We sponsored Sayakat Cosplay for this build of Evior’s Axes from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and she shared her process with us in this tutorial! If you need to make a prop weapon, Sayakat’s methods are a great way to achieve a strong, lightweight build! Take a look at the video below!
Making Aloy’s Spear from Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon: Zero Dawn is an amazing game and has a wide range of costume designs, weapons and weapon modifications to craft your perfect Aloy, be she a stealth or melee focused fighter in your run.
Pretzl Cosplay used Worbla’s Pearly Art to make Aloy’s spear for her costume, and shared the process of making it in this video below!
You can also find her blueprints for this build to make your own on her Etsy
Gunner Gretel bow from sinOalice
DiGi Rin Cosplay used Pearly Art and TranspArt to help her bring this amazing bow to life for her sinOalice Gretel costume. She shared the process with us, and you can see the steps she took to create this oversized piece to complement her costume!
In this tutorial I will be highlighting in detail how I made the dragon head, base of the bow and the materials I used for each part of the bow.
The Dragon Head
The base of the whole head was made from Worbla’s Pearly Art sandwiched between craft foam (worbla – craft foam – worbla).
This was the craft foam base of the dragon head. After covered with worbla on either side, the highlighted part was then heated with a heat gun and then attached together.
I then molded the shape of the the dragon head with foam clay (grey areas) and model magic clay (brown areas). In the picture below you can see this and the area in which the worbla was connected.
The clay was held on by no glue. The foam clay held on very well but some of the model magic clay needed extra glue to stay on.
I added more details with Worbla’s Pearly Art.
I used the worbla – craft foam – worbla sandwich method. This part required me to attach the worbla to the foam clay. The worbla did not bond when heated up with the heat gun to the clay, so I used Gorilla Glue and hot glue to keep it place while the Gorilla Glue dried.
Gorilla Glue takes a while to cure so I usually use little bits of hot glue to keep it in place.
Additional details were added on with Paper clay (beige detailed area). Paper clay sometimes needs water to mold, I had a glass of water close by to damp my hands whenever molding these details.
The Base of the Bow
The base was ½” Insulation foam cut out with a box cutter. The base made to attach to the bottom of the dragon head.
Floral Wire was attached to the insulator foam by poking holes through the foam, and taping the other side of the foam with duct tape to hold it down.
A box cutter was used to carve holes on the top and bottom of the base shapes. A wooden dowel was then glued to the top and bottom insulation foam pieces using hot glue and gorilla glue.
The head was then glued to a ½ inch Insulation Foam base. This was using Gorilla Glue and Hot Glue to keep it in place until the gorilla glue dried.
The insulation foam was attached to the base to create the bow shapes.
The top, bottom and middle of the bow have two layers of ½” insulation foam attached together by hot glue.
The foam was attached to the base using hot glue and gorilla glue. Any gaps between the pieces were filled in with paper clay.
Worbla’s TranspArt was heated up with a heat gun and wrapped around the floral wire to make a flame type of effect.
The TranspArt was required to be glued into place with hot glue to the floral wire and the base of the the bow, to stay in place.
What material was used for every part of the bow:
See a gallery of DiGi Rin Cosplay’s complete costume here, photographed by Con Mom Photography.
How to make Chip from Beauty and the Beast with Worbla – Video
Serakirah Cosplay sculpted her own adorable teacup Chip from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and shared the process in this video below!
Creating a Snowflake Ornament – Video
Naruvien Art&Design has been experimenting with creating decor with Worbla products, and this hanging, glowing snowflake is a beautiful piece for the holidays or your Snow Queen costume.
Building a Dagger from World of Warcraft
We asked Sayakat Cosplay to create a tutorial for us using Worbla’s Black Art and she shared this fun writeup on the process of making a detailed dagger from World of Warcraft!
Gloves to protect hands
The first step in this build is to draw and size the pattern for the dagger. I used a dagger from World of Warcraft as my reference, and altered the design to simplify the hilt, but you can use any reference you like. Warcraft daggers are generally actually quite large, and this one is no exception, coming in at approximately 22 inches in total length. It does require a paper pattern first to account for scaling and details accordingly. I draw all my patterns by hand and destroy them in the process of building, so this is one of a kind.
Draw out the pattern for your blade, and include all details. The next step is to cut out the base of the pattern in foam. This dagger is 5 layers of craft foam; one base piece, and 2 detail layers on each side.
You will need to cut up your paper pattern in order to cut out all the detail. Trace around the whole pattern once to get the base piece. Then cut off the blade pieces from the pattern, and trace the remaining shape onto foam as pictured above. Finally cut out the details, using scissors and the exacto knife, and also trace that onto foam.
Once all pieces have been traced onto the craft foam, cut them out. Next, take your hot glue, and glue all layers together to create a foam sandwich. If there are any edges that do not line up, trim them with scissors to get your foam core.
The next step is to cut out pieces of worbla slightly bigger than your piece. It needs to be bigger in order to fully cover all the edges. Cut one piece for each side. Save the scraps for the handle piece! Once cut, take one piece and start to heat it with a heat gun. I recommend wearing gloves for the part, as worbla can burn your hands when hot. Using even passes over the surface of the worbla, heat up the whole piece until it becomes soft. Carefully place it over the craft foam, and reheat it a bit to start to mold it into the details. Flip it over and place the other piece of worbla over the other side. Repeat the heating process on this piece until it starts to mold into the details of the craft foam. Using a wooden clay tool or other such tool (I actually used a pencil with the lead broken off), carefully push the worbla into the details to bring out all the raised lines. Reheat and warm the worbla as necessary to get the details to pop. Once done with one side, reheat the edges of both sides to cut off any excess worbla from the seams. Repeat the same detailing procedure with the other side.
If anything is uneven or needs to be bent, carefully reheat that section, bend and hold the piece until it fully cools and sets.
For the handle, cut up and heat small scraps of worbla to roll together into a ball. Once rolled together, roll around in the palms of your hands until the seams of the pieces are no longer visible. Smash the ball down into a rectangular shape about an inch wide, one and a half long, and about three eighths thick. Reheat the base of the blade where the handle will attach, and attach the rectangle shape.
For the handle itself, do the same procedure as above, but use a lot of scraps and heat the worbla into a log. Roll it out to a log about an inch thick and 6 inches long. If you need more scraps, heat and roll them into the log. Once the roll is big enough, flatten out the log until it is a little over an inch wide and a half inch thick. Reheat the base of the blade, and the end of the handle that you are attaching to the blade, and stick together. Since the worbla log was so thick, it will take awhile to cool. Make sure to hold it in the shape that you want while it cools. The end of the pommel can be made using the same techniques as above, shaping scraps into balls and shaping accordingly. The joints of the handle and the blade and pommel were reinforced with small worbla snakes.
The whole process is a lot of heating, shaping, and waiting, but the end result is pretty neat!
