Introduction: Make Your Own "Iron" Throne

Picture of Make Your Own "Iron" Throne

Do you dream of being King of the cul-de-sac? Or how about Lord of the lawn? If so, then you're going to need a throne! We built a Game of Thrones inspired Iron Throne for our medieval-themed Halloween party. It's not, by any means, a sword by sword replica of the one on HBO, but it was a real hit. It's made of common materials and just takes time to put together. That sure beats spending 30 grand for an official copy!

Our main requirements were having a throne of respectable size and enough heft and durability to handle party guests (some in chain mail) posing on it throughout the evening.

We built this over the course of three weeks (although someone could probably reproduce it in at least half that time) with roughly the following materials:

- a plastic Adirondack chair
- 1/2" pink foam insulation - roughly two 4x8'sheets
- metal tie-down strapping, I used about 8' in length
- wooden yardsticks, I used about two dozen of them
- several sheets of 1/8" thick craft foam
- various screws, duct tape, liquid nails, and latex caulk
- latex primer paint, grey spray paint, metallic paints

And for the platform:
- 4x4' piece of 1/2" plywood
- a couple 2x4 boards
- one 2x2 board
- two stair risers (or make your own)
- two 1"x12" boards 4' long for the stairs
- screws and paint

Step 1: Finding a Swordless Seat

Picture of Finding a Swordless Seat

You can certainly build the throne completely from scratch, but you'll save time by starting with a chair to build off from. I found a plastic Adirondack chair that made a great, inexpensive (less than 15 bucks), and lightweight starting point. The flared, vertical slates of the back resemble the shape we're after and the high chunky armrests are a good foundation to build from.

Step 2: Elevating Your Art

Picture of Elevating Your Art

 With the base chair selected, I was able to start sizing the whole project in terms of rough height, width, and depth. I decided I'd build a platform for the throne with a couple steps since you really don't want to be looking up to anyone if you're sitting in the Iron Throne.

Don't forget: If you're not building at this on-the-spot, it's very important to keep things sized, or modular, so you'll later be able to fit through doorways! In my case the throne can be moved separate of the platform, and the throne can *just* be angled to get through 36" doorways.

The platform was framed with 2x4 lumber, with one cross piece and extra bracing right under where the rear chair legs will rest (with the majority of the weight). Legs were added with 2x4s and 2x2s and 1/2" plywood was attached to the top.

Since the Adirondack leans back quite a bit, I added a 2x4 toward the back of the platform to raise the rear chair legs. I also added some extra bracing to support the back of the chair because it's quite flexible.

Step 3: Framing With Sticks

Picture of Framing With Sticks

Next I used yardsticks to flesh out some key shapes of the throne. Yardsticks are a great building material because they are straight, sturdy, and cheap - these cost about 70 cents a piece at a home improvement store.

I used short, flat head screws to attach the yardsticks to the chair, taking care that the screw points always faced away from the seating surfaces. I extended yardsticks from each of the chairs vertical slats, most of these would later become sword handles.

I widened the shape of the front legs, and used a bit of 2x4 to join multiple sticks at the bottom. I also began to close in the sides of the chair (inside and out) with a couple criss-crossing yardsticks.

Step 4: Layering Up the First Few Swords

Picture of Layering Up the First Few Swords

This existing back of the chair will become swords pointing down. I cut strips of pink foam insulation and liquid nailed it to one side of the yardsticks to begin forming swords. The thickness of the foam (1/2 inch) evens it out nicely with the chair surface. In the area of the sword handles I just cut it down to the width of the yardstick. 

On either side of the chair back, we'll have our the first couple upward pointing swords. Same routine here: rough cut foam to a taper and glue it to the front of the two yardsticks.

Then I repeated those steps to glue foam on the backside of the yardsticks. For the downward swords the foam was trimmed so it'd fit right into the back of the chair. There will be a little gap (the width of the yardstick) between the front and back foam pieces so small strips were glued in to fill that in. In the later images you can see the sanding process starting to shape the handle and blade areas. There was a LOT of sanding ahead at this point, but an electric palm sander helps tremendously.

I also began adding foam pieces for the hilt guards. For most of these I left off the back half of the guards because there would be another layer of swords behind them. In the photos you can also see the foam starting to get primed with latex paint (to seal it against the spray paint later).

Step 5: And Now a Thousand More!

Picture of And Now a Thousand More!

From here it's a matter of adding a LOT more blade shapes to fill in the open spaces on the sides and cover the chair surfaces. I used some different materials for this.

