Wednesday, 10 December 2014

How to make 12 swords in under 20 minutes

We were filming a scene for our nativity play yesterday - angels, to appear up in the 'sky' (i.e. on screen).

I wanted the angels to have swords, and previously I have used newspaper and tinfoil. But I really wanted something that would take less time to make, since it seems unreasonable to give a child a sword and then forbid him to use it, which means they would likely get destroyed beyond repair. Also, it was past my bedtime!

So this is what I did.
I used gold and silver card which I had bought for something else but it was really poor quality - however it was fine to be viewed from a distance.

For 12 swords:
  • 3 sheets A4 silver card (letter size would work too).
  • 2 sheets A4 gold card - brown or a colour would be good if it wasn't for angels.
  • 12 staples (glue would have been better).
What to do:
  1. Cut the silver sheets into 4 strips (for A4, mark at approx 5.25cm, 10.5cm, 15.75cm - accuracy's not that important)
  2. Cut the gold sheets in half long-ways (approx 10.5cm), then in thirds (approx 9.9cm and 19.8cm)
  3. Fold silver strips longways - easiest if you draw a heavy line with a ballpoint pen on the back where you want to fold. Cut off the point at an angle.
  4. Fold gold pieces in half. Cut out a sort of L-shape from the non-folded side. 
  5. Overlap hilt on blade an inch or so, and attach. I used a single staple on the fold so it didn't show - glue would have been better.
Top: the swords.
Middle: as worn for filming.
Bottom: The heavenly host engage in some post-filming combat practise.

By the way, the swords are really for display purposes only. They were not handed out until the camera was ready to roll, and after filming they probably lasted less than 5 minutes in action!

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