Introduction: Make Rey's Staff - Star Wars: the Force Awakens

Picture of Make Rey's Staff - Star Wars: the Force Awakens

We're just a couple of months away from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and my wife let me know that she wanted me to make her a Rey costume for Halloween. Now that I'm nearly finished, I wanted to post instructions on how I built the staff. The total cost was about $40, and is almost entirely made from parts you can pick up from Home Depot.

Some people have asked about purchasing this prop. I have made some massive updates, and I now have this for sale on my Etsy store.

But for the rest, who are ready to build their own, let's take a look at our shopping list...

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Here's a fairly comprehensive list of everything you'll need to build this staff, most of which you can pick up at Home Depot:

  • 1-Spray 2" Showerhead in White (2 of these at $1.97 each)
  • 1/2" conduit in a 10' length (1 of these for $2.30) I used plastic conduit, but I wish I had used metal.
  • Southwire 1/2" Liquidtite Connector (2 of these at $2.06 each)
  • Danco Vice Grip Acrylic Handles (3 handles - 2 sets of 2 at $10.90 each)
  • Some fairly thick coated wire for the details on the handles.
  • A .25" or so thick cord for the ends of the handles. (I used an old computer cord.)
  • Small scraps of about 2/16" wood or PVC board for some small details.
  • A can of black plasti-dip.
  • Spray paint.
  • Respirator mask. (seriously)
  • Some scraps of leather or vinyl for the places where the strap attached to the staff.
  • A piece of canvas that's 4" x 45" or a 45" strap.
  • A snap set.
  • Some fabric scraps for the middle section.

I've also had someone comment that they used a dowel rod inside of the plastic conduit to make the staff more rigid. I think that's a great idea, and I will probably add that to the staff I built for my wife.

(This build uses some materials recommended in a post I came across on the RPF.)

Now, that you've got your stuff, let's build this thing!

Step 2: Working on the End Pieces

Picture of Working on the End Pieces

I started things off by removing the cap from the Danco handles and unscrewing the metal piece from the inside. Then, I unscrewed the small side of the shower heads to remove and discard the ball socket pieces. After that, reinstall the back of the shower head with a little bit of superglue on the threads so it doesn't accidentally fall off.

After that, I cut small circles out of thin PVC board (thin wood or something similar should be fine too) the size of the hole in the small side of the shower head and glued those on to cover the holes. Then, I glued the shower head to the sink handle as pictured.

Do this twice, and you'll have the top and bottom pieces ready.

Step 3: Cutting the Connector Piece

Picture of Cutting the Connector Piece

The Southwire connectors are useful in a couple of places. Take each of these and remove the screw fitting, the metal nut, and the rubber washer by hand.

Using a saw, cut through the connectors where I've indicated in my photo. Once this is done, keep the outer plastic screw fitting and the outer tip piece that you cut off.

Step 4: Putting Stuff Together

Picture of Putting Stuff Together

Now, you can glue the outer piece of the connector to the bottom of the sink handle for both the top and bottom of the staff.

Next, I cut a 4" piece of conduit and attached it to the connector piece with hot glue. (Alternatively, you could drill through the next section with a 1/2" bit to keep the conduit in one piece to increase stability.)

I completed this top section by adding round plastic wheels of different sizes to the top and bottom of the third Danco handle. You can also use circles cut out of wood or wooden pieces from a hobby store to do the same thing.

The large wheel turned out to be the most difficult piece to keep attached, and despite ample amount of superglue and hot glue, I had a difficult time keeping things together. I added electrical tape to hold things together (which I left on the staff - I don't recommend you do this), but it still didn't want to hold together. In the end, I drilled four holes through the wheel area back into the sink handle and installed four long screws to keep things secure. As mentioned above, drilling through this section might be preferable.

Now you're ready to attach the main shaft.

Step 5: Attaching the Shaft

Picture of Attaching the Shaft

Next, I attached a 58.5" length of conduit to the large plastic wheel. (If you've decided to drill through this area, remember that you'll need a piece that's about 5" longer.)

Next, cut four 5" long fins from thin wood or PVC board. These are tapered on one end and should be approximately .5" wide. Glue these to the shaft at 90 degree angles to one another.

Once you've got those attached, you're ready to add handles.

Step 6: Handles!