First I found some 1" wide metal tie-down strapping, that I bent around the arms in a few spots. This is sturdy metal so, along with the yardsticks, it helped add a framework to build off of. It's possible to cut yourself on the edges of the metal so I covered it with duct tape around the arm rest.

Then I cut a bunch of strips of craft foam - 1/8" or so thickness is good here - around 1" to 1.5" wide. I started with simple rectangular strips, but then cut a tapered point to them. The craft foam is a great addition since it can wrap and weave around chair shapes and glue down easily. Also, even with adding it all over the chair surfaces, the chair will remain comfortable - not that comfort is really a feature of the Iron Throne.

Next I needed a few swords in front that, well looked better than simple strips, so I want back to carving up pink insulation foam. The four swords on the front of the chair are shorter, but were built just like the ones on the back of the chair.

Then it was just a matter of filling things in more and more. Vary the direction of each piece, but follow the lines of the chair when possible. In the television throne there are no open spaces you can see through, it's just solid swords, but I decided to stop short of that, to shave off some time, but also to avoid turning this into a big blob.

Step 6: The Last Few Swords

Picture of The Last Few Swords

With the sides and front of the chair pretty well filled in I just needed to finish some layers of foam on the chair seat and back and, most importantly add a row of blades along the top to finish off the iconic look. I decided on adding 7 blades fanning out around the top, placing them between each of the foam swords we made earlier. Here again you can go crazy and make a couple dozen, but this was a good number without crowding things too much. Here again I spent a couple more hours with the palm sander to shape everything.

A couple of wooden spheres were added to give the front swords pommels. They are attached by screws from the underside of the chair's arms.

Before the next step of painting I used a bunch of latex caulk to fill any gaps around the entire project. It did a good job of smoothing the layers together to give it a melted together appearance.

Step 7: Painting and Last Touches

Picture of Painting and Last Touches

Making sure all the foam insulation was primed first, the entire chair was then spray painted. A thorough coat of dark grey primer was used first. Then I followed up with a coat or two of "hammered steel" paint. The hammered paint doesn't impart much texture to the throne, but it does give it an evenness to all the different materials used.

Gold and copper highlights were added next to set off the pommels and hilt guards. These were mostly just washes to add character without getting too shiny. 

Thinned black paint was brushed on to darken the sword handles and to better define all the foam edges and give the layers more dimension. To add some highlights to some of the blades I rubbed on some oil-based aluminum colored paint. It's subtle, but the extra metallic finish catches the light a little more.

And that's pretty much it. The chair was placed on top of the platform and I screwed down the back two legs just to keep it from shifting. All assembled it reaches over seven feet tall.

Not only is an Iron Throne decoration awesome in it's own right, but you'll have a ton of great pictures with party guests posing on it!


ShawnG65 made it! (author)2017-10-28

This inspired me to make this version of the Iron Throne...thank you.

flaming_pele! (author)ShawnG652017-11-04

haha nice!

KristenD8 made it! (author)2015-12-21

We made this for our Game of Thrones Christmas party. What do you think????

pickulz (author)KristenD82016-04-05

Looks amazing!

Did you use the same materials? And where is the backdrop from?

KristenD8 (author)pickulz2016-04-05

We used a wooden chair, weed matting, we melted tons of plastic swords and used corners of a shipping pallet for the pointy bits at the back. The backdrop is just a plastic sheet from a props shop.

QNKP (author)KristenD82016-11-09

Your work are awesome! How do you melt the plastic swords? And give them that shape? I really love your work!!!

flaming_pele! (author)KristenD82016-04-28

This is fantastic! Great job with the painting and bending those swords :)

Derbycoach (author)2016-10-10

Thank you! I used this to model up my own iron throne for a Game of Thrones themed roller derby invitational! Here's mine

JessicaS269 made it! (author)2016-09-14

thank you! very helpful!

JackDean727 (author)2016-07-31

Thank you so much for this article! I followed this and some of the photos in the comments to create mine. Glad to see more Thrones fans!!

Valar Morghulis.

darbyg made it! (author)2016-07-20


For my daughters 18th birthday, she wanted an iron throne as a photo booth, so I followed your plan as best I could. On the materials I used ;

- pinewood lattice (taken apart) instead if rulers
- lots of foam from a local retailer
- 1" metal strapping (then covered each piece in black duct tape)
- construction adhesive
- fabric glue
- gap filler
- 2 coats of white undercoat paint
- 2 cans of black primer spray paint
- 1 can of metallic silver spray paint

All in I think the materials cost around $150 (Australian). I spent probably a full 2 days (excluding drying time).

