diy {pvc foam swords}

Did you know my boys love to craft and create art projects?

They love bright rainbow colors like Meg.

They beg me to do craft projects every week.

When I show them ideas on blogs or in magazines they can’t wait to try them.

Most days we sit around the picnic table laughing and creating together.

It is bliss.

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6.15.11-01

Pretty much NO to all of that. I beg my boys to craft with me. Goodness I beg them just to sit down half the time…forget sitting and creating. I had hoped to do fun artsy projects with them, but each idea I had they shot down. Finally, I gave up and said “do you want to make awesome swords?” There was a resounding “YES!!!”. At 8:30am I took 4 kids to Lowes to get our supplies. I’m sure the other customers in the plumbing department were curious about the mom that let 2 boys hold 8ft long pvc pipe, but they were excited so I went with it.

I did not come up with this tutorial. Chris used to make these as a boy (quite honestly I do recall him and his friends with them in high school. Yes, he knows it was dorky). The concept is simple…cut pvc pipe to make a sword, wrap it in the pipe foam things (how’s that for technical terms) and then tape it all together with duct tape.
6.15.11-02

First I cut my pipe to size: 1 long piece and 3 smaller ones. It would be easier to cut with a table saw, but with 4 little ones running around it is better for me to just use a hand saw. Next you connect all the pieces. Chris suggested gluing it but my kids were impatient so I didn’t. I’m guessing we’ll end up having to take them apart and glue them later.
6.15.11-03

Next we wrapped the sword part in the foam. I’ll probably buy some more larger foam to wrap around it to create extra padding later. Again, impatient kids. Next I wrapped everything in duct tape. If you had different kinds of duct tape on hand then you could make them all sorts of colors.
6.15.11-04

I made the rule the swords must stay outside and cannot touch any part of someone else’s body.

Swords can hit swords, grass, rocks, etc….not siblings:)
6.15.11-06

6.15.11-09

This just sums up my daughter….rocking a pink T-Rex dress & swinging HER sword the way her brothers taught her.
6.15.11-11

Since my boys won’t craft with me I am dreaming of September when I get to craft with Meg and about 10 other ladies! Have you heard about Meg’s craft weekend? I’ll be there…I’m calling myself Meg’s Crafting Slave…on hand to assist and help in whatever way I can. I really can’t wait. It is going to be such a fun weekend. There are only 10 spots available and they go up for grabs on Monday morning. You can find out all the details on Meg’s Craft Weekend Blog!

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6.11GiveawayDay

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  • lesley graham - those pictures of them charging with their swords are completely amazing. you can feel their excitement. you are such a breath of fresh air for me. you are such a fun mom!

  • Corey Moortgat - This cracks me up- I read the top part and was totally thinking, “she’s so lucky! I wish my boys loved to craft. I have to beg them to do projects with me… woe is me…!”

    Love the swords idea, although we’d have to have similar rules in our house!

  • Sarah - Craft weekend in Kansas! No Way! Maybe I’ll run into you guys! Not really because you know Kansas is so big, but it sounds like alot of fun!
    LOVE the swords! I think I’ll make one for my husband.

  • Tonia - We have made these using different color pool noodles. It solves the color problem! Hours of fun!

  • alicia - I am going TODAY to go get stuff to make these for my 4!! boys 10,7,4 and 2. Mind measuring your pieces for me?

  • Cara - This is awesome. We made (super easy) light sabers last year using just pool noodles, cut in half with the end duct taped to make it silver (like the handle part.) The best part – they are soft. The kids can beat on each other all they want. No “don’t-touch-siblings” rule here! We actually made 15 of them for a birthday party, then we took all those 5 year old boys to the park and let them beat on each other. And that was the extent of the party.

  • Ambrosia - I LOVE this idea! I know for sure that your rule won’t stand a chance with my boys – they’d beat each other as soon as the duct tape was wrapped. BUT maybe if I get the thick foam it won’t leave marks. lol I think I’ll even let them pick out their own color of duct tape! Fun, fun, fun!!!!

  • anne c - wow, I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing sept. 9-11 then hanging out and crafting with 2 of my favorite blogging ladies! but I will have a one month old by then :( so I am really bummed I won’t be able to try and snag one of those spots! man I am bummed! I sure do hope there will be another one I can come to…or maybe I can make this lil lad stay in there a month longer HAHA

  • Angela - YES! Perfect timing! You saw my post on our struggling swords, so I’m thinking a few of these would go nicely with Ryan’s gifts this Sunday – thanks!!

