A few months back (November) I was assigned the task of making swords for a production of The Nutcracker. This may not be the easiest method, but it worked, and stood up to quite a few swordfights.I had a stack of old boards available to use, they weren't standard size, but they were close to 1x4s. First I made a pattern by cutting a piece of 3/4" styrofoam to the same size as the board, drawing out a sword on it, and cutting it out. I then traced my pattern onto the board and cut it out with a sabersaw. I then used some scraps of something (forgot what, some old lumber) to make rectangles with holes in them, which slid over the handle and onto a little shelf on the blade, forming a hilt. After I made sure they fit, I pulled them off, sprayed the handle and the hilt black, and the blade silver (aluminum), and glued the hilts back on.The pathetic diagram below shows roughly the shapes I used. The dashed lines show the hole in the crosswise hilt, which slid up onto the shelf on the back of the blade.