How To Build A Sword With Worbla
We asked Termina Cosplay to craft a tutorial for us using Worbla’s Black Art, and this was her fantastic result! See below for the step-by-step process!
The sword I use for my example is Erza Scarlet’s Flight Armor sword from Fairy Tail, but you can use this method to make any sword you want. The methods and techiniques I describe here are universal and can be used an a wide variety of projects, whether it be a sword, another kind of prop, or even armor!
Plywood, foam board, or Balsa wood
X-acto, craft knives
Clay roller (optional)
Spray adhesive or tape
Rulers, yard sticks, etc.
Dremel with sanding wheel
Palm Sander (if you work with wood)
Other Woodworking tools (if you choose to use wood)
Step 1: Make a Template
The first thing you’ll do is make a full size template for your sword. You’ll need to use this template to cut the base of your sword out. Unless you’re able to find a template already made online, you’ll need to draw one from scratch. I used a large sheet of paper, a pencil, a yard stick, a square, and some reference images to get the job done.
As long as your sword is symmetrical, you only need to draw one side. Draw one half, then fold your paper over at the center, and transfer the lines to the other side by tracing over them. Then, you’ll have a perfectly symmetrical sword template!
Some sword designs may have some extra details that are harder to draw on a flat template. Instead of drawing all these on, I only drew what was most important. This template is going to be a guide to help you build the sword in the proper dimensions, so you don’t necessarily need all the details drawn as long as you know where they’ll go. For example, mine has spikes going around the hilt. I drew one to gauge size, and left the other 7 I would need off the template since I didn’t need to draw them to know where they’d go.
Once you’re happy with your template, you’ll want to make a second one, but this time without the hilt. The first template is simply for reference. This new template will be the one you use to cut the base of your sword out. The base doesn’t need to have the hilt on it, and it will actually make things easier to not include it, so leave it off this time.
To make things easier, get another sheet of paper and trace the second template out. That way you don’t have to start from scratch!
Step 2: Cut Out Your Base
Once you have a template, its time to cut out a base for your sword. You need to use something rigid and somewhat thick that will hold its shape. I used 1/2 inch plywood, but if you don’t have the means to work with plywood, you can easily use another material, such as foam board or balsa wood instead, though you may need to use multiple layers if your material starts out thinner. Whatever you use, just make sure its at least 1/2 inch thick in the end, so you can shape the blade later.
The first thing you’ll do is stick your template down to your choice of base material. I used a spray adhesive. I sprayed a thin layer of glue onto the pattern and then stuck it right to the plywood I was using. This made it very easy to cut the shape out. If you don’t want to use spray adhesive, just tape the template down and trace the shape out.
Next, cut the base out. Since my material of choice was plywood, I used using a jigsaw. If you’re using another material, such as foam board or Balsa wood, you can simply use a craft knife or X-Acto knife to cut it out.
Once you’re done, you’ll have a nice, solid base layer to build your sword off of!
Step 3: Shape the Blade:
Now that you have a base layer, it’s time to shape the blade. This is why it was important to use at least 1/2 inch thick base layer, so you’d have room to bevel the edges of the blade. If you’re using foam board you can use X-Acto or craft knives to carve your blade, and sand paper to clean it up and shape it. With Balsa, its easy to use a sander and sand the edges all the way down. With my Plywood base, I used a large sanding drum and a palm sander to cut the bevel in. Before you start, draw some reference lines for the bevel on the blade to help keep you on track while shaping. To keep the blade from moving, you can clamp it down to your workspace with just a few simple clamps.
Whatever material you’re using, be sure to shape all the way around the base, even on the handle.
After I had the blade shaped as much as I could, I went back in with my smaller Dremel and sand paper to clean it up even further.
Your finished base layer should look something like what you see below, and it should fit right into your first template.
Step 4: Build The Hilt
Next it’s on to the hilt! Start by making a template for the shape of your hilt. Mine needed to be an oval, so I drew the cross in the middle using a ruler and a square first, and then drew the curve around it.
Once you have the shape of your hilt drawn, you’ll need to mark where the base will go through. The hilt should be able to slide right over the base and fit snugly in its spot, so measure out how large your base layer is where the hilt will sit, and draw a rectangle on your hilt template where the base will fit. I used the cross I initially drew as a starting point and drew the rectangle around the center of that.
Next is to cut your hilt out of a material of your choice. I’m using insulation foam because its simple to cut and shape. You could also use EVA foam for this if you wanted, and you’d end up with essentially the same results. Using a marker, I just traced the template, including the base hole in the center, and cut it out using a scroll saw. If you don’t have a scroll saw, a craft knife works just fine.
You’ll need to cut the base hole out too. Its hard to do with a normal X-Acto knife blade, but if you switch a flat “chisel” type blade it makes things a lot easier. All you have to do is poke down into the foam with your blade all along the lines and you’ll have a nice little hole to stick your base layer through. If your blade isn’t long enough to go through the whole piece (like mine was) just flip the piece over, use your template to draw the guide lines on that side, and poke through again.
As you can see below, the hilt fits perfectly on the sword base.
After all that, shape it up! I use a Dremel with a sanding wheel and some sandpaper. Of course, if you’re sanding foam, be sure to wear a mask! You don’t want to breath in those dust particles you’ll be stirring up!
With some patience, you can get a nice, smooth shape like you see below.
Step 5: Apply Worbla to your Base
Finally, it’s on to Worbla! First, you’re going to cover just the blade. Cut a piece out that is at least inch larger on each side than your blade is.
Then, place that piece over your blade and heat it up. Place it right where the hilt will meet the blade, heat it up, and let the Worbla fall into place around the blade. Then, use your fingers to press the Worbla down and around the edges. Do not wrap all the way around, let it stop at the edge of the blade. Be careful though! Worbla can get extremely really hot!
You can also use clay or leather working tools to help you out. Just use a bit of water with them to keep them from stick to the hot Worbla.
Once you’ve formed the entire first side, let it cool off. Once it’s cool, take a craft knife and cut the excess Worbla off, getting as close as you can to a smooth edge as possible.
Next, repeat the same process for the other side. Be sure to seal the edges together! If you need to, you can always reheat the Worbla to help it stick to itself.
Once you’re done, the blade should be left with a nice, smooth edge, as you see below.
If you’re having problems with the edges not sealing shut, you can always heat them back up and use a tool to press them together. This can also help get rid of seam lines.
My favorite way to get rid of seam lines is to use my Dremel. With a sanding wheel on a low setting, I just run the Dremel over the seam line, which sands it down and leaves a nice smooth edge.
Next, cover the hilt. If you’ve used insulation foam like I did, you’ll need to be extra careful here. Insulation foam does not take heat well, and will melt if you hit it with your heat gun. To get around this, heat your Worbla up away from the insulation foam, and then work very quickly and shape it over the foam before it cools off. Be sure you heat it enough so that its easy to work with. It should be floppy and completely bendable and stretchable before trying to form it over the foam.