Picture of Handles!

The handles were probably my favorite part. I began each with a piece of thick cord long enough to wrap around the conduit (cut four of these). Then, I glued two of these to the conduit at 6" apart from one another. Next, take your thinner wire and wrap the handle area, gluing it down in a few places as you go. Once you get to the stopping place, cut it very close to the thick cord and then glue down the loose end.

Looking good!

Step 7: In Between the Handles

Picture of In Between the Handles

Now that your top handle is complete, move down about an inch and wrap the handle with some tape a few times. Then, take the cut off section of the connector piece from the earlier step and thread that onto the conduit with the little fins pointed up as pictured. Once you've tested that things fit well, put some glue on the tape, and then slide the piece into place over the tape.

For the next section, I cut a 9" piece of craft foam and wrapped it around the handle, cutting it so that it wraps around the shaft once. Once I glued this down, I decided to wrap this in electrical tape to hold it in place like I did a few other parts. Again, I kind of wish I hadn't done this, but things turned out in the end. It just takes more layers of PlastiDip to keep it from being sticky.

Now, let's leave a space where we'll add fabric wrapping once all our painting is done. I'd suggest 23".

Time to start working on the bottom half!

Step 8: Starting the Bottom Half

Picture of Starting the Bottom Half

You're getting so close! Now, we just have to do the same sort of thing on the bottom half of the staff.

I again added a couple of pieces of craft foam around the handle, totaling about 5", and wrapped it in electrical tape.

Then, I added the cut-off section of the connector, like I did before, only this time the fins are pointing down.

Once that is done, add another wire handle like before, and then finish things off by connecting the bottom section.

Yay! It's still looking pretty junky, but you're getting there!

Step 9: Coating With PlastiDip and Paint

Now that you've finished the initial structure of the staff, it's time to put on that creepy respirator mask and do some painting!

But before you start, make sure that you have a way to hang the staff while it's drying. What worked great for me was to attach a bungee cord around the middle unpainted section. I attached the other side to the ceiling of my garage and let it hang from there, unbalanced with once side pointed up.

When you've figured out your drying situation, start out by applying several coats of PlastiDip. Before you proceed to the paint, you need to make sure that everything is dry, and nothing is left feeling sticky.

When it was time to paint, I used some dark brown spray paint and then covered most of it with black. You can also dry brush a bit of silver paint or Rub n' Buff, but make sure you do it sparingly.

Let's finish this! Time to make the strap!

Step 10: Making the Strap Connectors

Picture of Making the Strap Connectors

This is probably the most challenging part of the build, but it's really not that difficult. You can do this!

Cut four small rounded strips of leather of vinyl that are long enough to wrap around the conduit and overlap about a half inch. Cut a few additional small pieces for attaching the pieces together and creating a small loop for the buckle.

Install the snaps into each side of the four strips, using the instructions on the box, making sure that you've installed them correctly so that they can snap when wrapped around the conduit.

Use the smaller pieces of leather to bridge the gap and form a loop as you sew or glue each pair of snaps together. Things should look like a capital H when you're done.

When the two strap attachments are complete, mask off the buttons with painter's tape and spray paint the leather/vinyl. Don't be like me—if you're using vinyl, make sure to prepare the vinyl with PlastiDip first, or the paint won't cure correctly. Once you're set, use an almond paint to finish out the strap connectors.

Let's finish this thing!

Step 11: Finishing Out the Strap

Picture of Finishing Out the Strap

I quickly made the strap out of canvas by cutting a piece that was about 4" wide by 45" long. I hemmed each side of the length with about a 1" hem, and then I folded the piece in half to the desired thickness—a little over an inch wide—and sewed the sides together.

Your final steps are to add a buckle to each side of the strap, sew one to each side, and then attach each buckle to the strap connectors. Since I didn't have any buckles, I formed two buckles out of heavy fence wire and then looped each through the strap connectors before closing the overlap in the wire with electrical tape. Then, I put the strap through and sewed in into place.

Step 12: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

To finish things out, I added some weathering to the canvas strap with black spray paint and wrapped the handle with different types of material—using tape to start each wrap, but making sure that the tape was covered, and finishing each wrap with glue. If you add a few layers with different colors to match the movie images, this looks seriously good. I lucked out and had the perfect scraps laying around that I cut into strips.

