Well, its that time of year again. Christmas and the New Year have come and gone, and we're digging for the cold winter months. Winter came into our area full-force over Christmas and I have a feeling we're going to be spending a lot of time cooped up inside over the next few months. Which means that I'm going to be looking for lots of ways to stave off boredom and keep my kids from fighting over EVERY. LITTLE. THING. Because, let's be honest, short days + cold weather + being stuck inside = cranky kids (and mom & dad, too). So, hopefully, over the next days/weeks/months, I'll be sharing with you easy crafts and activities to help keep the boredom at bay.
Today I'm going to share with you a quick tutorial on how to make these cardboard swords. I actually made these for an event I did at work in early December, and had extras that I passed on to my kids. They go together pretty quickly and my kids have played with them quite a bit over the last few weeks. If you're like me, you'll even have leftover cardboard boxes and wrapping paper tubes from Christmas, which makes these super easy to do!
For the swords, you will need:
- Cardboard tubes- when I made these for work, I raided my wrapping paper, unrolling the rolls that had only a little bit of paper left, and stealing the tubes inside. Now, I have some more tubes from Christmas wrapping, but if you didn't just happen to save them to add to your ever-growing stash of cardboard like me, fear not! You can make cardboard tubes by scoring a rectangle of thin-ish cardboard, rolling it up, and hot glueing the edge.
- Masking tape (I couldn't find my masking tape, so I used blue painter's tape, instead).
- A piece of thin-ish flat cardboard- like the side of a box, or an empty cereal box.
- Craft knife
- Hot glue gun
- Foil (optional)
- Markers/gems/glue/paint/decorations (also optional)
It's going to look like there are a lot of steps to making these swords, but that's because I wanted to break them WAAAY down to make them really easy, so don't worry, and don't feel overwhelmed!
- If your cardboard tubes are long, trim off the end to your desired length. I probably made mine about 24 inches.
- Flatten one end slightly and cut a curved edge (be careful to round out the top point a little bit so that it isn't TOO sharp; some of mine were actually sharper than I wanted and I had to go back and round them off some more):
3. Tape off this edge with masking tape:
4. If you would like to cover the blade with foil to make it look more like a sword, now is the time. Simply wrap pieces of foil around it (if you want, you can hot glue them to give them more staying power). I left my swords uncovered for two reasons: a) I was worried the foil would give them too sharp of an edge and b) I was giving kids free reign to decorate them as they chose.
5. On your flat piece of cardboard, draw one rectangle per sword. I made mine 3x12 inches, but you can make any size you want as long as they are wider than the width of your sword blade. These will be the hand guards. Cut out using your craft knife:
6. On the left side of the hand guard, trace the bottom round edge of your blade and cut it out with your craft knife.
7. Slide hand guard up over the bottom of the blade. Make sure the hand guard is extending out to the right, and that the curved edge of the blade is facing the same direction:
8. Bend right side of hand guard down, forming a "D" shape, and hot glue to the bottom of the blade. Hold for a few seconds to make sure the hot glue dries:
9. Let your kids decorate them with paint, markers, gems, etc. (this keeps them occupied longer!), and when they are dry, they are ready to sword fight!
Just a note about safety- before letting my kids play with these swords, we talked about making sure that they were hitting SWORDS ONLY, not people, so no one got hurt.
And that's it! My kids have spent several hours sword-fighting, playing pretend, and just generally enjoying their swords!