Introduction: Thor's Hammer- Mjölnir
I feel like I need to say that when I make things, it's purely for enjoyment and I'm not trying to make a perfect prop or replica. That being said, the steps I decided to take and my final product are all imperfect and I am very proud of how it came out.
I started with research and sketched out how I envisioned I would make the hammer, then each step came into play on its own.
-EVA and craft foam, worbla, Xacto knife, hot glue, heat gun
-Rustoleum 2X Aluminum Spray Paint from Home Depot
-Wooden dowel (¾” x 1 ft) from Home Depot
-Dark brown vinyl from Joann’s
Step 1: Outline
Measure the length and width of the rectangle for the main head piece and trace the shape onto the EVA foam. If possible, have four rectangles traced out in a single row- if not, you will simply have to glue them together later. My rectangles were around 10.5” x 5.5”.
Step 2: Cut Grooves
1. Cut grooves into each marked line.
*Make sure you are aware of the thickness of your EVA foam and strength of your cuts. I suggest holding the knife like a pencil and at an angle to make your lines somewhat even.
*Make sure you cut on the bumpy part of the foam so the smooth part is on the outside.
2. Fold and bend to make sure the grooves are wide enough and the sides are as flush as possible. See the picture for an example of what was wide enough and what wasn’t for me. Trim as necessary.
Step 3: Space for Base
1. Once the rectangular base of the head is done, mark which side the bottom is and trace and cut a hole for the dowel to slide through. I make the hole by first cutting a “+” shape, then cutting diagonally across each point to make a somewhat diamond-like shape once the pieces are pushed out. Test the dowel out and it should fit snugly.
2. On a separate piece of EVA foam, trace the dowel circle again and cut a circle around it. This piece will go around the base where the hammer head and dowel connect. Repeat once more on a larger piece of EVA foam. This will go within the hammer.
Step 4: Top Design
On craft foam, trace and cut a circle. This is the circle piece that will go on top of the hammer. Since this is craft foam, I used a pen to “carve” in the detailed Norse writing that goes along the edge of the circle. Not all the letters are on here since I ran out of space, but it conveys the idea.
Step 5: Secondary Sides 1- Base
Measure a square smaller than the open ends. The open end of the head was around 5.2” x 5.4”, so the squares I made were around 1” smaller, around squares were 4” x 4”. Trace and cut out two squares from EVA foam.
Step 6: Secondary Sides 2- Trapezoid Edges
In order to make the edges, first cut out 1-2 rectangular strips of scratch paper and tape them onto a square. Hold this over the open sides of the head and mark the area where it should be cut. After the paper is traced, cut the shape into craft foam. You will need 8 of these pieces. My dimensions were around 4” x 1.4” x 6.5”. To make it stronger, these will each be covered by Worbla, so don’t worry about getting the sizes too big.
Step 7: Secondary Sides 3- Worbla 1
1. I looked up several videos before attempting to use the Worbla (this is my first time!), so this will be more specific and step-by-step in first person. I referred to this video by Beckeste Cosplay a lot.
2. I set my desk area up by clearing all knick-knacks (I have a small, shared room) and laying a large, flat acrylic board down. The acrylic board is there so if the Worbla sticks, I will have an easier time removing it.
3. I first roughly estimated how much Worbla I would need and cut out two long sheets, since I will be “sandwiching” the craft foam between the Worbla. I then cut them into three pieces, according to the length of the previously cut pieces.
Step 8: Secondary Sides 4- Worbla 2
1. I heated one sheet first, then placed either 2-3 craft foam pieces onto the sheet. Then I covered the entire thing with the second sheet and heated it over everything. While the entire piece was warm, I slowly pressed the shape down more firmly with my hands and the handle of the scissors if it was too hot.
2. While it was still slightly warm, I cut each piece out with the scissors. Make sure you keep your scraps, I hear you can reheat and remold them!
(I don't know why the pictures are upside down, I can't change them)
Step 9: Secondary Sides 5
With all the pieces done, take the time to do this step one at a time.
*You can complete Step 6a before this to make the pieces more accurate.
1. Heat one edge of the EVA square you cut earlier and heat the back end of one piece. Push the edge of the piece onto the square firmly and it should adhere. Do this only for the edge where the piece and the square connect, but not between the pieces themselves.
2. Once all four pieces are on the square, hold it against the hammer to see where you should close the pieces. There is no exact measurement and I did have to pull apart pieces twice because they were too wide for the head. My final product looks like this from the top and bottom. If you want to make it sturdier, add hot glue in the seams on the inside.
