How to Build the Prop Razor for "Sweeney Todd"

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Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Straight razor with an ivory plastic handle
  • Screwdriver
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Metalic-colored spray paint
  • Black permanent marker

Making the razor for a production of "Sweeney Todd" marks the central physical prop for the entire show. The crazy barber, Sweeney Todd, uses a straight razor to slash and destroy his shop victims. The trick to crafting a successful barbershop razor prop is to make yours seem real without using an actual metal blade. Make several versions of the same prop, just in case one breaks during a rehearsal or performance and you need a back-up.

Slide on a pair of work gloves to protect your skin.

Loosen and remove the screw attaching the actual blade to the ivory plastic handle. Keep the screw and handle close by for use in later steps.

Place the actual blade onto a flat piece of cardboard. Trace the outline of the blade on the cardboard. Trace the outline for the screw hole as well. Secure the actual blade in a safe place -- a work drawer, for example -- where it is out of reach of children.

Cut out the cardboard blade outline. Take both the cardboard blade and ivory plastic handle outside. Spray paint the entire surface area of both pieces with metallic-colored spray paint. Coat both sides of each item thoroughly. Allow two hours for the paint to dry before moving on.

Connect the cardboard blade into place via the blade screw, in the same manner as the actual blade was once connected. Draw wavy shapes and designs onto both sides of the blade handle to give the object a sense of depth, texture and added aesthetic appeal.


About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images