Remember to work quickly, and try your best to press all the bumps and bubbles out before it cools. We’re only going to cover about half of the hilt with this piece, so no need to try and stretch it all the way around.
Once it cools, find a nice, easy spot to cut the excess Worbla off. With Erza’s Flight Armor Sword, had a nice edge along the center that was the perfect place to end the first layer of Worbla.
Next, repeat the process for the other side. Make sure the second side seals to the first, and then use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the excess Worbla off.
Then, use a Dremel to sand the seam line smooth.
Last, you’ll need to cut the Worbla out of the hole for your sword base I just used my X-Acto knife for this.
Step 6: Add Extra Details
Now is the time to add any extra details you might need. You can do this simply by using up all your Worbla scraps you’ve accumulated during the build! I needed some spikes, so I gathered a bunch of scraps, heated them up, smashed them together, and shaped them until I was happy with how it looked. Don’t forget you can always use tools to help you!
I repeated this process until every spike was complete. I also used my Dremel to clean up the edges and make the edges sharper.
Step 7: Attach the hilt to the base
It’s as easy as it sounds! Just heat up both pieces, slide the hilt onto the base, and press! The Worbla will glue to itself and keep the hilt on.
Step 8: Build up the handle.
Now its time to start building up the handle. How you want your handle to look will determine how you proceed. With mine, I needed a rounded end, so I built the area up with some scraps of Worbla. I just heated them up, pressed them on, and shaped them until they generally looked how I wanted. Then, I covered the whole handle with a piece of Worbla. The shape was a bit lumpy, so I then used my Dremel to smooth it out.
Here’s a tip: If you want to turn your scraps back into a flat sheet, use a clay roller! All you have to do is heat them up, smash them together, and run them through the roller to make a nice, flat sheet. I used this method to make new sheets for the details on my handle.
For the rest of he handle, I needed some “wrapping” so I made a new sheet of Worbla from some scraps, cut it to a 1 inch thick strip, and used it to wrap 1 inch thick pieces all around the handle.
I then used my Dremel to sand away all the seam lines, and then heated it back up and used a flat tool to redefine each section.
I then added a “cap” to the pommel with more scraps.
Step 9: Last Details
You might have some more intricate details that still need to be added. Erza’s Flight Armor sword has some spiky, thorny details that extend off of the hilt around the blade. To make these, I used nothing but scraps! I made the basic shape by rolling some scraps into a noodle, then I shaped it, sanded down any seam lines, and added the little spikes with more scrap material.
Then, to attach them on, I simply heated all points of contact with my heat gun and pressed the pieces together. You don’t want to heat them up so much that they start to become bendable. Instead, heat just enough to make the ends a bit tacky. They just need to be able to grab onto each other to be able to stick. Once it cools, you’ll have a hard time getting them back off!
And with the final details complete, you have a finished sword! All that’s left to do is prime and paint!
The possibilities of building with Worbla are virtually endless! My example might be Erza’s Flight Armor Sword, but you can use these methods to create anything you want! You’re not limited to what you see here!
Here is the finished project, unpainted, below!
Shaping Crystal Art: Magic Wand – Video
Naruvien Art & Design shows how to heat and shape Crystal Art, using it with TranspArt to make a magic crystal staff or wand for her LARP.
Kyriakos of Crafts World has been experimenting with Worbla for various projects with fantastic results. Above is the book cover he made with Worbla’s Mesh Art, which would be great for Journaling! And below is the seps he took to create it!
Worbla’s Meshed Art (WMA) Thermoplastic Modelling & Moulding Sheet – 180mm x 250mm x 1.2mm
Marianne Design Embossing Folder & Cutting Die – Tyre Tracks – Chevrons DF3407
Buddly Crafts Industrial Gears Metal Charms – 20pcs Silver Tone AS6
Tsukineko StazOn Midi Ink Pad – Jet Black
Tsukineko Memento Dew Drop Ink Pad – Desert Sand MD804
May Arts 20mm Chevron Stripe Twill Ribbon – 2m – Celery #38
Buddly Crafts Wooden Shapes – 50mm Santa Moustache 5pcs W47
Viva Decor Mulberry Paper Flowers – 50pcs White
Tsukineko VersaColor Pigment Ink Pad Large – Sage #187
Joy! Crafts Bookbinding Rings 12pcs – 30mm Silver
Buddly Crafts 12mm Pearl Brads – 24pcs Ivory BR1
Knorr Prandell 10mm Satin Ribbon Roll – 4.5m – Olive Green #2248
Buddly Crafts 5mm Round Metal Claw Stud Rivets – Silver Tone 200pcs #V8
Die cutting machine
Hot glue gun
Heat well the Worbla sheet and pass through the die cutting machine using the Chevron embossing folder. Set the folder to one of the sheet’s corners. Make sure that the Worbla is heated well and you use the correct plates on your machine.
Cut the Worbla sheet to the length.
Heat a bit in the center and fold, creating a semi circular spine.
Cut two small pieces of the remaining Worbla sheet.
Heat the small pieces and use them to secure the binding rings to the center of the spine inside the cover.
Using the StazOn inkpad, distress the chevron design of the cover.
Lightly colour the paper flowers and the wooden moustache with the sage and desert sand inkpads.
Cut a 40cm long piece of the Chevron stripe ribbon and glue it in the center of the cover. Continue with a small piece of the satin ribbon and the paper flowers.
Using a piercing tool open holes and set the gears with brads. Continue with glueing smaller gears and adding round rivets
Thanks again to Kyriakos for sharing this tutorial. You can find their work on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Lasercut Harley Quinn Hammer
SmallRiniLady used Worbla Mesh and Black Art to create this amazing Harley Quinn hammer, with the details laser cut! She shared the process below.
Laser Cut Worbla – Harley Quinn Hammer
I wanted to build a Harley Quinn hammer with a lace like structure. Laser cutting Worbla has been a very interesting medium to work with for this challenge. It did cause me some structural challenges as its flexibility increases as you remove away material. Yet the level of intricate designs you can cut using the laser cutter and still hold true in the Worbla was breathtaking.
Harlequin clowns often use Diamond patterns in their outfits, but instead of having a bunch of individual shapes, how can I mimic that pattern into a single flat sheet. I designed a two layer argyle pattern in Microsoft Expression for the surface of my hammer panel and saved it to a PDF to cut using an Epilog Laser Cutter
It’s a lot of cutting. To do both layers took approx an hour of cutting.
Lots of little pieces to clean up, at the time I didn’t know the maker space had a shop vacuum for jobs like this. ~My poor fingers~
Since my Worbla wasn’t entirely flat, this area didn’t cut all the way through
Although the fibers in the Worbla MeshArt can make your piece sturdier, it also requires more power from a laser cutter to cut through. In the areas that it didn’t cut through, my manual popping out with my fingers did not result with smooth edges but pokey fibers sticking out
Some areas barely cut through so I had to use a knife on it. Luckily the score lines allowed me to keep the consistent pattern through my manual cutting process.
