-16

Where did you get the foam sitting pad like that?

billyjoeface (author)2012-03-31

I've chosen the German Horseman's axe.

yourworstnightmare (author)2010-02-28

How can I start a LARP group in my area?I want to have a club or group in my area. Also can somebody tell me the rules of LARP? How can I have a battle in a park near my house? Any instructables for LARP weapons or armor would be appreciated.

if you just want to get some people together to spend a day boffer fighting then its no more complicated than throwing a party. just keep things safe and write up some simple combat rules

if you want a more complicated role playing game then i recommend you find one in your area. there are groups that have weekend long events a few times a year with a continuing plot. each one has its own rule unique rules system, most of them loosely based on D&D rules. there is most likely a group like this within a two hour drive from where you live. ask around check online for any in your area. they will have websites where you can register for an event and read their rules. its a lot of fun

oatcake man (author)2010-04-12

 u spell it 'phase'!

yourworstnightmare (author)2010-02-28

 were did u get the reinforce tape

Biohazard1194 (author)2009-11-27

Awesome instructable! Here is the axe I made using this Instructable as a basis. Mine is made out of Foam Board, instead of the black foam you used. There is also coat hanger wire supports, inside. I chose a Celtic Bearded Axe Design :D

morfmir (author)Biohazard11942009-11-28

Looks good, it looks a lot like my bearded viking axe.

But you should consider padding the handle also, if your planing to fight with it. It can hurt a lot it you get hit with a unpadded wooden handle.


Pryo Chain (author)morfmir2010-02-15

 Amen to that, I have one boffer that I made, It's really heavy, a war hammer with an enormous head.  I decided to not pad the handle.  One time, I missed my brother with the head, and whacked him in the side with a PVC pipe with a lot of inertia.

roblin90 (author)2009-11-18

Very nice! A 5 star for sure!

P.s. What's that duct tape thing in the bottom right hand corner of the last pic?

morfmir (author)roblin902009-11-18

Hi Robin

Thanks for the good rating.

It's a big duct tape warhammer. Later I will make a instructable about how to make it.


bluesquirrel (author)morfmir2009-12-03

I cannot wait to see how this was made; it looks wonderful!!

bruno13069 (author)morfmir2009-11-19

WOW! Mjollnir! (Thor's Hammer!)

morfmir (author)bruno130692009-11-19

Your are more right than you think :-) It is my oldest sons hammer, and his name is Thor.


roblin90 (author)morfmir2009-11-18

NICE! =)

morfmir (author)roblin902009-11-18

BTW. How did you find this instructable?
I can't see it on the recent page. It is 24 hours ago I completed it, I don't understand why it takes that long to show up.


roblin90 (author)morfmir2009-11-18

Since I have subscribed to you, it showed up on my RSS feed to your page. I have no idea either. When I posted my first Instructable it never turned up on the main page.
I don't know quite how it works because if you look at the dates on the most recent pages they are fairly recent (within hours) and have seemingly skipped out many earlier submitted Instructables.

But it still exists anyway.

morfmir (author)roblin902009-11-18

okay. I will give it 24 hours more. If it don't show by then I will write a admin.
I searched the forum and I can see that it is a common problem, instructables not showing up, or being very late.


roblin90 (author)morfmir2009-11-20

I saw this Instructable on the recent page 5 minutes ago.

NOW it exists!

Abbey_Lad (author)2009-12-03

I like to foam sitting pad, any idea where these can be picked-up?

morfmir (author)Abbey_Lad2009-12-03

I just bought it in my local hardware store.


red-king (author)2009-11-26


morfmir (author)red-king2009-11-26

thanks, I'm puzzled why it isn't featured. I can't see any consistency in what is and what is not featured.

I'm just working on the next instructable, the elven duct tape sword.


Biohazard1194 (author)morfmir2009-11-27

I eagerly await the Elven Duct Tape Sword!

AresPredator (author)2009-11-21

Great instructable! I run a boffer/LARP group and we focus mostly on swords and cudgels, since the prototype axes we built were fragile where the blade joins the haft. I hadn't thought about the inner reinforcement cross tape that you mentioned in step #5, that was just sweet!

Guess we'll be seeing some axes in the battlefield soon! Thanks!

morfmir (author)AresPredator2009-11-22

I have made a lot of axes before I came up with this design. And it seems to be a durable design.
Many of the first ones I made got ripped apart. In the heat of the battle the axe easy gets stuck in the opponent and when you pull the axe it gets ripped apart.
If you make some after my design I will like to know your
experience in your group.


AresPredator (author)morfmir2009-11-22

We'll probably have a couple of workshops in December and I'm planning to include your design in it. In the meantime, if you want to take a look at some of what we do, feel free to come to our website ( The site is in Portuguese (we are based in Brazil), but just scroll down the screen to see some pictures of the group. Also, there's a link called "Arsenal" on the right sidebar where some of our weapons are on display.

Thanks again for the great project idea :-)

RavingMadStudios (author)2009-11-20

Epic. Made Of Win. 'Nuff said.

corey_caffeine (author)2009-11-20

NICELY DONE!!!  was this your first try? It's possibly one of the best axes i've seen.

morfmir (author)corey_caffeine2009-11-20

Thanks, no, it is very far from my first. I have made a lot, at one time I make 20 axes, 20 swords, 20 shields and 2 hammers. You can see some of them on the last pictures. It is the ones on the pictures withe the kids in war paint.

I have also been working in a youth club where I had a workshop where kids came and played tabletop RPG and LARP. And made there own weapons.


whiteoakart (author)2009-11-19

These are just great!  I love that giant hammer.  The photo of the kids in action is priceless.

My daughter made her first website.  It is a review of Beowulf.  She's just a youngster, but I thought that you, as the master of Danish lore and craft, might enjoy it.

Becca's Beowulf Blog

morfmir (author)whiteoakart2009-11-19

Funny web page your daughter have made, very interesting drawings. I love the tale about Beowulf. Did you know that the place it supposed to have taken place is i Lejre? Only 25km from where I live.


whiteoakart (author)morfmir2009-11-19

I will tell her about the location.  She will really like that.

morfmir (author)whiteoakart2009-11-19

The hammer is the hardest weapon to make. So I think that will be the last one in my duct tape weapon guide.
The hardest part with the hammer is to make it durable with out making it hard and heavy.


Tetrafish (author)2009-11-19

I Love it! :-D

I kinda made stuff like this when I was a kid back in the mid 80's.  My inspirations were video games like Golden Axe, Rastan, and Gladiator <-- Especially Gladiator.

One double headed/edged axe I made was a bit more (less safe)...  I cut 2 round sections from a bucket lid and nailed it to a long/narrow piece of wood.  Then spray painted it silver.

I still have those old "toys" somewhere.  I even made a shield with foam spikes in it.  Those were the days!...  And I'm sure these kind of toys will make "those days" just a memorable for any adventure loving kid (after they're grown up. :-)

morfmir (author)Tetrafish2009-11-19

Kids have and always will make toyweapons and play. In my time we made swords from sticks and copper pipes beaten flat. Not very safe. And we knew, so we played a long way from any adults :-) making it even worse.
My idea with this foam weapons it that the kids can play and have fun without getting hurt. And I can have peace of mind letting them play without direct supervision.


resendiz (author)2009-11-18

These are awesome! Now I just need to find people to play with...........

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