3. Repeat for the other side.
Step 10: Glue Pieces Together- Part 1
You should now have six (6) pieces: the head, the round decorative top, two base pieces, and two side pieces.
1. *Glue together the hollow head’s (1) rectangle sides first.
2. Add Dowel- Attach the handle by inserting the dowel up through the bottom to check how much you want it to go through first. I pushed it around 1” through. When you are sure of the length, add hot glue between the dowel sides and EVA foam.
a. Give it some time, then slide the large inner base piece (2) onto the dowel and glue it down against the inside bottom of the hammer. Squeeze hot glue between the dowel sides and EVA foam.
b. Repeat for the circular outer base piece (3).
Step 11: Glue Pieces Together- Part 2
3. Once the dowel is secure, glue on the side pieces (4 & 5). This is another slow process of using the heat gun side by side, edge by edge. Take the time to make sure each side is well adhered.
a. Since this is the last step that needs the heat gun, you can use the heat gun and run it all over the entire head before putting it away. The heat will cause the EVA foam to tighten and "seal" the foam.
4. Last, glue the circular decorative piece (6) on top of the hammer. I used wood glue for this piece.
a. If needed, smooth and/or fill in any parts with Kwik Seal or hot glue. You should now have put together the most basic hammer almost ready for some detailing!
Step 12: Wrap Dowel
1. Wrap and glue the dowel with craft foam all around. The color does not matter. I am doing this because I want a thicker and more comfortable handle.
2. Wrap and glue the craft foam with painter’s tape. The color does not matter, but make sure the tape is secure. This is to have a clean, smooth surface for the spray paint.
Step 13: Prime
However you do it, make sure to prime the entire head. I did heat the foam, so I only used 1-2 coats of Gorilla Wood Glue. It’s easier if you add some water to a foam sponge brush before dipping in glue. Make sure you get the glue into any crevices, just to be thorough.
Step 14: Paint- Part 1
1. First, spray paint the entire head and handle a nice, even layer- or two- of silver. I used the Rustoleum 2X Aluminum Spray Paint.
2. After letting it dry, wipe off the pieces so you have a clean surface. With a ruler, trace the shape in black Sharpie, then use silver Sharpie (or Bic) to outline the inside to give it a slightly different shade that pops.
3. I sketched out an easier version of the design (for me), so the pictures detail the steps to draw with black Sharpie onto the pieces.
a. If you make a mistake, just go over the mistake a few times with the silver marker. Give the design time to dry before tracing it for a final, darkened look.
b. Repeat for all 8 panels.
Step 15: Paint- Part 2
4. For the circular design on top, make the etchings more prominent by first retracing them with a pen, then retracing them with a thin black Sharpie.
5. For the seams, use a thin brush or the straight edge of a foam brush to lightly brush on black paint. After a few seconds, use a tissue or some sort of cloth to wipe off the paint. This should leave a smeared, darkened edge. You can do this with any, all, or none of the seams. I only did it for the edges where the rectangles met the sides. The picture below shows the top, where the edge on the side and around the circle are traced and smeared.
Step 16: Paint- Part 3
6. For the black lines on the bottom and lower sides (see reference picture), use black paint and several straightedges that you don’t mind painting on, such as several magazines.
a. First paint the two main strips on the bottom of the hammer. Don’t worry if they are not completely straight.
b. Outline where you want the side design to be. I had the sides, which are closer to the bottom, around 0.5” up and the middle 0.75” up. To be precise, I wanted the side lines to stop where the two main lines on the bottom ended, so I dotted the end (teal arrows).
7. Use a sponge or wide painting tool and go along the straightedge. Have several straightedges on hand because you do not want to smear the paint by reusing the same edges.
8. Once all the paint is dry, use black Sharpies and trace the edges to give it a clean look. The pictures show an example of pre- and post-outline.
Step 17: Handle
1. Take a strip of vinyl and cut it lengthwise, around 1” wide max.
2. The simplest way to wrap the stick is diagonally all the way down. Start from the top and as you wrap, add hot glue to secure the vinyl to the handle. Leave an even amount of space to reveal the silver between wraps of vinyl. Don’t completely glue the end of the diagonal onto the handle yet.
3. Once the length of the handle is nearly covered, loop the end of the leather up. Make sure the end of the vinyl is glued onto the handle first, underneath the strip. Finish by securely gluing the rest of the vinyl down over the end.