A great project and with a bit of effort a great result.

Thanks for sharing the design.


BeccaS13 made it! (author)2016-04-20

Thank you thank you so much! We made this under $40 thanks to you. Supplies were lawn chair, rulers, insulation foam, craft foam, duct tape, cardboard for the back and handles, and paint. I'm so excited to have this at our premiere party Sunday.

flaming_pele! (author)BeccaS132016-04-28

Awesome, thanks for posting your work!

Jasoncook910 made it! (author)2015-12-02

I made this in 1.5 days. While I had to stray a little in execution due to time constraints. The core design and inspiration was from your post.

A day and a half? Awesome! Great job in simplfying it to meet your super tight schedule.

Dutch Ezz made it! (author)2015-07-10

I made one for the Halloween party last year. Everyone loved it, people were in line to take picture! Because of your post, I was able to make it. Thank you so much for all the tips and info!!! Especially, the foam strip idea. I think that's the most important part of making it for me, BRILLIANT!!!!!

flaming_pele! (author)Dutch Ezz2015-09-14

Well done!! This is what this site is all about :)

ro.cherillakaras (author)2014-10-23

This is OUT OF BOUNDS! My daughter is doing a GOT themed senior project, houses=different groups of people. And this chair is a necessary piece of the project!

jhermance (author)2014-10-21

This is amazing and I'm in the process of attempting to recreate it. I was wondering which materials you used for the last bit of swords that are pointing up and fanning out across the back.I was thinking maybe you used the yardsticks but I'm not sure where to secure them. Were they just made from remaining foam?

Thanks for posting this great guide!

flaming_pele! (author)jhermance2014-10-21

Those swords are foam on the front side with a yard stick on the backside just to make sure they aren't prone to snap off. In addition to gluing them to the swords underneath, I ran a small bolt and nut through each one to the chair. The heads of the bolts are in a recessed part of the chair back.

jhermance (author)flaming_pele!2014-10-21

Ahh okay! Thanks for the quick reply!

Nehkromaster (author)2014-10-21

Great work! I made the Iron Throne this year for our Halloween party. Your page here was one of only a very few out there who tried. Appreciate many of the helpful tips. Here are the results. Hope you like it!

That's excellent work! Glad to have helped. Have a great party!

galvatron522 (author)2014-09-02

im not a game of thrones fan, but i like the "throne" and now i have a way to make it! perfect for a medieval party.

nwright11 (author)2014-06-25

this is absolutely amazing!!!

missymuscles (author)2014-02-27

This is amazing! What was your final cost? I'm hoping it's a feasible fathers day gift!

Thanks for the comment and good luck! It's hard to top the Iron Throne when it comes to gift giving!

The chair itself is probably $50-60 in materials. The platform underneath might be around $40 (but it was much less for me since I had most of that wood lying around).

ccyr1 (author)2014-01-29

Hi there, amazing job on the throne! I used your project for inspiration on mine. I am building a cardboard sled for an annual event at a local ski hill. The event is sponsored by Labatt Blue, so instead of swords I am going with a draft handle approach. The sled is still in progress but here is how it looks so far. Thanks for the idea and the great Instructable!

flaming_pele! (author)ccyr12014-01-31

Thanks for commenting and sharing your work! Looks like you'll be reigning over that ski hill for sure :)

Now, how do we get that dragon on front to breath some fire!?

ccyr1 (author)flaming_pele!2014-01-31

That is something I want to do to it, unfortunately the race rules only allow cardboard, duct tape, and paint. So the fire breathing will have to be added after the race. To be continued...

jthiel2 (author)2013-11-19

Hi, would be great if you could email me please.. I´d love to use a photo of your project in a print publication. Cheers & best from Berlin - jens.thiel /at/

robotmaker (author)2013-11-16

looks very good ,i collect swords from Renaissance fairs,go every year never miss one in fla
i have them all over my wall besides a lot of dragon stuff and medieval stuff

bongodrummer (author)2013-11-15

Nice work! Looks like a good bit of office furniture ;)

jessyratfink (author)2013-11-12

Ahhhhhh! This is so good :D

About This Instructable




Bio: Web developer by day. Gamer by night. Halloween fanatic and DIYer, all the time! My projects tend to combine pop culture, technology, and craftsmanship to ... More »
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