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"She is a vampire bat!"

I decided that I wanted to be Negan from The Walking Dead for Halloween this year, but carrying around a real baseball bat at a party probably isn't the best idea. This is hopefully a fairly harmless cardboard version of the skull-crushing 'Lucille'. It's far from screen accurate but this is only for Halloween. All the materials are things I already had at home:

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • A length of PVC pipe
  • String
  • PVA glue
  • Hot glue
  • Some paint
  • Newspaper

The only tools required are:

  • Stanley knife/scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Paintbrushes

Step 1: Structure of the Bat: Part 1

I googled the average dimensions of a baseball bat and chose the most suitable piece of pipe I had. The entire length measures roughly 80cm and it is standard 35mm diameter pipe.

I marked on the pipe where I wanted the handle to end and where the full-sized wide end would begin, leaving the tapered section in the middle. The handle is 35cm long and the wide end to the beginning of the tapered section is about 25cm.

Next I cut some rings from cardboard to support the wide end. These had an outside diameter of 7cm and had a tight fit with the pipe. I secured these to the pipe at regular intervals with hot glue.

Then, using hot glue again, I added a skin around the rings to form the wide end of the bat.

Step 2: Structure of the Bat: Part 2

For the tapered section I cut triangles, based on the dimensions drawn on the pipe, and glued them on as shown in the photo. Then I cut long trapeziums of cardboard to fit between each of the triangles. Hot glue was used again to secure these in place.

To give the bat a uniform texture, I wrapped some more cardboard around the handle section of the pipe and glued it down. I also covered the holes at each end with a circle of cardboard as shown in the photos.

After this I paper covered the whole thing in a PVA glue and newspaper papier-mache and left it to dry.

Step 3: Barbed Wire

I used a variation of the string-PVA glue method which I saw a while back and have used ever since.

The general idea is the coat two lengths of string in PVA glue and then twist them together. Once it's dried tie on each little barb (a few centimetres of string), which have also been soaked in the PVA glue, at about 10cm intervals. I've found this works better with stiffer, thinner string and I usually paint it afterwards instead of mixing paint in with the glue like in the original tutorial. msraynford's tutorial (linked above) goes into more detail about this process.

In this case I used 'Aluminium' spray paint as this was the most realistic looking colour I had to hand. I left it to dry on the washing line.

I made approximately 2.6m of the stuff which meant it wrapped round about 12 twelve times. (circum=pi*diam)

Step 4: Painting

Once it had set hard I gave the bat a quick coat of white spray paint primer. After this had dried I mixed up a nice brown using acrylic paints, any paints would do, I just own quite a lot of acrylic paints already. I painted the whole thing brown and left it to dry. This needed two coats to make it uniformly brown.

I mixed in a little extra red and dabbed it on with the end of the brush to give it a bloodstained look at the wide end.

Step 5: Final Touches

I wound the barbed wire round the end of the bat until I was happy with the pattern, then hot glued it on behind several of the barbs. I trapped the ends of the string under other layers of the barbed wire to prevent them from unravelling.

At this point I touched up a couple of spots on the paintwork and dry-brushed brown over the barbed wire to make it look more 'used'.

I'm now happy with how it looks but I may add some extra blood to the barbed wire, I've got until tomorrow to decide...

Happy Halloween!

If you enjoyed this tutorial or have made one for yourself, don't forget to vote for it in the contests!

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