  • Rebecca - This is great. I no longer have to hunt the $ bins at Target to find replacement swords. Thank you.

  • Ryan - I remember Chris’ “dorky” foam swords! :)

  • Heather - These are simply adorable! What a great idea. I must comment on your little girl’s hair too, just too cute for words! Great blog site <3

  • Susan - Get some Zebra-striped Duct Tape for Firecracker’s sword! It’ll go with her rockin’ T-Rex dress! lol- cute idea

  • Kimberlee Jost - LOVE FC’s dress!
    And looking forward to craft weekend, too!!!!!! ;)

  • No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane - First off, the swords need to happen in this house. After all, my daughter turns everything into a primeval weapon of destruction. She is a total tomboy when it comes to combat.

    On another note, I am filled with jealously that you are going to the craft weekend. I was SKYPE-ing with Meg the other week and realized that I wouldn’t be going and then proceeded to think about it the rest of the day. You guys are going to have so much fun.

  • chantelle - HA! We have sword mania around here too-I found great ones at my local $ store (let me know if you’d like a sample or 4 for prototypes-they are great and I cut the ends to make them diff lengths for diff kiddos, love to send you a few!) I love your idea of the no hitting siblings-consider it a world wide rule, hmm maybe law! YOU are soooo lucky for craft weekend-I’ll be there in spirit but really in the hosp with baby #2 on the way!)

  • Sarah @ Handbags*N*Pigtails - Oh how I wish I could go to her craft weekend. I literally almost teared up last year when she posted pics of your crafty weekend at her home. Ive always wanted to do something like that and I dont have anyone around me who would enjoy something like that. I just cant swing it though after paying for flights out to BlogSugar.
    Love your swords. Around here, with a balloon artist daddy, the girls get balloon swords:) Cheap, easy, and throw-away-able.:) Yup, I just made up my own word.

  • Jessamy - You make me want to have boys so my little chickie can have some brothers to teach her to sword fight! So fun!

  • Brook Stewart - Taking a trip to Bartlesville today anyway…I’m SO going to Lowe’s! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - You’ll be there? You’ll be there? AAGH! My fingers, toes and hairs are all crossed that I make it in! :)

  • cailan - Wow. You totally had me with that first part. Though, I was thinking “good night, these children are not of this world!” ;) Good for you for embracing the fun that they enjoy, and thank you for the daily inspiration.

  • robelyn - Duct tape IS the force! LOLOL

    Those are fantastic!!! I’m one of your newest followers – and I absolutely adore your blog!!!

    ;-D robelyn

  • Ashley - This is fantastic! Definitely book marking and doing this. Only thing I’m nervous about is the saw, I’m accident prone. Maybe daddy will have to help with this. :) I LOVE your blog. XO

  • Kate - Made these for all the boys in church last year. I used pool noodles which have more padding. My kids still take them out and wail on each other. Superfun!

  • Kathie - My brother who is now 24 use to make swords with his friends in high school…they had a whole “club” of people that would get together and make them and then they would have duels! It was pretty nerdy but they loved it. Love the action poses!!

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag - THIS IS FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!! What kid wouldn’t LOVE this? Love love love it. Also love the dino dress, I’ll have to source you and the Etsy shop when I do Dinos & Dragons next week! My neighbor made lightsabers from cut down pool noodles and then wrapped the bottom part with silver and black duct tape — they look FAB and the kids can actually bonk each other without bodily injury.

  • cynthia - Solid article (as always ;). My boys are too big for this, but maybe for grand kids in the not so near future. :)

    How did you position yourself for the shot of them running at you? Love it! :)

  • Heather C. - These would make super cool party favors for a boy’s party. Say a young fellow turning 7 at the end of August. Hop them up on sugar, let them go in the park. Parents will love it! Or not….:)

  • Darcie - Hey! We make these at the summer camp where my husband works. They have a swordfighting activity class. For the “official” ones, some of the moms sew plaid covers for them that you slip over the top, then tape around the handle. For the unofficial kind, you can slip a long knee-sock over them and tape to add a little cushion and prevent the “slap” that you get with the duct tape hitting you. :-) Hope the boys had fun!

