Introduction: How to Make a DC Harley Quinn: "Mallet" Carrying Case
Hello Puddin', we're back for round two with a different variation of my original Harley Quinn Mallet tutorial. For the 2020 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, our group wanted a DC Batman Theme. The only problem was, we had a baby with us this year... Well, with having a baby on board, we needed to figure out inventive ways to carry a baby's things such as diapers, wipes, formula, etc. without having to use a bag and distract from the costumes. I had some brainstorming to do, but I figured out that I could make hollow mallet to function as a carrying case that our Harley Quinn Cosplayer could use as a prop. Let's get started!
- EVA foam (roll, and thick tile mat)
- Strong mini magnets
- large popcorn tin
- contact cement or Hot Glue
-dremel will cutting attachment and sanding attachment
- PVC 3 way adapter
- 2 PVC adapters
-PVC end cap
- hockey grip tape
Step 1: Reference Pictures
Before I ever start ANY costume or prop, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better. Look up:
1. Actual photos of the character/prop from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design.
For this mallet, i wanted to give it a some new coloring and a little bit of a different shape for the head. I liked the the idea of having interchanging black and red colors to in and also liked the idea of painting a face on one side.
Step 2: Sides of the Mallet
You will need to figure out the dimensions of mallet. You are essentially making a cylinder so you need two circles and a body. However, the circles have to be the diameter of the popcorn lid. So do the following.
1) Trace the lid of your popcorn can onto a piece of paper. From there, use that piece of paper and cut out those two circles from thick EVA foam (pic 1)
2) I wanted to make the mallet look like a sawed off log, so i first some wavey lines into each circle to resemble the "grain" of a wood log. You are not trying to cut through the layer of PVC, but you are just creating a groove in it. (pic 2)
3. Use your heating gun and heat up those cut lines. They will open up and create a nice wood pattern for you. (pic 2)
4. take your soldering iron and burn a few tiny holes on the backside of 1 of your circles. As these hole will be for gluing in your magnets, do not make them too large. I used 5 mini magnets and then contact cemented them inside each hole. You only have to do this to one circle, as the other will be permanently glued in as the bottom of the mallet head.(pic 3)
Step 3: Internal Skeleton
Now that you have your side circles, you can start to figure out how big the mallet should be.
1. Start cutting out your PVC skeleton to be in proportion to your circles. You basically need to figure out how LONG you want your mallet head to be. I eyeball it and figure out how long it should be based on the size of the circles.
2. Your 1 side pie of PVC will go onto the bottom of the "T" PVC joint.. This PVC side piece will sit in the center of your EVA foam circle you made in the last step. So now, you should be able to determine how long the top and Bottom PVC needs to be. Insert them into the top and bottom. I also add a PVC adapter at the bottom of the skeleton so i can dismantle the mallet for travel purposes. When it is finished, it should look like pic 1.
3. Once everything is assembled. I glued the side PVC into the circle that DOES NOT have the magnets in them. This is the non-removable side of the mallet now. If easier, you can show a little scrap piece of foam into the end of the PVC tube prior to gluing it to the foam. This will allow for a little more surface area/ point of contact for the glue to adhere to. (pic 2)
Step 4: Mallet BOdy
Now you are going to get a sheet of foam to wrap around that bottom circle to essentially make a "cup". Do the following
1. Grab your measuring tape and measure how much foam will be needed to wrap around that circle. You can add maybe another inch just in case you want a little bit of leeway. You also need to measure how long the body of your mallet will be. You can find this out by measuring the distance between the glued in circle to the middle of the PVC T adapter. Remember that is half the distance of the mallet, so just multiple by 2 to find the length of your mallet.
2. Transfer your dimensions to paper and then use that template to get that rectangle out of foam. On one of the short sides of that foam rectangle, Cut out a half circle that is the diameter of the PVC adapter used in the skeleton. That notch is where the mallet handle will insert. (pic 1).
3. Since this sheet is supposed to resemble wood, i wanted to rough up the edges a bit. The foam I had has this diamond tread on the back, so i used my dremel sander and sanded off about 1 inch of tread from each side. Then, I cut out some rough angles to simulate the roughness of bark edges along the LONG sides only. (pic 2)
4. Now wrap and glue the foam sheet onto the perimeter of the circle. I usually put the seam of the foam where the underbelly of the mallet head will be. Picture is from the first mallet, but premise is the same (pic 3)
5. That foam rectangle should now have completed encased the circle and PVC skeleton, so you should essentially have a large foam "cup"
Step 5: Removable Mallet Side
1. Grab your popcorn bucket and your masking tape. Tape off a line about 2 inches from the lip of the bucket. (pic 1)
2. Use your dremel saw attachment and cut along your tape. You want that upper top metal ring, as that is what the popcorn lid fits to.
3. Once you have the metal ring, glue it in to the edge of the mouth of the "cup" form from the mallet head. There should be just enough space for you to be able to insert and remove the popcorn lid. (pic 2).
