Jake and the Never Land Pirates is a children's television program based on Disney's Peter Pan franchise. If you are making a Jake costume, one of the key elements is the sword. While you could spend twenty dollars or more buying one sword, you can make many that closely match Jake's sword depicted in the cartoon, using the supplies below.
Obviously, my Jake sword never made it to the final phase. The recipient insisted that since Jake's sword is brown, this one had to be gray. It later became Batman's sword. Don't worry, I will cover the painting steps.
• EVA foam mats, also known as anti-fatigue mats, will serve as the body of the sword.
• Plasti-dip rubber coating will coat the foam. Un-coated, the foam would absorb any paint
• Thin 1/8" steel or plastic rod for rigidity. I added this after the initial build as without the sword was too flimsy.
• Brown acrylic paint for the final color. If the goal is realistic wood, a black acrylic for mixing will be needed.
• Paint brush.
• Sand paper to round edges (optional).
• Hot glue gun to attach the foam.
• Solder iron or wood burning tool to shape the foam (optional). A hobby knife or sandpaper can also be used
• Hack saw to cut the steel rod to fit.
• Hobby and utility knives are very sharp. Always cut away from your hands and body. Cut precisely, slow and steady, and use a cutting mat so that you don't cut through anything you shouldn't.
• A hot glue gun can burn you. A solder iron can burn your worse. Again, slow and steady will prevent injury. Also be careful where you sit these down. Remove any combustibles in the vicinity.
• Spray paint must be used outdoors in a well ventilated area. A respirator or mask is recommended. Allow time to dry fully.
• Wear old clothes for painting. Chances are paint will find a way to get on your clothes. Be careful where you paint, and where you place your brushes.
Step 1: Planning, Drawing, Cutting
A good finished product requires a good plan. Using various screen captures from the cartoon, I sketched a plan in Google Sketchup. You can sketch directly onto the foam with a marker, make your own template, or just use mine.
The EVA foam using in this instructable is 5/8" thick, so that is the thickness of the blade and hilt.
The length of my blade is 1'-4.5". The top hilt is 4"x2", the knuckle guard is 10"x2", the handle is (2) pieces at 1.25"x3.75", the pommel is (2) pieces 1"x1".
If you drew the plan directly onto the foam, it's time to cut. If you traced on paper first, you can cut out the plan and trace it onto the foam or tape the plan to the foam and cut through both. It doesn't matter if you cut through the tape.
Use a cutting board or mat, cut carefully and slowly. The blade is very sharp and can easily cut what you don't intend. Once you've cut the blade, two pieces for the handle, two pieces for the hilt, and pommel, confirm that the cuts went through the entire depth of the foam. Next remove the pieces from the foam mat.
Step 2: Assembly, Finishing, Paint, Conclusion
Now that the pieces have been cut, it's time to glue. Glue the two pieces of the handle together. .
Cut an opening in the hilt for the blade, the opening should be snug. The foam will compress to fit. Test fit to ensure the size is correct.
Carefully cut the back edge of the blade to insert the metal rod. The rod should stop well short of the tip of the blade. I stopped it at the widest part of the blade. Stopping it short prevents any injury and provides plenty of cushion. Test fit the opening for the rod. You want two inches of rod to protrude from the base of the blade into the handle. Use a hacksaw to remove excess from the rod Once the rod and opening are the right size, line the opening with hot glue. Place the rod inside and close the opening. You may need to hold it closed
Hot glue should melt a hole in the handle for the rod. Put a small dot of hot glue on the handle and use the leftover piece of rod to create a hole. Do no leave the rod in, we are just making the hole.
Test fit the pieces, run the blade/rod through both openings of the hilts and into the handle. Everything should fit snug. If satisfied, fit the pieces together again, placing glue on top of the handle and on the bottom of the hilts. If the fit is not satisfactory, trim the pieces.
Sandpaper, 80 grit, can be used to round the edges of the handle, hilt, and pommel. This step is optional. I used a solder iron to create the grooves in the handle and the wood grain on the blade.
I worked hot glue into any gaps between pieces, between the hilt pieces, handle, and blade. Use the hobby knife to trim away excess hot glue.
Paint Part 1
While my blade build stopped before paint, yours doesn't have to. Hang the sword outside in a well-ventilated area. You should not spray this inside. Spray a light coat to start, successive coats can be a bit thicker. Less is better than too much. Three coats should be plenty. Let the sword dry overnight. To ensure the paint has cured, press a finger on the sword. A fingerprint should not be left in the paint.
Paint Part 2
Coat the sword in brown acrylic paint. This can be done indoors. Paint one side, let it dry, and then paint the other.
Use a darker brown, or mix a very small amount of black with brown. You can dab this into the crevices and then wipe it off with a paper towel to highlight the wood grain on the blade and the handle crevices.
Optional: If you desire more detail, remove almost all of the paint from your brush, and then apply darker and lighter paint strokes to the sword to mimic wood. This step is entirely optional. You could also paint the sword a cream color and use shades of brown to layer up a wood replica texture.
This project is a great way to make an accurate Jake sword and an easy introduction to EVA foam. EVA foam can be used to create all kind of props, including armor.
If you have questions, please ask! If you have suggestions, please share!