How To: Make A Foam (Boffer) Sword
This post brought to you by Walmart. All opinions are 100% mine.
As homeschoolers, we can do and create whatever fits into our learning. Last year at our local Renaissance faire, the boys made some seriously awesome foam swords and I thought, “These certainly won’t last very long with our active boys.” But, I was wrong. Yes, you heard that right. I was wrong. Dead wrong. These swords are still being used for battling monsters, pretending to be knights of the round table, and even the occasional chase through the house because one child is going to hit the other for just getting under his skin. So when a Duck Tape® offer popped up, I thought this was the perfect time to go search out instructions on how to recreate these magical, long-lasting, multi-purpose foam sword.
After various internet searches, I found a few great instructions for making the sword which I learned is called a boffer sword and is pretty popular in the live action role-playing arena. The one thing that all of the instructions require is the regular old gray tape that you probably have in your house but I think picking up some colored or character Duck Tape® would make your sword stand out against the crowd. Have you seen the variety of options when you buy Duck Tape at Walmart? There are a few tweaks that were done to the swords we have so I incorporated those tweaks in our version.
- Pool noodle – A sturdy one not the flimsy kind or PVC insulation a.k.a. “closed cell foam” (each noodle makes about 2 swords)
- PVC pipe big enough to fit tightly inside the pool noodle – You’ll want to struggle to get the pipe inside the pool noodle.
- Duck Tape® in a variety of colors and designs
- Tube Sock adult size (a pair will make two swords)
- Contact Cement & wide paint brushes (old or junk ones if you have them)
- Open cell foam (e.g. couch cushion, sponge, sleeping bag padding) – About the width of the pool noodle and about an inch or two tall
- Foam sheet, cut a small circle a tad smaller than the pool noodle but bigger than the PVC pipe
- Utility knife
- Sand paper
- Cut the PVC pipe to the correct length. The boys swords are 27 inches long so the pipe is probably about 26 inches to accommodate the padding at the top.
- Sand the ends of the PVC pipe and cover the ends with crisscrossed Duck Tape® strips to prevent tearing of the pool noodle later.
- Cut the pool noodle to the correct length. The top of the ones we have are about 18 inches and about 2 inches for the bottom.
- Now comes the hard part – Push the PVC pipe into the longer piece of the pool noodle until the tops are flush with each other. You will have some pipe sticking out the bottom to serve as the handle.
- Paint the top with contact cement.
- Paint the bottom of the piece of open cell foam with contact cement and attach to the top of the sword.
- Trim the open cell foam to round out the top of the sword.
- Slip the sock over the top of the sword and use Duck Tape® to secure the sock to the PVC pipe.
- Another hard part – Push the smaller piece of the pool noodle onto the PVC pipe.
- Paint the bottom of the sword and the small circle of foam sheet with contact cement.
- Attach the small circle to the bottom of the sword.
- Cover the bottom of the sword with crisscrossed strips of Duck Tape® followed by wrapping the pool noodle, PVC pipe and the base of the sock you previously taped in place.
- Use the same or another color or design of Duck Tape® and repeat starting at the top of the sword.
- Adding Duck Tape® to create a design over the sock is optional but oh, so adorable.
These probably won’t meet guidelines if you are LARPing but they’ll certainly keep some little guys and girls entertained for a long time. And don’t forget to follow Duck Tape on Twitter and Facebook for more fantastic ideas.