Layer two, using Worbla BlackArt
Time to paint. Painted my Worbla MeshArt to black and my Worbla BlackArt to red. Had I planned better I would have switched the two layers’ material to paint less.
Getting the Worbla to stick together wasn’t an easy job. The extra layers of paint on each surface required the Worbla to be even hotter before the surfaces were tacky enough stick to one another. That caused the Worbla to be super soft and causing the patterns to create impressions into one another; the black diamond started drooping into the open space below causing an uneven surface ~sad face~.
To get the argyle panel to match the exact circumference of my circle faces I used the laser cutter again to cut down my argyle panel down to size.
I did not change my laser cutting settings; not risking the higher heat to melt my project or start any fires. My top layer of Worbla cut through cleanly, but only etched into the second layer.
The etched lines became very useful for guiding my knife, so this step was simple and fast.
I designed a lace pattern to trim my hammer. I wanted the droplet shape to mimic Harley’s collar from her 90’s cartoon outfit. This same lace trim will also show up on my HarleyQuinn Hat
When heating thin cuts of Worbla you’ll end up with a lot of sag which can deform your pieces very quickly. I found that by having a solid base to heat up you can easily stick the cold fragile pieces to the activated Worbla. It won’t stick fully but have enough random adhesion points to be locked in place. Then you can re-go over with heat to create a complete bond.
I bonded the lace to the edge of my argyle panel and painted them white
For the side faces I decided to use Acrylic sheets as it is a ridged material that will provide the stability for the hammer to keep its circular shape. Single sheet of Worbla is too flexible for this but may work if using the sandwich method.
Acrylic sheets come covered either with paper or plastic. This way it won’t scratch during transport, can be drawn on during design, and avoid soot and scorch marks during the laser cutting process. I laser cut out circles with fun patterns inspired by the “POW” phrases from the 60s show.
After removing the plastic covering I used a stamp pad to color the inside of my acrylic sheet to give it a translucent color to help the design become more readable.
The acrylic side faces and the Worbla argyle panel includes holes around the edge. The edges will be laced together with ribbons. This gives the design a bit of flexibility with spacing and creates a seductive look.
The handle of the hammer starts with a PVC pipe which I decorate with satin black and white ribbons creating a stripped pattern.
I measured the pvc pipe with a caliper to create Worbla reinforcement rings (also laser cut) for my argyle panel.
My argyle pattern creates gaps around the hole for the pvc pass through to not be tight. The reinforcement rings removes that issue. One in the inside and one on the outside creates a strong seal.
Snow Bunny Nidalee Spear
KP Cosplay used Worbla to create a spear for her Snow Bunny Nidalee costume, and shared the video tutorial with us below!
Poison Ivy’s Monster Staff
Methyl Ethyl Cosplay made a wonderfully creepy monster staff for her Poison Ivy costume and shared her process with us!
I began by making the monster head.
First I took the Styrofoam ball and cut it in half. Using a spoon I hollowed out each half to create the mouth area. I then heated scrap strips of Worbla with a heat gun and connected the two halves by adhering them to the Styrofoam, while holding the halves into the desired position (creating an open mouth effect) and letting the Worbla cool. Once cooled, the base head shape was complete.
Next I used rocks to hold the Styrofoam base in place (mouth down) and sprayed the back of the head with expanding foam. Once dried, I carved the foam with a utility knife and smoothed it with sandpaper. I then repeated the process on the front of the head around the mouth area, propping it up with rocks, spraying it with expanding foam and carving/sanding it once dry. I filled in the grooves left from air pockets in the foam with wood filler.
This next step is optional, but I wanted to achieve a smoother surface before covering the head with Worbla, so I took paper clay and rolled it into a very thin sheet with a rolling pin. I then covered the outside of the head with the clay sheet, let it dry, and sanded it smooth. Next, using my heat gun I covered the outside of the head and the inside of the mouth with Worbla.
To make the lips I measured the lengths I would need to cover the bottom and top edges of the mouth. I cut the end of one of the polyethylene cylinders to the length of the longer of the two lip measurements. Using scissors I then cut this cylinder in half, width-wise, to create the base of the top and bottom lips. I further cut the lips into shape, tapering the ends, and making sure each fit around the mouth edges properly. I then covered the lips with Worbla and adhered them to the head via heat.
Next I sprayed expanding foam onto a work surface (I used carboard) into the rough shape of a tongue. Once dried, I carved and sanded the tongue into shape using a utility knife/sandpaper. I filled in any grooves with wood filler.
Using the same method as before, I rolled paper clay into a thin sheet using a rolling pin. I covered the tongue with the sheet, let it dry and sanded it smooth. Then, using paper clay, I made teeth and plant tendrils to cover the top and bottom of the head.
Finally, I covered the tongue, teeth and tendrils with Worbla and adhered them to the head via heat. I heated scrap strips of Worbla and rolled them into thin cylinders and created organic root/vine-like details snaking off of the head tendrils; and with that the head was complete.
Now, to form the rod of the staff I took the two polyethylene cylinders and cut them to the desired length. Using my Dremel I narrowed the cylinders in the grip area of the staff so that, once formed, my hand would be able to fit comfortably around it. I cut leaves out of EVA foam to attach to the staff (4 for the base of the staff and two for the middle section of the staff). Using my heat gun I then covered each cylinder with Worbla. (*Note: polyethylene does not take to heat well and does deform when it gets too hot. This step has to be done with caution. If I were to try this again I would experiment with wrapping the cylinders in duct tape to mitigate the heat applied to the foam.)
Once the cylinders were covered, I snaked the two cylinders around each other and heat formed them together. This step takes patience. The Worbla has a tendency to rip when being twisted in this manner, so taking this step one small portion at a time (heating, carefully, intertwining and letting cool) slowly working your way along the length of the staff is highly advised. I also had to make sure I aligned the two sections I narrowed for the grip together correctly to ensure I’d have a comfortable area to hold the staff.
To further smooth out the Worbla scrap pieces (as shown above) I later heated the area and smoothed out the edges with sculpting tools.
My staff was then fully constructed:
Thanks again to Methyl Ethyl Cosplay for sharing this with us!
9Flame Creations created this amazing Mimic treasure box, a blast from our D&D games of past. She shared her process below!
The final project!
Thanks to 9Flame Creations for sharing this with us. Remember – always roll for perception!
Fallout 3 Pip-Boy 3000
This tutorial was shared with us by Chrisx Design and shows the steps she took in creating her Pip Boy 3000.
In the honor of the new Fallout 4 trailer, here is the tutorial for how I made my Pipboy. Later I also built a Laser Rifle.
I have long wanted to make a pip boy 3000 and suddenly I had an extra smartphone at hand that could be used for this purpose. Also, very fast test makeup of my costume ;)
This is a fast build and some details could have been crafted a little cleaner, but I still love it.