4. Now that you have the upper ring installed, you should be able to put on the metal popcorn lid. Then you should be able to place your foam circle (with the magnets) onto the lid and have a fully encased foam cylinder.
Step 6: Wood Exterior
1. I wanted to make the mallet look like a sawed off log, so i first cut wave lines along the body with an exacto knife. look up a picture of a log to get an idea of what you are trying to replicate. You are not trying to cut through the layer of PVC, but you are just creating a groove in it. (pic 1)
2. use your heating gun and head up those cut lines. They will open up and create a nice wood pattern for you.
3. I used my dremel and a dremel bit to cut deeper, rougher grooves into the body to make it more wood- like (pic 2)
4. Look at reference pictures of wooden logs to get an idea of the cracks you want. I wanted something that had more of a board look to it. It can be any variation of mallet you want. Therefore, i have several straight lines on my mallet head to show that they are "different wood boards" surround a log (pic 3)
Step 7: Bands and Rivets
1. For your bands, cut out a long strip from your EVA foam.
2. Glue both strips on either side of the mallet. I kept all the seams on the underside of the mallet.
3. For the rivets, i took my thick EVA foam and used a bottle cap as the diameter of the circle. Cut those out, sand off the tread, and glue directly onto the strip (pic 1)
4. Don't forget to put in a bigger "rivet" at the very top of the mallet (pic 2, original tutorial, but premise is the same)
5. Your foam mallet with removable side should be fully assembled (pic 3). I also added a foam "ring" around the adapter of the mallet head. (pic 4)
6. Now to figure out how long you want your handle to be. Just take your PVC pipe and cut to desired length.
7. I then cut that PVC handle is half and attach a cap on one end, and an adapter on the other end. Doing this allows me to travel easier with shorter pieces. (pic 5)
Step 8: Sealing and Paint
1. you need to prep your foam prior to painting it or else the foam will just absorb your paint. So first, apply heat to all your foam pieces with your heat gun.
2) Then paint on your modge podge to all the foam pieces. let dry. You can choose to use plastidip, but i find Mod Podge to be cheaper and is still just as good on foam pieces that do not bend.
3. Once your foam is sealed, I painted the entire mallet black to have a even base color.
4. Then, i took some silver spray paint and sprayed the anything that I wanted to look metal. I sprayed the straps, rivets, the adaptors a brilliant silver color. Once dry, i applied watered down black acrylic paint to darken the silver so that it looked grimy. I let it set for a few seconds and then wipe a little away with a paper towel. (pic 1)
5. Then i pained the "wood planks" an interchanging black and red. For the black, a lightened it just a few shades to give it some contrast. I then went back with that watery black paint and painted the planks so that the paint would seep into all the grooves i put in. I used a dry paper towel to wipe away anything i didn't want. (pic 2)
6. I used a light beige color for the sides of the mallet head and then used a water brown to seep into the grooves.
7. I wanted the mallet to look like it had been used so i applied some water red to both ends for "blood stains". (pic 3)
8. I wanted a way to remind myself which was the top of the mallet. Remember, the mallet is holding items inside and only 1 of the sides is permanently glued in. You want to know this so that you can figure out how to hold the mallet so something spills out. I wanted to paint a "your face Here" decal on it.
9. I used the popcorn tin lid to cut out a circle from some newspaper. From there, i folded the newspaper circle in half and then drew the half face on it. I cut it out, unfolded the paper, and then had a fully symmetrical face (pic 4)
10. I used the template to draw an outline on the mallet "lid". I then painted the face outline in red paint.(pic 5)
11. I then painted the "YOUR FACE HERE" within the face. (pic 6)
12. I spray pained the handle brown and then waited for those to dry. I then used masking tape to tape off the areas i wanted untouched, so that i could spray the adapters silver (pic 7)
13. i wrapped the handle in a little bit of hockey grip tape once dry to help with some contrast as well.
14. Spray on a clear coat to help protect your paint job and your mallet is good to go (pic 8 + 9)
Step 9: Finished!
That should be it!
1. Only thing left to consider are your poses. I personally enjoy the "over the one shoulder" look. (pic 1)
2. You can also put the mallet across both your shoulders (pic 2)
3. Last, You can pretend to smash people in the face with your hammer. I do enjoy a good interaction pose!
4. Don't forget to team up with your Batman peeps!
Thank you for following this build! If you are interested in having me build one for you, please feel free to write me at email@example.com to discuss pricing. For more geeky goodness, feel free to find me on Facebook, instagram, tumblr, and youtube!
Our group can be found at 9:07 in the music video
Other costumes featured in this instructable:
-Zatanna: Coming Soon
-Gotham Swat: Coming Soon
Participated in the
2 years ago
Wow! it turned out so well! I'm definitely going to try this
Reply 2 years ago
Awesome! It was super convenient to carry all our belongings on our person without . Good luck and be sure to share your finished work! I’d be super excited to see your rendition one day 🤗