My daughter loves Harley Quinn from the Batman series. She wanted to dress up as her for a ComicCon Convention and also Halloween. So we started brain storming on how to make a wooden hammer for a prop. We did not think of doing a tutorial until after it was complete, but I will do my best to explain the process as best I can.

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Step 1: STEP 1

- 12 inch cardboard concrete tube 4 feet long ( about $5 local building centre)
- 5 feet of black 1 1/2 inch ABS plumbing pipe ( about $5 local building centre )
- 1/2 inch wooden dowels (2) 12 inches long (had laying around house but only a few dollars to buy)
- ABS cement ( had it around house but it is not expensive , maybe $5)
- Hot glue gun
- Gorilla glue/appoxy (has two parts in syringe applicator) ( about $6)
- Black PVC gas can lid (part that holds yellow spout ) (had it laying around the house)
- Crafters foam board ($1 at dollar store)
- Duct tape ($2 at dollar store)
- Old news paper (for paper mache)
- White Glue (approx 4 medium bottles, $1 each at dollar store)
- Crafters paint ( white , tan, cinnamon brown, burnt umber, and black ) ($1 each at dollar store)
- Spraycan of clear satin Varathane finish ($8 at hardware store)
- Sticky medical tape/bandage ( $1 at dollar store)
- Pop rivet gun and rivets ($3 for rivets
at hardware store)
- PL Premium adhesive ( $6 if you need to buy)
- Black metal strapping 1in wide and around 8ft long (free from lumber yard scrap bin)
- Black permanent marker
- Different sizes of stiff bristol brushes and an old wisk/corn broom. (packages if brushes at dollar store for $1)

Step 2: STEP 2

- For the head of the hammer we used a 12 inch cardboard tube that they use to put in the ground and fill with concrete for securing fence posts.
- for the handle of the hammer we used 1 1/2 inch black ABS plumbing pipe with an ABS cap on each end held in place with ABS cement.
- we cut the cardboard tube 24 inches long. And the ABS pipe was cut to 4 feet ( probably would have been better left at 5 feet to have the proper scale)
- next we drilled two holes the same size as the ABS pipe in the centre at 12 inches on opposite sides of the cardoard tube.
- We wanted the finished hammer to feel sturdy and not flimsy. So we did a practice fitting of the black pipe through the tube, placed the cap on the pipe to ensure the tube would not slip off the end. I then reached inside the tube and marked where the inner wall of the tube was on the black pipe.
- Then we removed the pipe and drilled 2 small holes the same size as the wooden dowels on the inside edge where the top and bottom walls of the tube lined up. This allowed me to slide the wooden dowels through the black pipe and act as a secure stopper on the inside of the tube so that the cardboard tube could not slide or spin on the black pipe.
- For the bottom outside face of the tube I slid on the gas cap collar to act as another stopper and further secure the cardboard tube.
- Next we mixed up the 2 parts of the gorilla glue/appoxy and applied it generously to the upper and lower dowels inside the tube as well as to the gas cap collar to secure it to the bottom face of the tube. Once the appoxy set up the dowels and gas cap collar where cemented in place. For extra security I added a few strips of duct tape to both wooden dowels just to make sure they never moved.
- After the hammer head was secured I placed the second ABS cap on the end of the handle using the ABS cement

Step 3: STEP 3

- To finish off the construction of the hammer head I still needed to close up the open ends of the hammer head. To do this I used foam board I purchased at the dollar store.
- I used a piece of the left over cardboard tube as a stencil to trace the proper size and circumference of the inside of the tube used for the hammer head.
- Cut 2 circles out the same size and snuggly fit them in the ends of the hammer head. Then used a hot glue gun around the permeter to secure the foam board on the cardboard tube.
- I then used strips of duct tape to cover the entire ends of the hammer to help ensure the foam board did not come lose and fall inside the hammer head.

Step 4: STEP 4

- Now it is time to cover all of the hammer with paper mache except the 2 ABS caps and the gas cap collar. I want them to remain black to resemble the iron/ metal used on real hammers.
- To make paper mache I used strips of newspaper and dipped them in a mixture of white glue and warm water. Half warm water and half white glue.
- I did 2 layers of paper mache. The first was a mix of different sizes strips over lapping each other in all different directions. The second layer I made long strips about 2 inches wide and laid them side by side running the length of the hammer head..
- Before putting the paper mache on the ABS handle I first lightly scuffed it with sand paper to help the glue adhere.

Step 5: STEP 5

-Now its time to paint.
- First I cover all the paper mache with a coat of white paint to act as a primer.
- Next I cover all the white with the Tan coloured paint. I want this light brown to peak through the darker browns I will be applying later.
- On the hammer head ends I used a wisk/corn broom with very little cinnamon brown paint. I painted in a circular motion and followed the curve of the circular ends. This gave the effect of age lines at the ends of the hammer head so it looked like the end of a cut log.
-The next few coats I apply will be very thin. I used a couple of different sizes of stiff bristol brushes and even a small broom similar to a wisk/corn broom to apply thin layers of paint. I want the stiff bristols so that the paint goes on in eratic lines to resemble the grain of the wood. Alway paint in one direction across the length of the hammer head and the handle.
- First I applied the cinnamon brown over the tan, next I used the burnt umber colour. Now it appears to show all three colours showing. I did one final coat with the cinnamon brown as I felt it should be the dominant colour.
- For the final touch I did a final coat of black paint to give it a more 3 dimensional affect and show depth. Please note I used the wisk for this step and had very little paint on it. We just wanted random lines of varying length going with the wood grain effect we acheived with the other brown paints.

Step 6: STEP 6

- In order to seal and protect the paint I used a spray can of Varathane satin finish and gave the hammer a couple of light coats of Varathane. This will give a durable sheen to the wood effect.
- The final stage of this project was doing two belts around the hammer head about 6 inches in from each end. We wanted it to match the black caps at the ends of the handle so that it resembled iron/metal. I used black 1 inch wide metal strapping for this. I held the strapping in place using pop rivets equally spaced plus a little bit of PL Premium adhesive for extra bonding. I used a black shapie pen/marker to colour the rivet heads black to match the metal.
- At the bottom of the handle where your hands hold onto it I used the white medical tape/bandage to wrap around it and create a grip. Then I used a black marker to colour it (black fabric tape can be used as well and save you some work)

- I was hoping to build the hammer for about $20 but think it was more like $40 by the time I finished since I did need to buy most of the supplies. But you could easily do it for $20 if you have most of the materials lying around the house.

- I hope you found this tutorial useful and thank you for taking the time to read it.

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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm actually in the process of making one of these, though am going about it slightly different. Wish I would have seen this first as I am curious what store you got the concrete tube at for $5! (I spent closer to $12 for mine at a big-box home repair store.)

    Great job, and it turned out awesome!


    4 years ago

    Im really confused on where the dowels go in the pipe. All the way through the pipe from top to bottom or just in the head of it? Or not in the pipe at all?


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks for the note. Here are a couple of drawings to help explain how the dowels go inside the cardboard tube but through the width of the ABS pipe.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Not to sound pervy or anything but do you have any of her in the costume with the hammer. Just curious because you did such a good job on the hammer I bet the rest is awesome.


    Reply 5 years ago

    You had asked to see a finished picture of my daughter posing as Harley Quinn with the hammer so I uploaded a few.
    Hope you like them. It took her about three months of sewing lessons on weekends to finish it. She also made most of my Quintette shirt.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hey very cool. Thanks for the update. That's awesome.