  • Kimberly - First, totally going to be make swords this weekend… my son REALLY wants one after he saw this post and was even more thrilled with I said we could make these ourselves.

    Second, thank you much for sharing the picture of the dress I sent Fire Cracker. I’m happy to see she has some room to grow into it! She is wonderfully adorable!

  • Jenny B. - I love the two side-by-side pics of the boys charging with their swords… it looks like a whole army! Ha! :) I SO want to come to craft weekend! We’ll see… :)

  • Scott@My Photo Adventures - What a great project. My son is running around all the time saying his fighting dragons. He would love something like this.

  • jill - My kiddos went to a Star Wars Birthday party and came home with Light Sabers. aka swimming nodles. It appeared you could get 3 out of each noodle. the end was taped with black and silver duct tape. They were awesome. No one ever gets hurt while swinging them around. These are neat-o too!

  • Amy - These look great! We had a neighbor make one once and it wasn’t totally covered on the top and someone got a cut on the top of their head and had to leave the party for awhile. My 18 year old and his friends still loves to have sword fights, so maybe it’s really the “cool” thing. We have a few ‘Lego’ foam swords and Nerf swords, but they were much more expensive than this! I see a summer project my big boys can do!

  • Dana - Speaking of PVC, I just made a ‘kiddie car wash’ for my 3 kids. The directions are here: http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/the-deluxe-kid-wash-709166/. It was super easy and the kids even helped (ages 3, 6 & 8). I’ll bet your kids would rally around this one too! Just one difference…I added mister heads from the landscape aisle to try to conserve water.

    I have followed your blog FOREVER but this is my first comment. You are an inspiration, both creatively, and as a mother and individual…God Bless You!

  • Dana - Speaking of PVC, I just made a ‘kiddie car wash’ for my 3 kids. The directions are on family fun under Deluxe Kid Wash. I’ll bet your kids would rally around this one too! Just one difference…I added mister heads from the landscape aisle to try to conserve water.

    I have followed your blog FOREVER but this is my first comment. You are an inspiration creatively, as a mother, and as an individual…I am so thankful for your blog.

  • Jessica - These swords bring back memories of when I was in college. Some of my guy classmates had elaborate duct tape/PVC swords that they used all the time. Fun for all ages!!!

  • Lisa - Really great swords! My husband and oldest son made these last year using The Battle Book by Warfare by Duct Tape. There are instructions and patterns for creating shields, swords, spears, battle-axes, throwing axes, and 2 styles of helmets, greek & barbarian. http://www.currclick.com/product_info.php?products_id=42107&it=1&filters=0_0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=386 We used colored duct tape from Michaels. Another idea is to label/decorate the swords and shields with a coat of arms or battle motto. Our kids and the kids in our neighborhood LOVE these!

  • Jayna S. - LOVE this!! I’m a mom of 3 boys ages 10, 7, and 6. It is hard to find crafts for all of them to do together. This is a great project that will span all there ages!!! Thanks

  • Cricket Whitman - Oh how much my kids LOVED making and playing with these! http://mommycricket.blogspot.com/2011/06/pvc-swords.html
    Thanks so much for the grand idea! We too have three boys and a little girl (looks like they are all pretty close in age to yours.) I’m using so many of your fun ideas this summer to keep us busy and not on top of each other all the time. Thanks so much for all your wonderful ideas! I’m so glad I recently ran into your blog!!

  • Naomi - Wonderful. Great pictures too. I’m getting ready for a LOTR party for my son.

  • DIY « Tied Up With String - [...] from my favorite blogger and DIYer Ashley Ann Campbell from¬†Under the Sycamore! Here’s her¬†PVC Foam Swords¬†and¬†Fabric Covered [...]

  • Make Your Own PVC Pipe Swords « Frugal Fun For Boys - [...] option that I saw on Pinterest is to cover the swords with foam insulation or a pool noodle. ¬†We thought about that, but I felt like our boys would be less cautious with the [...]

  • Thoughts on the Armor of God | JennySmith.net - […] DIY PVC foam swords.¬† Nice, but expensive for a group. – http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2011/06/15/diy-pvc-foam-swords/ […]

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