And now, the final step...

Step 13: You're Done! Be Awesome!

Picture of You're Done! Be Awesome!

Well, your hard work has paid off! You're now ready to look fierce and tough like Rey!

Time to finish up the rest of the costume and totally rock out your Halloween!

And time for me to finish up the rest of this costume for my wife! :)


If this has been helpful, or if you just want to show a little love, I would really appreciate your like or vote on this project. Thanks!

And like always, if you build one, I'd love to see a photo in the comments below. :)


MariaM170 (author)2016-04-29

I'm so excited for this project. I've already run into a snag from the beginning. I purchased the items from Home Depot but can't get the ball socket from the shower head. I don't see screws to untighten per your directions, "Then, I unscrewed the small side of the shower heads to remove and discard the ball socket pieces." Am I the only one who ran into this?

Thanks so much!

JuliaT20 (author)MariaM1702016-05-15

Im having the same issue right now! Did you ever figure it out?

i took creative liberty and just used my dremel to cut off the lower rim right below the ball of the ball joint. o.o i was fed up with attempting and got creative? maybe this helps? sorry if it isn't helpful.

kylegilbert (author)JuliaT202016-05-18

The newer version of the shower head unscrews from the front/bottom side. Use some pliers and grab the "+" looking part and turn that to unscrew it.

kylegilbert (author)MariaM1702016-05-18

The newer version of the shower head unscrews from the front/bottom side. Use some pliers and grab the "+" looking part and turn that to unscrew it.

AmandaC173 made it! (author)2016-10-17

This is a child sized one for my 2.5 year old for Halloween!

kylegilbert (author)AmandaC1732016-11-06

That looks fantastic! I'm sure she loved it!

4everstarwars made it! (author)2016-04-24

So I made my staff but made it a bit thicker than what you used. Instead of the 1/2in. pvc pipe I used 3/4in.
Overall I'm super proud of how it turned out.... My only problem with this was that your instructions sometimes were a bit hard to understand. But really and truly very glad you posted this because it really helped me.

Sorry to hear that the instructions were hard to understand. I promise that was accidental. :) Great work on your staff!

If you have any suggestions on what I should do to improve the instructions, feel free to send them my way.

a_taker (author)kylegilbert2016-10-28

Hey Kyle,

I'm currently in the process so I thought i would just share what instructions I've found confusing so far.

In step 3, I'm not really sure where I'm supposed to be cutting the connector. It probably doesn't help that they've probably changed model since you made it originally.

Step 4 calls for "round plastic wheels" but they're not on the supply list. I'm 100% sure what kind of plastic wheels are meant, or where to get some.

Other than that it seems like a great tutorial (look at all the results from everyone else! Amazing!). Thanks!

KellieT10 made it! (author)a_taker2016-10-30

Hi a_taker,

My handy husband figured out that you cut the inside of the knob so that it slides over the pipe. I didn't have any wheels either I found some pill bottle caps (which my hubby cut a hole in the as well to slide over the pole) and put those on the top and bottom of the sink knob, looks good i think, still in the process of assembling it so we will see. Didn't realize I needed 3 knobs so I'm done for the night and off to Home depot in the morning. :P good luck with yours!!

BTW Thanks Kyle for the awesome tutorial!!! (Hubby is already trying to steal it for himself lol!!!)

kylegilbert (author)KellieT102016-11-06

Ha! Glad that it was helpful! Nice work, and thanks for leaving a comment!

corycar (author)4everstarwars2016-09-28

CTR my friend...and may the force be with you.

Ikillzombiez4u (author)2016-10-29

I used your tutorial along with another and I just wanted to say thank you. Very happy with the way my staff turned out!

Nicely done! Glad it was helpful!

vivig1 made it! (author)2016-10-29

Thank you. My daughter love it and all her friends also.

jackiewallace520 (author)2016-10-13

So once the Danco handle is taken apart, is it possible to put the conduit through it, or will I need to either drill through the handle or cut the conduit?

Lcoope20 made it! (author)2016-08-16

Thank you for your AMAZING tutorial! I ended up making the strap out of an old belt but I'm obsessed with how it turned out!!

That looks like the real movie prop! Was it hard to make? Difficult to follow the instructions? Now what did you make it with and how long and wide?

kylegilbert (author)Lcoope202016-08-17

Heck yeah! That's great!