Cardcoard is the way to go
As always I start off with a piece of cardboard as a base.
Where I gradually add strips of foam to create the basic shape, 2mm and 4 mm foam.
Roll it together
To make it more sturdy I covered it with worbla. You can skip this, but it also makes it easier to attach more details later. (If you don’t want to use worbla then cover the entire thing in wood glue to get a less porous surface.
Next up I made a case for the phone.
To get some of the transition shapes I used clay which was later covered with worbla.
With a marker I add the layout of additional details.
A few more details added with worbla and red LED.
As you might see, some of the details are not quite straight, so I used a sharp knife and trimmed the edges.
Also added several screws to bring out a more manufactured look.
Woodglue and gesso is used to even out the surface and prime it for paint.
Silver spray paint
I used watered out acryllic paint to smear the prop in with. Wipe off the most and the paint will lay naturally in all the cracks. I did not have a photo of this, but here is a photo of me weathering the Easter egg shaped like a pipboy
You have a “clean surface”
You smear it with acrylic pain and wipe it off
No weathering vs all weathering.
In the end it looked like this, better photos will come ;)
Fallout 3 AER9 Laser Rifle
This tutorial was shared with us by Chrisx Design and shows the steps she took in creating this awesome large-scale rifle.
I really, really wanted a retro futiristic rifle in my living room and lucky for me Volpin props is sellig blueprints for a Fallout 3 AER9 Laser Rifle. And in my state of sudden nostalgia for the game I really wanted to build one too. And I buildt mine without power tools and mostly out of worbla. But you can also read Volpin Props tutorials on here.
As I had no deadline for this I worked on it randomly, spending almost half a year completeing it. Here is the tutorial for the Pip Boy 3000
I got the blue prints printed to scale. For the lower rod I used a wooden flag pole with different plastic tubes and foam to create the different circumferences.
With foam, foamboard, cardboard and worbla I started the build. This will be the tip of the barel.
Started again with cardboard sandwitched around foam to build up the main shape of the stock.
Cover with worbla to make it more sturdy.
Adding details with worbla
I used different bottle caps as molds for some of the round parts.
Back to the barrel. The innter structure is cardboard and everything is again covered with worbla. It is wasy to attach parts together when everything is worbla as this material sticks very well to itself.
I used foam mats and clay to build up the back part of the barrel.
More small details were added. I used a sharp knife to get clean edges. Small screw were also added to give a more machine produced feel.
The forstock was again built out of foam and covered in worbla. To get the details right I figured it would be easier to build it seperate and then attach it when done.
All parts together, this ended up being quite a large prop.
Even though a worbla covered Laser rifle looks cool (or unique… or boring) I need a little paint. First the entire prop was primed with wood glue. Then I painted the entire gun in a silver base paint.
The barrel was painted green and tubes yellow.
All the base colors are now in place and we are ready for details and all the dirt and grime.
High Elf Shadow Warrior Bow (Warhammer)
Belles Crazy Cosplay created this tutorial for the third round of our TranspArt Competition.
Step 1: Finding Source Material and Getting Ready for the Build
Google is your friend!!!
Knowing what you want to make is half the battle. For this project I knew I wanted to make killer bow and a character that I had a connection with. I went back to my teen years when I played fantasy Warhammer and had a High Elf army. I decided to pick one of my Shadow Warriors, but the game pieces and rule books didn’t have enough images and detail for me, so to the Google I went where I was able to find images from Warhammer Online of the High Elf Shadow Warrior. I also found a book full of great source material on amazon (The Art of WarHammer Online)
Once you have the source material time to decide the sizing of the bow. For this project I decided to make the bow when standing on the ground come no higher than eye level on me and I am 5’5″. The second way you can do sizing is to uses scaling
I find it easier to plan the build if I do sketches of the different levels of work. I started with the base bow shape to get an idea of proportions making the life size version
Step 2: Building the Base Structure
- 2 2″x 4′ boards
- 4 or more large C Clamps
- Scrap Wood board the dimensions to fit the full bow plus some extra
- protective heat covering
- 5″ long 1/4″ bolts (50 count)
- 6.5′ long 1/2″ PVC pipe
- Drill and 1/4″ drill bit
- Heat Gun
- Protective gloves
- Dremel and Plastic Cutting attachment
- Earth Magnets
- Epoxy (Smooth-On Super Instant)
First things first you will be using heat to shape the PVC pipe so safety first. Wear protective gloves and shape the PVC pipe outside or in a very well ventilated area; maybe even use respirator.
Flattening the PVC pipe:
1) Determine what areas you want flat and what you want to keep the round shape. A 10″ center portion was kept round for this bow for the grip.
heat up one size of the PVC pipe till it is squishy and malleable.
2) Sandwich the PVC between the 2″x 4′ and apply pressure and clamp the two boards together to smash the PVC pipe while it is cooling.
3) Repeat again till you get it the flatness you are wanting. I needed to do this twice for mine.
4) Then repeat for the other side.
5) let the PVC pipe to cool over night before shaping so you do not loose much of the flattening as the reheating of the pipe will make it want to start going back to its original shape.
Prepping the board:
1) First make the scrap wood board heat safe by covering it in the protective heat covering.
2) Draw on the board the shape of the bow.
3) Using the drill drill holes along both sides of the shape to allow just enough room for the PVC pipe to fit. Also adding more holes where the PVC is having to do extreme shaping such as curves.
4) Insert the bolts but only a little ways in.
Shaping the bow:
1) Center the PVC pipe on the board and working one side then the other start to heat the PVC pipe starting at the first place needing to curve from center and weave it between the bolts working your way to the end.
2) Extend the bolts to lock finished sections for them to cool.
3) Let the bow fully cool over night.
4) Once fully cooled test the shape to see if it feels right as a bow.
4a) Mine was too much of a horse shoe shape for me so I gently reheated and at the curves off the cent and pushing against an even surface made the curve less extreme.
5) For easier travel I cut the bow in half using my cutting bits for the dremel
6) I then attached a PVC connector to one half using epoxy and sanded out the other half to make pulling the pieces apart easier.
7) To make the connection a little stronger I epoxied an earth magnet inside the connector and to the other end of the bow.
Step 3: Adding the Detail
Using Fine Arts Worbla I made the shapes on the ends of the bow and evened out the connector in the middle of the bow.
Once that was done I covered the entire bow in a layer of Black Art Worbla to get an even tone and texture of the Bow
Dying the TranspART
When going for the look of Obsidian I did a test of black iDye Poly with other colors to get a good combo of dyed pieces to combine. I chose to go with the Black/Brown, Black/Yellow, and Black/Green combos
I used the red dye for the gem pieces
Adding the Detail
First step was to make the gems by heating up the red TranspART and forming it in my dome silicon molds to get different size gems.
