How to Make a Duct Tape Battle Axe




This battle axe is perfect for a backyard battle or a game of LARP (Live action role play) in the nearby forests.
It is easy to make, and with adult supervision kids can make there own.

This is the first instructable in a series about how to make weapons and other equipment for LARP.
My main focus is that the weapons have to be safe, so kids can play with them without direct adult supervision, without getting hurt. And secondly so easy to make that big kids, with help, can make it them self.

Next edition to my duct tape weapons guide can be found here

Step 1: Things You Needed

You will need
Sketch block
a pencil
A hobby knife, with interchangeable blades.
Extra blades
Used dull blade
a piece of cardboard
a black marker
a cutting pad
contact glue
duct tape
reinforcement Tape
foam pipe
a sleeping pad
65 cm of 3cm thick bamboo or broomstick

Step 2: The Design and Research Fase

Start by finding some pictures of "real" battle axes. Ex. do some google search.

Now you have enough inspiration to make you own design.
Just draw some quick sketches. They don't need to be beautiful, it is just so you will get the idea about how your axe will look like.

Step 3: Cardbord Template

Now draw the design of your choice on the cardboard. This will be your template so be careful and take your time to make it perfect.
I start by making the drawing with a pencil, and when I'm satisfied with the drawing, I make the final drawing with the black marker.

Step 4: Marking and Cutting the Foam

Now draw the axe 3 times. And the smaller pieces 2 times on the foam. Pay attention to the placing of the pieces so you don't waste to much of the sleeping pad.
If the stick for the handle is to long, now is the time to cut it into length.
To be sure the pieces ends the right places I put numbers on them.
In piece 2 cut a hole for the handle.

Step 5: Reinforcing and Gluing

On piece 1 and 3 I put a cross of reinforcement tape. This will stabilize the axe to ensure that it will not break or be ripped apart  at the thin part.

Now apply glue to one side of piece 1 and 3. And apply glue to both sides on piece 2. Also apply glue to the end of the handle. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes, and press the pieces hard together.

Now apply glue to the two small side pieces and the outer side of piece 1 and 3. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes, and press the pieces hard together.

Be careful the two pieces glue together very quickly, so be sure that they are aligned you will not be able to correct it. The only way to correct it, is by cutting away on the outer side.

Now cut the sitting pad into strips. I need two pieces for this axe. Normal I use pipe insulation but it was sold out the places I use to buy it. But they had this sitting pad, and that will do the job.
Cut a triangle grove that fits into the triangle of the axe. And slip the pipe onto the handle.

Safety note
If your using the same glue I use you need to have good ventilation. If it's not to cold it's best to glue outside.
It's possible to get waterbased contact glue if you make this with kids, I recommend using that.

Step 6: Cutting and Shaping the Edges

To make the foam look like a real battle axe you need to cut the edge. If the layers got unaligned when gluing, this is the right time to cut that edge also.

Step 7: Taping

Put strips of duct tape on the axe. Be careful when applying the tape special around the corners. Take the hobby knife and cut the tape into strips so it will not get wrinkled. When applying a new strip of tape, don't make the overlay more than 1 cm. If you put on to much tape, the axe gets hard and heavy, making it dangerous to play with.

Step 8: Decoration

I use the black marker to draw some decoration and to highlight the edge to give the axe more depth.

Step 9: Happy Kids With There Battle Axe.

Now make you own axe and start battling!



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    47 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Skyrim's Nordic Carved Axe!

    Basically followed the sword template, used PVC piping, PVC pipe foam, and yoga mat for the blade.
    Its actually surprisingly sturdy!


    1 reply
    Veve Tech

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Not sure if you are aware, but your axe says "A-I-T-A-W-D-U-I" in Viking Runes. Not sure what it means though.

    6 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hej Thomas:) (Hvis det er dit navn) Jeg kan godt lide din vikinge øxe :D Meget flot :) Har du nogle råd til at lave måske en Mace? (f.eks. Morgen stjerne) :D


    The Rambler

    5 years ago on Introduction

    What is that multi-colored foam thing that you used for the handle?

    How can I start a LARP group in my area?I want to have a club or group in my area. Also can somebody tell me the rules of LARP? How can I have a battle in a park near my house? Any instructables for LARP weapons or armor would be appreciated.

    1 reply

    if you just want to get some people together to spend a day boffer fighting then its no more complicated than throwing a party. just keep things safe and write up some simple combat rules

    if you want a more complicated role playing game then i recommend you find one in your area. there are groups that have weekend long events a few times a year with a continuing plot. each one has its own rule unique rules system, most of them loosely based on D&D rules. there is most likely a group like this within a two hour drive from where you live. ask around check online for any in your area. they will have websites where you can register for an event and read their rules. its a lot of fun


    Awesome instructable! Here is the axe I made using this Instructable as a basis. Mine is made out of Foam Board, instead of the black foam you used. There is also coat hanger wire supports, inside. I chose a Celtic Bearded Axe Design :D

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Looks good, it looks a lot like my bearded viking axe.

    But you should consider padding the handle also, if your planing to fight with it. It can hurt a lot it you get hit with a unpadded wooden handle.


    Pryo Chainmorfmir

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Amen to that, I have one boffer that I made, It's really heavy, a war hammer with an enormous head.  I decided to not pad the handle.  One time, I missed my brother with the head, and whacked him in the side with a PVC pipe with a lot of inertia.


    9 years ago on Step 9

    Very nice! A 5 star for sure!

    P.s. What's that duct tape thing in the bottom right hand corner of the last pic?