Making a real sword is pretty cool, but the tools are too dangerous and the materials cost too much. You can make a fragile, floppy sword out of paper, cardboard, and tape, but why do that, when you can make one that can withstand your violent personality?
Here's what you need
- Cardstock Paper (110 lbs is preferable, but any other weight works)
- Liquid Glue (Elmer's Glue works well and is cheap!)
- Exacto knife
- Cutting board (You don't want to mess up your table)
- Hot glue gun
- Popsicle Sticks
- Binder Clips
Step 1: Hardening the Paper
The base of the sword consists of layers of hardened paper. Fold the card-stock paper hot dog style. Unfold and drizzle the regular glue on the inside of the card-stock paper. Using a brush or a small piece of paper, spread the glue evenly across the inside of the paper. Refold the paper and put under a weight. Repeat this process until you have the desired amount of materials. It will take a day to fully dry. If the papers are left to dry without any weight on, it will cause the paper to curve.
DISCLAIMER: It is better to make all the hardened papers needed for future steps in the beginning (I used around 17 for this sword) . Read through all the steps before starting the project.
Step 2: Creating the Base of the Sword
Layer the hardened paper like layers of bricks. This should result in an intersecting pattern, where the paper above should cover the seam of the papers below. Using the previous step's method, spread the glue on to the faces of the hardened paper and attach them together. You should end up with 4 layers, but if you have cardstock paper below 110 lbs, you should have around 5-6 layers. If you have cardstock paper above 110, use less layers. Depending on the template of the sword, you can make it as long as you want. Place the entire thing under a weight to completely flatten it.
CAUTION: you can make it as long as you want, but the sword becomes more fragile. Around 3 feet is when the structural integrity of the sword is questionable.
Step 3: The Shape
Choose the template of the sword you want and draw it on the base. Place the cutting board underneath the base and use the exacto knife to cut out the template. Remember to go slowly. You only have one chance to cut it out. You can leave excess space when cutting, then trim it afterwards if necessary.
Step 4: The Support
The popsicle sticks will act as the supporting brace of the sword. Hot glue the popsicle sticks along the middle or edge of the sword (Depends on the template). Layer them like bricks in that the joints are in the middle of the popsicle sticks above and below it. There should not be more than 4-5 layers for the handle and taper as you reach the end of the sword (By the time you get to tip of the sword, there should be one layer of popsicle stick). It is advisable to support the handle as well by placing the popsicle sticks horizontally. To secure the popsicle sticks even further, hot glue along the edges of the popsicle sticks. You can shape the popsicle sticks as you want with your exacto knife.
Step 5: The Cover
You're almost there! The final step is to cover the entire base with a final layer of hardened paper. Cover one side of the hardened paper with glue and cover the base of the sword. An optional step is to cover the edges of the sword with hardened paper. Use binder clips and popsicle sticks to secure the edges of the blade. Continue until one side of the sword is covered. Cut off any excess paper with the knife. Repeat this process for the other side.
NOTE: If there are any curves on the sword, cut lines into the ends of the paper and fold them over. This prevents any overlaps when you are folding the paper over.
Step 6: You're Done
Now that you are done with construction of the model, you have full liberty to decorate the model with any designs or color! As long as you don't soak the paper with paint, you should be able to spray paint or brush on some colors. You can even glue on more layers to add depth and style to the blade or hilt. Go impress your friends or intimidate them. You're choice.