Then using Black Art Worbla I added the detail to Bow minus the wings
I then made the wings using the obsidian dye combos of the TranspART by doing alternating feathers using two combos; black/green with black/brown and black/yellow with black/brown.
I created templates that I used to tape to the TranspART mashups to ensure the feathers all matched and lined up with each other.
I then used Fine Art Worbla to lock them in at the base and hot glue to glue the feathers together down the length.
Once the feathers were made they were added to the bow and shaping around them was created using Fine Art Worbla and then covered in Black Art Worbla.
With the feathers on the final wing details were added.
I used Jaqucard Pearl EX pigment powders in various metal tones and mixed them with a clear acrylic to paint the bow
I did not do a coating as I liked the look and feel that the paints had on the bare Black Art Worbla
Then I did touch ups to clean up the edges and did a final clear coat in satin to seal it all in
Sejuani Helmet & Flail League of Legends
Kazzy Cosplay created this tutorial for round three of our TranspArt Competition!
As part of the final round of the Worbla TranspART contest, all contestants are required to create a tutorial for their build. So buckle up, kiddos! This is a LONG read but hopefully helpful if you are looking to build your own geometric prop with TranspART.
For this round, I deliberated for quite some time over what I should make. I showcased the fire/visor capabilities of TranspART in my last build, so I wanted to look for something that would showcase alternate uses of TranspART. Many ideas later, I decided to create my own interpretation of Traditional Sejuani’s ice flail and battle helm from League of Legends.
First things first – for this oddly shaped flail, I sketched out the shape and started creating a pattern out of card stock. This tutorial should work for most bulky/geometric props that need TranspART sides.
This may take a lot of adjusting, but once satisfied with the smaller shape, scaled it up to your size. I multiplied mine by 3 so that I would have a large flail fitting of a battle mistress of the Freljord.
Translate these pieces to TranspART and add a seam allowance .
Ice time! Make sure you test your dye on practice pieces before you dye your final pieces! To figure out the appropriate shade of blue, I tested multiple pieces in varying times in different baths. Once satisfied with the test pieces, dye the large pieces. I used varying baths and purposely tried to get a bit of an uneven dye to represent ice.
Now let’s shape it up! TranspART does not adhere to itself very well while maintaining a strong, straight edge. To best represent ice, I wanted strong line edges but the TranspART was rounding with the heat shaping.
To combat this and get geometric edges, cut bits of thick craft foam (I used 5mm) on a 45 degree angle so you have triangular strips with a right angle.
Now use the angles to align your edges of your pieces. I adhered mine with Loctite but I believe most cyanoacrylate adhesives will work.
If your prop is big, use strips of worbla to line the edges for extra structural integrity.
Now glue your structure altogether!
Use craft foam and worbla-covered craft foam to create any details, structural points, handles, etc. For the flail, I used this for the “metal” bars, spikes, and top of the flail. I used a Gatorade bottle top as the center to connect to the chain!
Attach your flail to your chain with worbla and attach the chain to a pvc pipe.
Now seal your worbla and foam. I used flexbond for the first time with this project and I loved it! Strong and super flexible. You can also use wood glue, mod podge, etc. if you choose.
Paint and weather your weapon! Don’t be afraid to really dirty up the “metal” with some black and brown paints and bring attention to highlights/snow with a white or silver paint.
Ta da! Enjoy your new ice flail and swing that baby around!
BUT WAIT! There’s more?!
Because I am a crazy person, I wanted to make Sej’s helm as well. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
To make this battle helmet, cover your head or wig head with plastic wrap and wrap it in masking tape.
Use a pen to line off your masking taped head to get a pattern. Carefully cut a long the lines, and translate the masking tape pattern to craft foam.
Trace the foam pattern to worbla pieces adding a bit of a “seam allowance” to shape over the foam. Use the “tab method” to fold the allowance of worbla over the foam edges so you get clean pieces. Adhere your pieces together with heat.
For the Viking horn, cut out a horn shape in pink foam. Sand and carve down the link foam til you get a nice smooth horn.
Use worbla and foam to add details to your helmet. Seal the helmet with flex bond (or your choice of primer).
Wrap your horn in HOT pieces of TranspART and be careful of your fingers! Use gloves or silicone finger tips for safety!
Adhere your horn with loctite or magnets for easy removal. Paint and weather your helmet and make sure you add some snow to your ice horn!
I hope that was helpful and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
Moon Kaleidoscope Wand from Sailor Moon
Careko created this tutorial for Round Three of the TranspArt Competition of a Manga-Style Moon Kaleidoscope Wand from Sailor Moon that lights up while defeating enemies.
Click each image to open in a new window full size.
Crafting Felo’melorn: Making TranspArt Blades
Valkyrie Studios created this tutorial for round three of our TranspART competition.
I crafted Felo’melorn for the third and final round of the TranspArt Competition put on by Worbla.com.
For the final round we were able to build anything we liked using the materials sent to us, and then make a tutorial about our process. My entry for the previous round– The Sword of Fire and Ice– was surprisingly popular, and I received a lot of questions about how I made it. In particular, people were interested in the hollow blades, and how I made my project glow.
Because of this I wanted to make a project in a similar vein. Since I’m very invested in Blizzard cosplay, and so many of their weapons have a glowy magical blades, I decided to go with something from the World of Warcraft Universe. In honor of Legion — the new expansion that releases in August — I wanted to craft one of the new, super powerful, Artifact Weapons.
I may not have a Mage in game, but I fell in love with Felo’melorn, Pride of the Sunstriders the minute I saw its design. For my build I decided on the blue and gold version (since it comes in several colors).
WE WERE GIVEN:
- 1 Medium Sheet of TranspArt
- 1 Medium Sheet of Worbla‘s Finest Art
- 1 Pair of Heat resistant gloves
- A set of silicone fingertips
- A set of Earth Magnets
- 1 small bottle of Flexbond (I promptly misplaced this, but I had been planning on trying it out anyways, so I bought a medium bottle.)
I ALSO USED:
- EVA Foam
- Adafruit Neopixel Strip (1/2 a foot)
- Adafruit 3V Trinket Pro
- A Soldering Iron
- 1″ PVC Pipe
- Airbrush & Airbrush Paint
REFERENCE & BLUEPRINTING
One of the really nice things about crafting things from World of Warcraft is that there’s a 3D model viewer for every item on Wowhead.com. This allowed me to get some nice screenshots of the sword from a few angles.
I then took the screen shots into Adobe Illustrator to make vector blueprints (Inkscape is a free alternative). This allows me to scale it, and print it out as templates for my foam and transpArt shapes.
MAKING THE BLADE
I made a video tutorial showcasing my method of making hollow TranspArt blades using a soldering iron to ‘weld’ the edges together.
You can also fill these blades with resin, colorful fabric, or cover them in more TranspArt to look like fire; such as I did with my Sword of Fire and Ice.
There are all sorts of possibilities, and super cool projects you can make with this method!
