In Roman times, soldiers carried three weapons into battle, the pilum -- a long spear to throw at the enemy--, a shield to protect himself and a gladius -- a shorter spear for thrusting. A homemade pilum is the perfect accessory for a child pretending to be a Roman soldier in a theatre production or for a masquerade party. This gives the child a fierce and noble look as he walks around in his costume.
Draw a narrow triangle- shaped arrow onto the piece of cardboard with a pencil. It should be approximately 9 inches from the top to the bottom and about 5 inches wide at the base of the triangle.
Cut the triangle shape out with a pair of scissors. Use the shape as a template to draw another identical shape that is the same size on the cardboard and cut it out.
Glue the triangle shape to one end of a wooden dowel with the pointed end facing away from the dowel. Use a hot glue gun to attach it. Hold the shape in place for a few seconds to allow the glue to dry.
Flip the spear over and glue the other triangle shape to the other side of the dowel rod directly over the other spear shape.
Tear off a sheet of aluminium foil.
Wrap it around the triangle shapes to create a shiny arrow tip. This gives the spear a look of steel.
Wind black electrical tape around the handle of the spear so it looks like leather. Put it down the dowel rod approximately 9 to 12 inches to allow both hands to fit on the leather-looking grip. Roman soldiers spears often had a black leather grip on the handle. (see ref 1 graf 4)This enabled them to hold the spear better with their hands during battle.
Substitute a wooden yardstick for the dowel rod, if you prefer. Cut a large shield shape out of cardboard and cover it with foil to enhance your Roman soldier costume.