Imagine: astride a gallant steed, bedecked in armor that glistens in the morning sun, you ride furiously into battle against a horde of ferocious goblins. Your comrades at your side, you hasten to rally them toward the final assault, unsheathing that trusty, legendary weapon that’s been at your side for so long… a pointed stick!

The finest warriors always have the finest swords, so that means you should, too. And it’s a lot easier to make a cosplay sword than you think—you don’t need to be a master bladesmith to do it. Here’s an easy way to take your cosplay to the next level and make the sword of your dreams.

How to Make a Cosplay Sword

Even the most seasoned blacksmith would be challenged to make a sword fit for a king or queen. So don’t worry about being perfect the first time you attempt a cosplay sword. The most important thing you can do is have fun and do it in the safest way possible. 

Step 1: Choose Your Blade

Swords used by characters like He-Man and She-Ra are instantly recognizable. If you plan to cosplay as a well-known character, gather as much reference material as possible. Find pictures of the sword from every angle. You may even find references from other cosplayers who blazed the trail before you.

The other route you could go is playing a literary hero like Sir Galahad or D’Artagnan. While they have been portrayed on screen, you’ll want to focus more on historical references—what swords did medieval knights or musketeers use? 

You can even create your own original character, so the sword you make can spring entirely from your imagination. Be creative!

Step 2: Pick Your Materials

You could make a cosplay sword from metal or wood, but this is tricky for several reasons. First, working with those materials often requires tools you may not have at your disposal. Second, from a practical standpoint, carrying around a heavy weapon like that all day at a convention or ren faire is quite cumbersome. 

For this sword build, stick to the cosplay classic: EVA foam. This flexible rubber material can be cut and shaped with ease, and it’s available in most craft and hobby stores. It comes in many thicknesses, so try to get half-inch sheets.

Here are some other tools and materials you will need.

  • Contact cement
  • Hobby knife or scissors
  • Wooden dowels
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Paints and brushes
  • Paper and pencil

Make Your Own Sword!

Blacksmith Beginnings: Lesson 1

Step 3: Create the Pattern

cutting out foam
Skillshare instructor David White cuts an elaborate pattern out of foam.

The overall plan is always the best place to start, so before you make a single cut, you need to have a pattern. Sketch out the basic shape of your sword onto the pieces of paper. Once you have that, draw in any of the details you want in the pommel, handle, crossguard, or along the blade. 

Trace the pattern onto the EVA foam twice and cut them out with the hobby knife. These will just be the basic shapes—the details come later.

Step 4: Create Structure

EVA foam is a pretty robust material, but it can’t stand up to steel. This is where the wooden dowel comes in.

Create a small channel with the hobby knife directly down the middle of the sword pieces. On one side, glue the wood dowel into the channel, making sure it doesn’t extend beyond the tip or pommel.

Once the dowel is set, use the contact cement to cover the sides of both sword pieces with the channels in them. Contact cement works by allowing it to dry for several minutes so that it can build up a tacky consistency. When the two sword pieces are pressed together, the contact cement seals, creating an extremely strong bond.

Congratulations! You just made what is basically a sword popsicle.

Step 5: Add Details

Returning to your pattern, trace the details onto the grip, pommel, and crossguard. There are two methods you can use to set these details in place.

The first option is cutting out smaller pieces of EVA foam and attaching them where they belong. This requires a lot more contact cement and material.

The other option is to use your hobby knife like a sculptor and cut out the details from the main body of the sword. This can be a little less accurate, but it saves a lot of time and materials.

Don’t forget to give the blade some attention as well. Use your hobby knife to create a fuller—the divot down the middle of the blade—and to shave down the edges.

Once all the cuts are made, use the sandpaper to smooth everything out. If you have access to an electrical sander or a dremel tool, the process will go much faster. Just make sure to wear a protective mask and use them in a well-ventilated area.

Step 6: Priming and Painting

Skillshare instructor Emiline uses a weathering technique to give cosplay sword more depth.
Skillshare instructor Emiline uses a weathering technique to give cosplay armor more depth.

Since EVA foam is porous, it doesn’t have the smoothest surface. So, several coats of some kind of sealant will help give a finer finish that will hold the paint perfectly. Wood glue works totally as fine as a primer—a few coats of it should do the trick.

Acrylic paints are another great tool. Hobby shops will also carry metallic paints that replicate the shine of steel quite nicely.

Swordsworn and Honor Bound

Imagine again: horse, armor, goblins. Now you unsheath that fantastic sword—the cherry on top of your perfect cosplay costume—and your enemies flee in terror. That’s how that story should always go!

And now that you have these skills, you can apply them to any number of cosplay weapons—maces, halberds, morningstars, battleaxes—an entire armory of fantasy might at your disposal!

Get Started on Your Cosplay Journey!

How to Get Started with Cosplay – Creating your First Ever Costume

Written By

Luke Field

  • Click here to share on Twitter
  • Click here to share on Facebook
  • Click here to share on LinkedIn
  • Click here to share on Pinterest