I use a pretty similar electronics set up for my builds like this. I plan on making a more exhaustive post about arduinos and neopixels and such, but I’ve been so busy that it keeps getting put off. (Soon™)
Anyways I hope that a little of what I show here can help out.
So this is the blade after it was heat welded together. I generally like to run my strip of Neopixels (programmable LEDs in a chain) down the spine of my blade so that it points down into the more interesting areas. Then I superglue it down so it doesn’t move around.
This is my basic setup: an Adafruit 3V Pro Trinket (my arduino), and a JST switch that gets connected to my battery. The switch input (+) from the JST switch goes into the 3V pin on the Pro Trinket as well as connects to the wire (colored red) that will get soldered the positive pad on your Neopixel Strip. The ground (-) from the JST switch goes into the G pin (ground) on the Pro Trinket as well as connects to the wire (colored black) that will get soldered the negative pad on the Neopixels. The third wire comes out of pin 6 on the Pro Trinket, and will be soldered into the Data In pad on the Neopixels.
This is your Neopixel strip. You want to solder to the end that has the arrows going away from you because that is the direction of data flow. In this photo the top pad is 5V (+) — it works with 3V, but is dimmer. The middle pad is the Data In pad which carries the signal that tells your lights to do things. The bottom pad is Ground (-).
This is what it looks like running the basic Strand Test that is available in the Adafruit Arduino IDE. I tried diffusing the light with some fabric, but it didn’t work as well as I wanted.
The code I used in the final version of Felo’melorn can be found here.
After I airbrushed the blade blue the LEDs diffused pretty nicely, so I was happy with how it turned out.
The electronics and battery were hidden on the inside of the PVC handle, and the pommel pulls off so I can get at them.
The final effect looks really good!
CRAFTING THE SWORD
Ok. So now we have a glowy blade, now we have to make it into a sword.
I used superglue and hot glue to stick each half to the blade. The worbla ‘wings’ were then heated up and squished together around the sides of the transpArt blade.
The reference has the blade and handle float separately, but gravity doesn’t work that way in the real world unfortunately. I tried making a clear piece out of transpArt to connect the two halves, but it wasn’t quite strong enough (and floppy blades are not what I’m after). So I just used regular worbla. This also got wrapped around the PVC handle.
I made the decorative hilt the same way as the wings, using my soldering iron to burn designs into the foam.
((*Worbla.com note: Please make sure you work in a well ventilated area if soldering or otherwise burning foam, as the fumes released can make you ill and kill small pets.))
This also was wrapped in worbla, and I used a tool to press the lines back in.
Here’s what it looked like all put together with the detail pieces, and the connecting piece is strong enough to hold the blade.
I wasn’t entirely happy with the seams where the wings came together, so I mixed up some Apoxie Sculpt and smoothed them over. It’s an easy way to get a seamless effect without having to dremel the edges– which can get sort of messy.
One of my favorite aspects of the design of this sword is the eagle wings that wrap around the blade. Using my blueprint I cut them out of EVA foam floor mat. I used my soldering iron (you can also use a hot knife) to burn in the decorative channel.
I then covered this with worbla, electing to use the fold-over method to save material since you woudn’t see the underside anyway. You can use sculpting tools to press designs into the worbla, but it works better if the foam already has indents to start with.
PRIMING & PAINTING
Naked props never look as good as you want them to, but the paint job is what makes the magic come to life!
Normally I use 6+ coats of wood glue to seal my WFA projects, but since I had been given Flexbond, I decided to try that out instead since I heard it can make worbla smooth in two or three.
The Flexbond worked pretty well, but unlike wood glue, it isn’t self leveling, so brush strokes were evident even if you were being careful (which becomes an issue with metallic things, oops). I ended up using three coats, but I probably should have gone to four to make things extra smooth.
After everything had dried, I base-coated everything with either blue, black, or a yellow gold using my airbrush. From here I like to build up shadows and highlights.
My next step was to add rose gold accents that would add depth– since yellow gold looks super fake and plastic-y by itself.
Since the blade was already painted and I didn’t want to get gold on it I like to use scraps of worbla or cardboard to prevent overspray. It’s faster than using masking tape, but I recommend that if you use this method you should be experienced with your airbrush.
To add even more depth as well as some weathering, I mixed up an almost black burnt sienna color, and sprayed areas I wanted to have more shadow. I also applied this as a wash to the channels that I cut earlier with my soldering iron.
The final step is to hit the edges and raised areas with a gold paint pen. They can be fickle though, so be careful that it not spurt ink all over your project!
For silvery metals I like to sponge on gunmetal and aluminum colored paint using a paper towel or sponge to get a more steel-like appearance.
As with the gold areas, I highlight the edges with a silver paint pen, to add some weathering, and also to make the details pop.
The handle was wrapped with leather to hide the PVC pipe, and some details were painted on. And now you’re finished!
All in all, I’m very happy with how my project tuned out, and I hope you find this useful to make glowing or transparent blades for other projects!
Making a Glowing Heart (Once Upon a Time)
Melting Mirror created this creepy and lifelike glowing heart with TranspArt and shared the process with us!
Want to be a villain in the Once Upon a Time universe but you don’t want to get your hands dirty? Well, I have to tutorial for you!
- TranspArt (available at Cosplay Supplies)
- iDye Poly red
- Fake heart
- Vaseline (or mold release)
- Glass paint (I use Pebeo)
- Sheer red fabric (I used a veining lace)
- Red LED(s)
STEP 1 – Dye the TranspArt
Cut two pieces of TrasnpArt large enough to cover half the heart. An extra 2 inches on each side is plenty.
In a pot – specifically used for dyeing and not one you’ll eat in later – bring water to a boil, add dye and intensifier. Mix contents until dispersed then bring to a simmer. Add one sheet of TranspArt and let soak while keeping it submerged. Keep in water for about 10 mins or until TranspArt is properly tinted. Then repeat for the second piece.
(You can see more info about dying TranspArt here.)
STEP 2 – Vacuumforming
Check out this video by Naruvien Art & Design as a primer for the process.
Cut a circular hole slightly smaller than your vacuum hose opening into some stiff cardboard. Apply some Vaseline to your fake heart and to the cardboard to prevent sticking.
Preheat the TranspArt till it’s soft. Start up the vacuum and place the hose below the hole, place the heart over the hole and the TranspArt above that. Use the heat gun to continue to soften the TranspArt. It will reach a point where the plastic will stick to the cardboard on all side and the last of the air will be sucked out causing a tight seal. Continue heating till all the folds and creases are defined. Be careful not to overheat the plastic or else it will bubble and melt.
Let the plastic cool a little before popping the heart out. Repeat this process for the other side of the heart.
STEP 3 – Trim and Paint
Cut off all the excess plastic around the edges. For one piece cut the plastic along the halfway point of the heart. For the other piece leave a little extra so that you can overlap the pieces essentially snapping them together so that you don’t need to glue them together.
