Foam prop weapons are easy to make and fun for the whole family. They require very little as far as materials and tools are concerned and can be used for fake sword fights or theatrical productions of fight scenes. Here I will go over the steps in making a basic foam prop weapon, a sword, but you can create other foam props. The only limit to what you can do with foam is your own creativity.
Building foam prop weapons is easy and doesn't take long, but you we will need a few things first, most of which can be bought at your local hardware supply store. You will also need at least a square foot of 3 inch thick foam rubber (aka. open cell foam), which can be gotten at any crafts store and most fabric stores as it is used in creating cushions.
For a simple foam prop sword we need a core, foam padding, and duck tape or gaffers tape. For the core and the foam padding, we will get PVC pipe and foam pipe insulation from the plumbing department. Make sure the foam insulation fits the pipe you select. Electrical tape is also useful but not required. Generally speaking, all the items listed will only cost about $20 to $30 total.
- Now let’s build our foam prop sword. First cut a length of the PVC pipe with the hacksaw, about 30 inches or so.
- Check the cut to make sure it's free of any dangerous sized splinters and take a small 3 inch strip of electrical or duck tape to cover the end of the pipe to insure that it can't cut its way through the foam prop, possibly injuring someone.
- Now we can cut the pipe to length for the blade section of the foam prop, about 25 inches, and slide it on. You'll notice now if you got pipe and foam that don't match because the foam will be loose on the pipe or too tight to slide.
- Next cut a sword tip out of the open cell foam and tape it to the tip of the sword, this should be at least three inches of open celled foam.
- Now attach long strips of duct tape (or gaff tape for a theatrical prop) lengthwise on the sword so that they barely (1/8 inch) overlap.
- For the pommel, make a cross with 3 inch strips of electrical or duck tape, gather scrap foam into a small ball and use the cross to secure it to the base of the foam prop sword.
- Finally cover the pommel and handle with tape (preferably electrical tape again) and your done.
Now you can have mock sword fights whenever you choose.