Introduction: How to Make a Duct Tape Sword
This is the second 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.
These weapons is perfect for a backyard battles or a game of LARP (Live action role play) in the nearby forests.
If you keep the design simple it is easy to make, and with adult supervision kids can make their own.
The other guides:
Step 1: Things Needed
You will need
A hobby knife, with interchangeable blades.
Used dull blade
a piece of cardboard or paper
a black marker
a cutting pad
double sided tape
Silver tape, for decorations.
a sleeping pad
10 cm of foam tube
2 strips of cotton cloth
3cm thick bamboo, fiberglass or a broomstick
Step 2: The Design and Research Fase
Start by finding some pictures of "real" swords. 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 sword will look like.
Don't make the design to complicated. Special the crossguard, it is easy to make a very good looking design on paper but it is difficult to make it in foam and duct tape.
My sword will be an elf sword, inspired by Frodos Sting from Lord of the Rings.
Step 3: Template
Now draw the design of your choice on paper or cardboard. This will be your template so be careful and take your time to make it perfect.
If you have problems with making the two sides of the swords identical, fold the paper in half and cut it folded. When you unfold the paper the template will be perfect, and the two sides identical.
Step 4: Marking and Cutting the Foam
Now draw the sword 3 times on the foam. Pay attention to the placing of the pieces so you don't waste to much of the sleeping pad. The small space between the sword pieces is ideal for cutting the crossguard.
To be sure the pieces ends the right places I put numbers on them.
In the middle piece I cut a hole for the bamboo stick.
If the stick for the handle is to long, now is the time to cut it into length.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
On piece 1 and 3 of the cross guard I put a strip of reinforcement tape. This will stabilize the cross guard to ensure that it will not break or be ripped apart.
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 handle. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes, and press the pieces hard together.
Be careful the 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.
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. But it takes a lot longer to dry.
Step 6: Cutting and Shapenig the Edges
To make the foam look like a real sword 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
Add strips of duct tape to the sword. 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 weapon gets hard and heavy, making it dangerous to play with.
Step 8: Making the Handle
I found a old piece of cotton cloth and ripped it into strips. I covered the handle with double sided tape, and tied the cloth tight around it.
Step 9: Decoration
I use the black marker to draw some decoration and to highlight the edge to give the blade more depth.
I cut some decorations of silver blank insulation tape and put them on the crossguard.
Step 10: The Finished Sword
Here it is the Elven longsword in all its glory.
Look forward to my next instructable in my duct tape weapons guide. Next time I will show you how to make a shield that is safe,beautiful and durable.
Step 11: Kids Making Swords
Here are some pictures of kids making foam duct tape weapons. And some kids playing with swords I made.