How to Make a Children's Sword

by Steve Sparkes
Homemade swords are ideal for play fights and dressing up.

Homemade swords are ideal for play fights and dressing up.

Bec Parsons/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Homemade swords make great accessories for Halloween pirate costumes or weapons for children's play fights. Swords made from cardboard and duct tape are safe, cheap, quickly made disposable toys. Enlist your kids' help to make a batch for a pirate-themed birthday party, and let the guests try their swashbuckling abilities in a big free-for-all outside. Materials for multiple swords cost only a couple of dollars, and each sword takes just five minutes to make. Make longer-lasting toy swords for older children from PVC pipe and foam.

Items you will need

  • 10-by-15-inch sheet corrugated cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Silver and black duct tape
  • 2 feet of 1/2-inch diameter PVC pipe
  • 2 feet of pool-noodle foam
  • Cereal box
  • Black paint

Cardboard and Duct Tape Sword

Step 1

Draw the outline of a sword on the corrugated cardboard using a pencil and ruler. Use the full length of the cardboard. Make the blade about 1 1/2 inches wide, tapering to a point at the end. Add a crossbar 3 inches from the square end of the sword, opposite the tip.

Step 2

Cut out the sword.

Step 3

Wrap silver duct tape around the blade. Cover the rest of the sword with black duct tape. You will have an upside-down, T-shaped handle at the top.

PVC Pipe and Foam Sword

Step 1

Use a hacksaw to cut a 2-foot-long piece of half-inch diameter PVC pipe.

Step 2

Cover the pipe with a 24-inch length of pool-noodle foam. Secure the foam to the pipe with duct tape at each end, and add duct tape every 4 inches along the length of the pipe.

Step 3

Cut two 4-inch diameter circles from a cereal box. Trace the end of the foam-covered pipe onto the two circles. Cut out the inner circles.

Step 4

Glue the circles together with the plain sides facing out. Paint both sides black of the glued-together circles black.

Step 5

Push the circle 4 inches down from one end of the sword and tape it in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask offices and supermarkets for waste corrugated cardboard. This will save you money and improve your green credentials.
  • When making multiple cardboard swords, draw swords in alternating directions on each sheet of cardboard.
  • Use nontoxic paint as an alternative decorating material for the cardboard sword, but be aware that paint may rub off on children's clothes.
  • Foam-covered PVC swords are suitable for older children, while young children can safely play with cardboard and duct-tape swords. Supervise children with both types of sword, however, and warn them to keep the swords away from eyes.

About the Author

Steve Sparkes started writing professionally in 1982. He was a journalist and photographer for "The New York Waste" magazine for a decade. Sparkes has a diploma of art and design and a Bachelor of Arts in history of art from the South-East Essex School of Art. He also has a Master of Arts in photography from the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts.

Photo Credits

  • Bec Parsons/Digital Vision/Getty Images