Paint the inside of the TranspArt with glass paint – I use Pebeo Vitrail paint – to define the details. I used a dusty pink colour, but anything pink, orange, or red will do depending on the look you are going for. Let dry for 8 hours.
STEP 4 – Stuffing and Lights
I used some bright red vein-like lace as stuffing in the heart to diffuse the light and to make the heart more opaque. Other materials you can use are: chiffon, curtain sheers, organza, or anything sheer and red.
Insert a little red LED inside and you are done! See the before (the prop heart) and after photo below.
Happy heart ripping fellow Enchanted Forest villains.
Worbla Batarangs – Video
Keevanski wanted to create some Batarangs for an upcoming costume, and ended up using quite a few methods to create different effects and finishes in the video below! Make sure to turn on the English subtitles if you don’t speak Spanish!
You can also find Keevanski’s work on Youtube and Instagram, and her website here.
Legend of Zelda Master Sword
Rinkujutsu shared this tutorial explaining the build of the base of their fantastic Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Master Sword.
Reinforced Balsa Wood Blade with Worbla
This tutorial is for creating a lightweight but sturdy prop sword blade from reinforced balsa wood covered with Worbla. I have only tried this with a four foot long blade, so I don’t know how it would work with longer lengths. Note: This is for creating just the blade and is NOT a full step-by-step Master Sword tutorial.
Materials and tools needed:
– Balsa Wood sheets, at least 3/16” thick. (If the blade you are making is under three feet long, you only need two sheets. If it is over three, you need three sheets. For the Master Sword, I used three balsa wood sheets with the dimensions of 3/16”x4”x36”)
– Flat rectangular metal steel rod with the dimensions 1/2”x1/8”x48”
– Wood Glue
– Worbla, about 1/4 of a jumbo sheet or more depending on the width of your sword blade.
– Xacto blades: standard tip and 1/2 wide chisel type tip.
– Paint brush
– Clamps for gluing.
Note, if your blade is going to be under three feet long, skip to step 7.
Take one of the balsa wood boards and draw a line in the center going across the width of the sheet. Draw another line through this center line with a 45 degree angle
Step 2: Cut the sheet in half through the diagonal line of your Xacto knife.
Step 3: Grab your last two balsa sheets and draw a 45 degree angle line on one end of each of them.
Step 4: Cut off the little end triangles on the diagonal line.
Step 5: Take one of the longer sections and pair it up with one of the shorter sections to create what looks like a longer plank with a seam. You will have two groups of these.
Use a strip of tape to temporarily hold the seam in place. It will be strong enough to hold until you glue it.
You should now have two layers of balsa wood sheets. We will be inserting a metal rod between them and laminating them together. When picking the balsa wood sheets, select ones that are as flat as possible so that they will fit snugly together.
Step 7: Get your flat metal rod out since it’s time to cut a slot for it.
Step 8: Draw a centered line lengthwise on each of your balsa wood sheets. Draw another lengthwise line on either side of the center line 1/4″ away from it. (Ignore the doubled lines in the picture; the only reason why they are there is because I messed up the alignment the first time)
Step 9: Use your Xacto knife to gently score each of the lines that are 1/4″ away from the center. Be careful to only cut no more than halfway through the balsa. It’s very easy to by accident cut through the entire plank.
Step 10: Use the 1/2″ Xacto knife chisel tip to cut a groove between the two lines about 1/16″ deep. Do this on both blanks. you’ll know it’s deep enough when the metal rod fits in it snugly without too much extra room.
Note: Don’t cut the groove all the way from end to end. Start several inches in from the end so that the tip of the sword won’t have an empty hole in it. I forgot about this and it posed some problems once I started carving the tip of the sword.
Step 11: Use your brush to slap on a layer of wood glue on both blanks on the side that has the groove for the metal rod. Insert the metal rod and press both layers together. Clamp it to a table top with a flat wood blank on top to prevent the clamps from marring the balsa wood. You can also clamp it between two wooden planks. Let it dry overnight.
Step 12: You will now have a reinforced and laminated balsa wood plank to use for your sword blade! Get out your sword blade patterns, trace them on, and cut out and carve the blade with your Xacto knife. Balsa is extremely easy to carve; it only took me about 20-30 minutes to shape the Master Sword blade. For the engraved sections like the triforce on the blade, just press hard with a blunt tool on the design and it will easily leave an impression in the balsa wood.
Step 13: Sandwich your entire blade in Worbla! Balsa is too weak on its own, so this step is necessary. I didn’t take pictures of this step since it is no different than sandwiching craft foam pieces in Worbla. I suggest working from the tip of the sword to the bottom, heating only a few inches at a time, and sandwiching that section before moving on another few inches. for the engraved sections, just press the Worbla down into the impressions to create an embossed effect. You’ll notice that my trimmed edges are rough. I fixed this by taping sandpaper to a flat board and sanding the edges down until they were flat.
That’s it for this tutorial! Go ahead and build the rest of your awesome sword and show it to me when you are done :D ! I am not able to make a step-by-step tutorial on my TP Master Sword because of my lack of progress picture, but I will be doing tutorials on the other techniques that I used to make it. I hope this tutorial was helpful and let me know what other tutorials you would like to see!
With many thanks to Rinkujutsu for sharing this with us!
Making a TranspArt Handheld Flame
Amanda of Elemental Photography and Design created this tutorial for making your own TranspArt flame:
I wanted to try my hand at dying TranspArt and then turning those pieces into a flame prop for photos. If you want to make one yourself, these are the steps!
Cut out some basic flamey shapes out of paper. Use them to get an idea of how big you want your finished piece to be.
Cut out the same shapes in your TranspArt.
Dye your TranspArt. For a tutorial on dying, click here!
Heat your pieces one at a time, then pull, stretch and pinch them to help make your individual ‘flame’ shapes.
Costumes by Cassandra used this tutorial to create her own flame for her Lup costume, and shared a great trick with us regarding shaping: aluminium foil!
I asked how she acheived the effect and if the foil sticking to the TranspArt was an issue, and here was her response:
“So if I tried to move it off the foil while it was warm it got a bit sticky, which I played with because it did cool things to the tips of the flames, but for the bodies of the flames, I let it totally cool before I moved it and it peeled off just fine. That said, if I overheated the plastic, it stuck a bit, but the foil bits were easy to pick off. There was just a bit of a learning curve to how long to heat it to get it to sink into the foil and do cool things and how long was too long. I made a few extra pieces assuming I’d mess up a bit.”
Heat and shape your pieces around one another, pressing the bottoms together. (I shaped mine around a small ball of parchment paper to help keep the middle open.) If you have trouble joining pieces, you can use hot glue for this.
If you want a handle, I used a strip of TranspArt and then covered it with thin peach spandex.
Congrats, you have a hand flame thing! You can also build an LED into it for additional effect. (I just tucked a red LED under mine for photos)