This is a fairly simple paper dagger, and it is VERY strong for paper. It is made out of paper and glue(there are no Popsicle sticks, no metal, and no extra reinforcements of any kind besides the paper and glue.) The method I used is what makes it so hard and strong. Although the blade of the dagger may look thin and brittle it is actually over twenty lairs thick. The already painted dagger has withstood little kids, being thrown over and over again, and hard thwacks to metal and wood, I even demonstrated the durability of it in the video at the end of this Instructable.
Also I am not some 7 year old trying to make a sword, I had the idea of using paper laminates for various things for a few years now, I have made small functional paper guitars(they don't last too long though), functional paper ping pong paddle blades(by blades I mean paddles without the rubber), and now toy daggers. I am soon to be 18 and going to college in a few weeks(well moving out I don't start until summer), so I hope this Instructable will inform you as to why my friends say I have to much time on my hands. =P
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
-about 20-40 sheets of Printer Paper
-White craft glue(don't be intimidated by the gallon of glue it doesn't use nearly that much.)
-spray paint (optional)
-a big paint brush
-a Styrofoam bowl
-hand clippers (the paper gets that hard to cut)
Step 2: Making the Blade
Step 1(picture 1)-
Fill the bottom of the bowl with glue(you will have to be adding more to the bowl when when it gets empty)(see picture 1)
Step 2(picture 2-picture 3)-
Take the brush and evenly spread some glue over the one sheet of paper. Be sure to spread the glue evenly, and try not to put too much or too little glue (see picture 3)
Step 3(picture 4-Picture 7)-
Fold a little bit of paper up (see picture 4), continue to do this until you get a thin folded up piece of paper. Get a second sheet of paper and apply the same amount of glue to it, now put your thin folded up piece of paper on the edge of the sheet of paper with glue on it (see picture 5). Wrap the paper with glue on it tightly around the previously folded up sheet of paper(see picture 6)this is how we are going to start making the blade. Keep on spreading glue on the sheets of paper and tightly wrapping the paper around the soon to be blade. Once you have used 8 sheets of paper on the blade you can stop(see picture 7), However if you want you can continue too roll a few more sheets on to it. Be careful not to bend the blade.
Step 4(picture 8-picture 10)-
Take your rolled up sheet of paper and stick it in the vice, and Tighten the vice as much as you can, and then take it out (see picture 8 and 9). continue to do this across the the whole blade. Be careful not to bend the blade,and the harder the paper gets the better.
Step 5(picture 11-picture 12)-
To shape and continue hardening the blade tap a hammer around the edges(see picture 11). When you are done it should have a teardrop shape when you look down the blade(see picture 12). The harder the paper gets the better
Step 6(picture 13-picture 16)-
With the hand clippers cut a tip on the blade (see picture 13 and 14) you probably will not be able to cut all the way through, if you can't just use the scissors to finish cutting it (see photo 15). Now spread some glue over the tip to hold the layers together (see picture 16).
You now have finished the blade, now for the handle. You do not have to wait for the blade to dry to start putting the handle on it, but still be careful although the blade may feel hard it won't withstand much until it is COMPLETELY dried. This can take 2-3 days even though the glue bottle says 24 hours due to all the layers that need to dry.
Step 3: Adding the Handle.
Step 1(picture 1-picture 3)-
Just like with the blade when you apply the glue for the handle you apply it evenly and you don't apply too much or too little. With that said apply some glue to a sheet of paper and fold it in half
(see picture 1), now apply some more glue to it and wrap it around the bottom of the blade so that half of the folded paper is not actually on the blade(see picture 2). When you have wrapped it around the blade flatten the part that didn't go on the blade(see picture 3).
Step 2(picture 4-picture 11)
Fold the paper in half and unfold(see picture 4). Now apply glue to half of the paper and fold the glued half in half(see pictures 5 and 6). Next apply glue to the part of the paper you just folded and fold that in half(see picture 7), repeat this once more (pictures 8). Now glue the part that is folded, but instead of folding it in half fold it down (see picture 9). Flip the paper over and glue the back (see picture 10).
Now wrap it around the handle (picture 11)
Step 3(picture 12) OPTIONAL-
Start as if you were making a blade but only use one sheet of paper, and wrap it around the top of the handle to make a bigger handle guard(see picture 12). I did not do this step on the painted dagger in the video.
Step 4(picture 13)-
Cut a strip of paper about a third to a fourth as wide as the handle, apply glue to it, and wrap it around handle guard(see picture 13)
Step 5(picture 14-picture 15)-
Apply glue to one sheet of paper, and Fold it in half(see picture 14). Apply glue, fold it in half again, and wrap the folded sheet of paper around the bottom of the handle(see picture 15).
Step 6(picture 16)-
cut a strip of paper about as wide as the handle minus the handle guard, and apply some glue to it. Wrap it around the handle write under the handle guard(see picture 16)
Picture 17 is the finished handle(this is the last necessary step). If you want you can make a sheath, and when it dries I highly recommend you spray paint it as it protects it a little too(and it is fun and looks cool),but be sure to do it over newspaper or plastic bags you don't want, and in a well ventilated area.
Step 4: Sheath
Step 1(picture 1-picture 5)-
Fold the paper over the dagger once(see picture 2) and apply glue to the part of the paper that goes over the dagger, and fold over the glued part(see picture 3). Now you should have a sort of a sleeve going over the blade(see picture 5) make sure you can move the "sleeve" off the blade easily. Put the soon to be sheath back on the blade and keep on applying glue to paper and wrapping the glue covered paper around the sheath until you have reached your desired thickness for your sheath.
Step 2(picture 6-picture 8)-
Fold the sheath so that it fits neatly around the tip(see picture 6). Now cut the folded part of the sheath parallel to the crease you just made, and glue the folded part down(see picture 7) If you look at the image note on picture 7 you will see the little bit of extra paper sticking off the sheath, cut that off.
Now you are done with the sheath. If you want you can paint the sword and the sheath(which I highly recommend you do). Just be sure to let it dry for 2-3 days before swinging it around.