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How to Make a Sword for Cosplay

Updated February 21, 2017

The term "cosplay" is a melding of the words "costume" and "play." Originating in Japan, cosplay involves dressing up as your favourite character from a movie, video game, anime or comic book. Cosplayers visit various conventions to show off their costumes. Most cosplayers take pride in creating their own costumes, including accessories such as swords. Because real-life swords are dangerous weapons, they are typically not permitted at conventions. Swords are also very heavy and costly. Instead, make your own cosplay sword from cheap materials.

Draw the outline of the sword blade onto the rigid foam with a permanent marker. Cut around the outlines with a handsaw, about 1/4 inch from the outside of the lines. This is a safety precaution in case of chipping or cracking when sawing.

Put on the protective eyewear and face mask. Sand around the edges of the sword blade with sandpaper until the blade is smooth and the edges are rounded to your liking. Make sure to sand all the way down to the original outlines.

Drill a hole in the centre of the base of the blade the same width as the dowel rod. The depth of the hole depends on how large the sword is. The dowel rod should be about a quarter of the way up from the base of the sword.

Coat the end of the dowel rod that will be inside the hole with instant glue, then squirt some glue into the hole. Stick the glued end of the dowel rod into the hole. Avoid jamming the dowel rod in, as this will buckle the foam.

Cut the fibreglass cloth to the size of the blade. Cover the sword blade in the fibreglass cloth. Combine the epoxy resin and hardener according to the manufacturer's directions.

Use a foam brush to coat the fibreglass cloth in a layer of epoxy. Let the epoxy dry overnight. Apply up three coats in this same way. Let the epoxy completely.

Sand the epoxy down with fine sandpaper to remove any rough areas or bumps.

Hold the spray paint nozzle about 12 inches away from the sword blade. Spray paint the blade using long, even strokes. It may take three or four coats to completely cover the area.

Paint the handle of the blade in the colour desired with acrylic paint. Let the paint dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Rigid foam
  • Permanent marker
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Protective eyewear
  • Face mask
  • Drill
  • Dowel rods
  • Instant glue
  • Scissors
  • Fibreglass cloth
  • General-purpose epoxy
  • Foam brush
  • Silver spray paint
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
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