Perhaps you are in a play, parade or need a weapon to go with a Halloween costume. The real thing, of course, may hurt someone, but you can make weapon props that will keep everyone safe. One way to start is to sketch out the weapon you wish to make so you know what size and shape components are involved and you can scavenge for them. There are many combinations to make weapon props, and a few simple tips will help start you on your way.
Go for a gun. You can buy a plastic toy gun, cap gun or even water pistol and paint it to resemble the real thing. If you’d rather fashion your own from scratch, create a curved handle out of driftwood or a smooth, curved branch, and attach a metal tube or two to act as the gun’s muzzle. Glue and wire to secure then paint to match the real thing.
Assemble a sword. Get a handle from a knife, ski pole or any other object you would grasp in your palm. Remove anything stuck to the handle and glue on your sword blade. Sword blades can be made from painted cardboard cut into a long, fine tip or a very hard rubber, also painted and cut. To make sure the blade is attached securely, leave about an inch extra on the bottom, cut the extra lengthwise and bend the two tabs to opposite sides of the top of the handle, securing with glue or nails. For an even extra dose of support, wrap a shred of cloth, leather cord or something else around the base of the blade and also glue, wire or nail into place.
Craft a knife. Using the same concept as the sword, find a handle that works with a knife. You can even use the handle off a real knife if you have one you do not mind taking apart. Also like the sword, the knife blade can be made from cardboard or rubber, cut into long triangle and painted. Secure the blade to the handle using the same techniques as the sword.
Mimic a mace. These medieval weapons are always fun, with their spiked balls attached by chain to a heavy wooden handle. You can use a lighter wood for the handle, as long as it’s a straight stick. Drill a small hole at one end or attach a nail where you can secure a light chain purchased at your local hardware store. For the spiked ball, get a Styrofoam ball and adorn with incense cones dipped in glue for the spikes. Attach the ball to the chain with a wire running through the center of the ball and linking to the chain. Paint the whole thing black.
Heave a hammer. Hammers, meat hooks, screwdrivers and other miscellaneous weaponry can also be made by finding a solid handle from another item, such as a cooking utensil, and fashioning the top part out of Styrofoam chunks, cardboard or foam board.
Texturized paints work well for weaponry. Some paints have a hammered or metal sheen that works well for weapons. Use a mottled color for the weapons, as most people who would walk around with weapons, in a play or otherwise, don’t have weapons that are shiny new. Good places to look for handles or other pieces that can be fashioned into weaponry include your kitchen utensil collection, your garage, a salvage yard or hardware store.
Although it may be tempting to use sheet metal or similar substance for fashioning weapon props, you want to keep the materials soft enough so no one gets hurt. Sheet or other metal may have sharp edges that can maim.