Picture of Sting - Lord of the Rings
I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan, and browsing around looking at all the other great sword replica 'Ibles, I was inspired to make my own based on Bilbo/Frodo's sword Sting from the movies. I borrowed the basic process from Johnny1983 's method for his  Master Sword replica . Ok! So let's take this bad boy all the way to Mordor and smite some orcs!

Note: I started this instructable towards the end of the project, so I'm going to apply my GIMP skills to magically make duplicates of pieces that require duplication. If pieces look cloned, it's because they are. :)

Step 1: Materials/Tools

Picture of Materials/Tools

* 1 2x4 1/8" MDF sheet. I actually had a bunch of scrap laying around that was enough. You just need one piece that's long enough for two copies of the blade+grip, and 6 copies of the crossguard+pommel.
* Wood glue.
* Wood putty.
* Scrap cardboard - the thin kind that's not corrugated.
* Sandpaper with sanding block.
* Spray paint: 1 can primer, 1 can brown, 1 can silver.
* Acrylic paint: black.
* Scissors.
* Masking tape.


* A printer, or a very good eye for tracing outlines.
* A coping saw. You could probably get away with just a box cutter/X-Acto knife.
* A box cutter/X-Acto knife.
* Oddly enough, I found a chisel very handy.
* A pencil.
* Soldering iron (or woodburning tool).
* Optional: a Dremel or rotary tool.

I chose to work with MDF for it's workability: it's really easy to tear away big chunks of the stuff to get it down to how you want it looking. On the other hand, it gets a little nerve-wracking when you're trying to do fine details, so your mileage may vary.
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carriegirl5 months ago

Wow! That is totally awesome. I love how instructables help us making cool things out of ordinary daily life things.

Found a good version of Sting Sword at:


johana.mandy7 months ago
This is brilliant!!!
question: the cardboard you use is it like...box cardboard? Or a sort of harder one? Bit like wood? If thesecond how can you cut it that well and, can it be done by using box cardboard pieces put together? Or will they be too soft....i cannot tell from the pics very well and english is not my native so ....ok thanks!
drknotter (author)  johana.mandy7 months ago
It definitely wasn't box cardboard (corrugated cardboard). It was more dense, sort of like poster board. As for cutting it that well, I made a lot of mistakes, but what helped was taking my time and being as careful as possible. I don't think box cardboard will work as well, since it's basically full of air, and would get crushed after working with it.

Good luck!

Yes yes I figured!! Eventually! I bought the MDF...size 3 I do't thik it needs more so far it is good. Problem is I dot' have that iron thing.....a nd I cannot carve the letters. Do you have any idea if I can do it some other way? Thankj you so so so much for answerig and I hope I am not tiring you. thanks!

drknotter (author)  johana.mandy7 months ago

If you don't have a soldering iron, I think the only other way would be to carve the letters out carefully. But that'll be tough, since MDF tends to flake away when you carve it.

You can get really cheap soldering irons for around $20 at most stores that sell them, and since you wouldn't be using it to ACTUALLY solder anything, it doesn't need to be a nice one at all, it just needs to get hot. You also might try a wood-burning kit that you can get at most craft stores, I think for a comparable price.

I hope that helps! Good luck!

Grafx4Life8 months ago

This is VERY impressive. I love seeing how it is done.

Mvn4561 year ago

would plywood work instead of the MDF?

Mvn456 Mvn4561 year ago

oh and how thick is he MDF?

This is one of the best sting replica's I've seen, certainly one of the better one on this site ;) I've found some glow in the dark blue paint that goes on clear, which I reckon would make an awesome feature when I get round to making one :)

drknotter (author)  Doctor_what1 year ago

Blue glow in the dark paint could work. If it does, you should definitely post it up here, it'd make a great addition.

Wow, quality job on the sword.

TekoMuto1 year ago
Excellent Sting! I bought a scroll saw recent to start getting into making stuff out of MDF and I'd have to say I'm probably going to attempt at making my own in the future :D
Cornbread and ascots!!!
wooddiamond2 years ago
This is awesome!
First off, this is AMAZING!

I've been having some trouble with it, though; I've tried using a boxcutter to cut the MDF, but it hardly makes a scratch in it. Is there a specific way to cut it, or should I try using something else? Would a Stanley knife work?

(Sorry, I'm really new to prop-making!)
drknotter (author)  QueenAllyJean2 years ago
Never apologize for showing enthusiasm in a new hobby! :) Your boxcutter might be dull, they tend to wear out pretty quickly. Something that works a little better is a coping saw, but it's a little harder to control. Your best option would be a scroll saw, if you have access to one.

If you want to explore more of the prop-making world, I would suggest checking out therpf.com. The stuff people make over there blow my puny attempts out of the water, they're really amazing.
CraftWars2 years ago
This is AWESOME!
HPandLOTR2 years ago
That looks really good! I'm doing the same thing but it's with gandalfs sword.
Lildevil9633 years ago
i hope someone makes it out of metal and takes a pic becasue that would be amazing
drknotter (author)  Lildevil9633 years ago
If you're willing to fork over the cash, you can find them online. Just seach "sting replica," there will be tons of links.
Weta makes them but it's really expensive.
Ringer16332 years ago
this is sweet! I love lotr and the hobbit.
Mooch072 years ago
Very nice! I like how it looks.
Do you think there is an easy way to add a blue glow?
tgreen202 years ago

Did you freehand the elvish writing on the blade? The printout for the elvish writing ist to scale, obviously, and I'm not sure i could accurately free hand it, and make it all the same size. Is there a printout I'm missing?

Very Very good. I tried making a sting sword out of balsa wood. It didn't turn out nearly as good as yours.
is this cosplay or LARRP safe ?
It should be cosplay safe, as long as you don't actaully hit stuff with it.

Anything made out of solid materials is NOT larp safe. Weapons have to be made out of foam to be allowed in LARP.
drknotter (author)  Assassin Shahriyar2 years ago
MDF is pretty flimsy, I don't think it would stand up to any kind of actual use.
great! but i don't know how to this step (_ _!)
vronning3 years ago
Hi! I was wondering how big the sword/pdf is. I tried printing the PDFs at 100%, but turned out a little small..
drknotter (author)  vronning3 years ago
The longest part (the blade+grip piece) is 26.5in (67.3cm). Keep in mind that it is supposed to be pretty small. It is hobbit sized, after all. :)
curvy773 years ago
awwww. was kinda hopeing it was a forged one... o well =p great job!
Same here
Nicolas M3 years ago
Amazing reproduction, I shall definitely try it out (although I don't really trust myself writing with an iron or cutting the hilt design). It would be cool to make 2 and paint the blade of one of them bright green so if one were to shoot a fan-made film one could use chroma key to make it glow blue.
jediwhiz33 years ago
Very good! I am a huge LOTR fan and looks like an authentic movie reproduction! I just know that MDF gives off particles that are bad for you and i was wondering if there was another material you could make it from.
drknotter (author)  jediwhiz33 years ago
Thanks for the comment! You definitely don't have to use MDF. You could use 1/8'' boards instead, and the process is essentially the same. The only difference would be the amount of time to shape the material, since 1/8'' boards are much much harder than MDF.
Great! I try it out! :)
GpaSteve3 years ago
Very nice. Something I am adding to my list of things I want to make
Mrballeng3 years ago
Absolutely amazing. 5/5!
drknotter (author)  Mrballeng3 years ago
Thanks! I really enjoy your work, too! Perhaps you could make a lord of the rings themed pendant?
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