How to make a cardboard sword
Follow our simple guide to making a Norman-style sword out of cardboard and foil.
Knights need a weapon at their side to go on the attack, but there's no need to get injured before battle commences. Young squires might need some help from an experienced warrior when cutting out pieces.
You will need:
- Strong cardboard (for example, a fruit box from a supermarket)
- Kitchen foil
- Sticky tape
- Masking tape
- Pen / pencil
- Small mug to draw around
- Scissors or a craft knife
- Empty cardboard loo roll
(optional) for decoration: black paint, gold or silver marker pen, string
1. Draw out the shape of your sword
Use the picture as a guide for this.
Draw three straight parallel lines 45cm long and 3cm apart, leaving extra space at one end of the cardboard. This will form the two sides of your blade and the place where you hold your sword, which is called the hilt.
Make sure the lines run the same way as the grain of the cardboard so that your blade is strong - and so that the shape is easier to cut out and fold in half.
You'll need to make one end of your blade pointy. Draw identical triangles on each side, making sure that the point is half way.
At the other end, the hilt of your sword ends in a rounded pommel, which is used to help balance the weight of the blade. To draw this, put your mug over the hilt-end of one side of the blade and draw half way around it.
2. Cut out your sword
You may need to ask an adult to help you with this step.
First cut out the shape of your sword. Then, using a ruler as a guide, score down the middle line with some scissors. Fold the two sides of your blade onto each other and tape them together securely.
3. Wrap your blade with foil
Take a piece of kitchen foil the same length as your blade and stick it to the middle of one side of your blade. Carefully wrap/fold the foil around the blade and stick in place.
At the 'sharp end' fold the corners down as if you're starting to wrap a present and glue/tape in place.
4. Make your hilt
The place that you hold your sword is called the hilt.
Draw a straight line up your cardboard loo roll and smooth it out flat. Tape it to the pommel-end of your sword.
Fold the loo roll around the blade until you can't fold it anymore, then tape it together with masking tape across the long side.
5. Make your cross guard
To make the cross guard which protects your hand, draw a rectangle on your cardboard 6cm wide and 10cm long.
You'll need a slot out of the middle that is the same side as your blade. It will be about 3cm x 1.5cm, depending on how thick your cardboard is.
To find the middle of your cross guard, draw straight lines between each corner and half way across each side then measure out your small rectangle.
Look at the picture for guidance and be very careful when you're cutting this out.
6. Put it all together
You're almost ready for battle!
Slide the cross guard piece down the blade (pencil side down) and tape it to the hilt underneath.
If you want to decorate your sword, you could paint the hilt brown or black to make it look like horn or wood (this is was often used to provide a secure grip).
You could also use a gold or silver marker pen to draw a pattern on the pommel or blade.
7. Name your weapon
The tradition of naming swords started in pre-history, and continued into the Middle Ages. Now it's time for you to do the same. Give your sword a name worthy of the heroic deeds that you will do with it.
Once you've finished, make a shield with a powerful heraldic symbol, for extra protection on your quest.