StarWarsnonsense2 (author)2016-08-17

I haven't made it-yet. But I will definitely make it for my costume of Rey during Halloween. I can't wait to make it. Thank you so much for helping me make it (in the near future) and to be nice enough to post it..when your also selling it. I am no artist nor do I have a crafty mind so it would of been difficult for me to think of this on my own! I would of never thought of buying those items..even if I scavenged for items at Home Depot. When I make it I will post a picture! I can't wait! *As I've said already* Thanks so much for this post.

DianeB57 made it! (author)2016-07-30

after a 6 months doing nothing with the staff (because we have a pup) I finally finished the staff. I also made a start with the costume.. It's not complete but I'm working on it

Ill thank you for the great tutorial

kylegilbert (author)DianeB572016-07-30

That looks great! Way to go!

claudia-c made it! (author)2016-02-01

Hello, thank you so much for your instructions on the rey staff. I had to resort to other materials for this one because I couldn't find the items you mention in my country. I started with a broom stick, added black wire and sink sifters and shower soap caps here and there. also covered everything with fake leather. Not as nice as yours but it did the trick! My daughter was so happy!

kylegilbert (author)claudia-c2016-02-07

She looks amazing! Cutest little Rey ever!

smileydude3 (author)kylegilbert2016-06-22

I think I'll do something like that too, improv the materials to make it simpiler.

cglassmann made it! (author)2016-05-09

It only took me three half days to complete this project and most of it was waiting for paint to dry! I am so proud of how it turned out. I ended up making it so it can come apart for easy travel especially on a plane, I painted mine with a gun silver metal paint to give it that metal look. Thank you SO much for the easy instructions! I plan on making another one but with a metal pipe and make it one piece instead of three pieces!!

Deannasaur (author)cglassmann 2016-05-19

What paint did you use? Awesome job by the way! It turned out great!

cglassmann (author)Deannasaur 2016-06-11

I just used standard acrylic paint, folk art brand, gun metal and I dry brushed it all over to give it the weathered look

kylegilbert (author)cglassmann 2016-05-18

Looks great! Nice work!

CourtneyM45 (author)2016-06-05

I'm actually going to be using a metal conduit, but my only concern is if I'll be able to bring it into Cons…

jacksirrah made it! (author)2016-03-15

This was the most helpful tutorial ever, thank you so much! I don't have a Home Depot near me so I had to improvise with some of the materials, but all in all mine turned out pretty good and a lot of people were impressed (I told them about this page, of course!). Below are some pictures of the staff along with my costume.

kylegilbert (author)jacksirrah2016-05-18

This turned out great! Great job!

Mugins (author)2016-04-11

This is so awesome of you to make this instructable, I am going to try and make this staff if my friend decides she wants to be Rey for our next convention or halloween. Thank you so much for making this!

kylegilbert (author)Mugins2016-05-18

You're welcome!

VictoriaG37 (author)2016-04-24

How long was your staff when it was complete? I'm making mine for my cosplay and instead of cutting each part of the staff, I'm drilling through the acrylic handles for better stability. What was the total height when it was complete if you don't mind me asking. :)

SydneyC8 (author)2016-04-17

So how durable is this staff? I'm wanting to make a staff, but I want it to be really tough so I can do a lot of cool other stuff with it.

KatieN10 (author)2016-03-15

I do not understand what you meant by wheel... I tried to search in the pictures, and the list of materials but didn't see what you wwere talking about... are you able to clarify?

kylegilbert (author)KatieN102016-03-26

Something like this:

cookiesnomnom made it! (author)2016-03-25

Thanks for this tutorial! I have almost not experience making something like this, and I don't own a saw/drill/anything like that, so I thought I wouldn't be able to make it, but it totally worked out!

If anyone wants to know what I used, I used a 3/4" 5 foot metal conduit for the base, and was able to find the connector and sink handles listed in the tutorial, but not a bunch of the other things. I used a 25 ft spiral telephone cord for the 3 parts with the lines. The "fins" were made with cardboard, and I added a smaller section of them on the bottom for no particular reason. the other parts were mainly made with foam tap to give the staff more dimension. Almost everything was attached with a hot glue gun, but I used Loctite glue to attach the ends to the metal. I used Plasti Dip to cover it all, but I didn't spray paint on top of that. The strap is just hooked through a hair tie on each end.

Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out! Everyone kept asking if I bought it!

This turned out great! Way to go!

miczox made it! (author)2016-01-30

Hey Kyle! I made an instructables account just to say that I followed your tutorial for making my own staff for my scavenger Rey outfit and it turned out great! I had to improvise a bit due to having to fly across the country with the staff and resemble it at the con location, but ultimately it all worked out well. I got so many compliments, and made sure to credit you/redirect anyone interested in building one to your tutorial. Thanks again for putting together such a great & thorough tutorial. Here are a few pics of it with the completed costume.


jacksirrah (author)miczox2016-03-15

Hello! Your costume looks amazing! I just finished mine and wore it to AMKE this last weekend and am in the process of tweaking now for another con in a month...can you share how you made such excellent goggles? Mine didn't turn out nearly as good as yours. Fantastic job!

rebro07 (author)miczox2016-02-03

Your costume is absolutely fantastic miczox! I'm in the process of making this staff myself and will begin working on my Rey costume shortly. Do you have a tutorial for how you made your costume? I'm having trouble finding the right materials for some of it.


miczox (author)rebro072016-02-05

Hey hey, I'm glad you like it.

Unfortunately, I don't have a tutorial, as I threw it together in a little under a week for a con- so it was pretty rushed and I was winging it most of the time. The headwrap was a shirt and a lucky find at a thrift store (so obviously not to helpful for you here). But the rest of the fabrics were mostly all found at local craft stores. For my shirt I used a cotton/muslin fabric. A popular material for the dress-wrap is viscose fabric, because it has a nice flowy movement to it (a major problem with Rey costumes that I've seen is that the dress-wrap material is far too heavy/stiff). The pants were the only thing I just straight up bought brand new from a store, but pretty much any pants with a similar color/fit will do. There were a lot of options for these types of pants online or at a department store, so they're not too tough to find. The arm wraps were actually the fabric that you put around a cast- they were then dyed to be the correct color. I did this because of how last minute everything was, if I had more time I would definitely have tried to make them more bandage like, as is accurate in the movie. I suppose that is pretty much it for fabric use. I hope that this is somewhat helpful for you.

Just one little tip though: Rey's costume in the film looks super janky, so what I found when making it was the more thrown together and rushed it looks, the more accurate it looks. So, ultimately if you aren't going for 100% screen accuracy, don't get too concerned about getting the exact fabrics! It is all pretty iconic looking, and so long as you have the right fit/colors I think that the costume will look put together.



rebro07 (author)miczox2016-02-09

Thank you so much! You actually really helped me figure some things out! Can't wait to see how it turns out.

kylegilbert (author)miczox2016-02-07

Sorry that I'm just now responding, but your costume turned out amazing! Way to go!!!

You should stick around this site. It's one of my favorites - very encouraging place to hang out. :)

livewireliz made it! (author)2016-03-07

This Instructable was really helpful for my first cosplay ever. I did have some trouble though with some of the directions and with the supply list. Was curious what kind of glue you used because we tried three different ones before we found one that worked. I would have liked to see the craft foam, glue, and the plastic wheels listed in the supplies because it would have made the build a lot less stressful. But in the end I think mine turned out pretty good! Thanks for the Instructable!

JaneB51 (author)livewireliz2016-03-07

I just started building this, and I was wondering if you could tell me exactly what plastic wheels you used, and what particular craft foam? (since I also did not see this is in the supply list) I'm going to be building this staff this week, and i want to make sure I have as many of supplies I can get before I start building. Thanks!

livewireliz (author)JaneB512016-03-08

I didn't use the plastic wheels at all, since they weren't in the supply list and we had already been to the hardware store several times and I didn't want to go back again. As for the craft foam, the brand I have is Foamies (I think), but you can use any. You can get this stuff at just about any store with a craft department. I got mine at Walmart, in the kid's crafts section. It usually comes in packs like this: This stuff is flexible, not the stiff stuff that you buy to mount science fair projects and the like on! (Though I did use that, too, on the fins because my Dremel tool decided to die and we couldn't cut the board I bought for my fins.)

About This Instructable




Bio: Some people can work on one project at a time. Not me.
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