Instructions for the Guardian Cadet Sword Patterns
Equipment and Materials
All materials needed for this build are available from your local art and craft store, fabric/sewing store or large retailer. There are numerous online retailers where you could purchase all the materials and, as a bonus, you can use the shipping boxes as the cardboard for this build!
For the cardboard, I had a lot of luck using medium or large size shipping boxes. These cardboard boxes tend to be around 1/8″ (3mm) thick and has a good balance between thickness and formability. I would NOT recommend using cardboard used to package appliances and flat screen TV as these tend to be too thick and may be difficult to cut by hand. For this build you will need about 550 sq. inches (3,550 sq. cm) of clean flat cardboard surface or roughly 3 sheets of 11″ X 17″ or A3 (279mm X 432mm) size cardboard.
For the handle grip, I would recommend using 0.875″ (22mm) wide single fold bias tape, 0.875″ (22mm) wide quilt binding, or 1″ (2.5cm) wide cotton/hemp webbing. You can also use 2″ (5cm) wide scrap cloth, but fold the cloth in half length wise and iron it so you have a nice creased edge. When wrapping the handle, make sure the creased edge is showing and the frayed edge is tucked underneath. You will need at least 36″ (91cm) length of the material to fully wrap the handle. The handle is a prominent part of the sword and the main interface area between the user and the weapon. Experiment with different colors and materials to change the overall look and feel of your sword!
The two prong nailhead is an optional piece you can add to the pommel. Normally these nailheads are used for leatherwork or beading. I personally like how the addition this one piece enhances the overall aesthetics of the sword and include it in all the swords I build. I recommend using at least a 1/2 in. diameter (12mm diameter) two prong nailhead. It might take a little searching but I found the cone-shaped nailhead from a craft retailer and there are numerous online retailers that sell this item.
Download this handy checklist to help you gather all the required equipment and materials for this build.
For this build you will need six (6) 8.5″ X 14″ (21.6 cm X 35.6 cm) card stock sheets. You can make your own card stock sheets from poster board. In the U.S., standard poster board is 22″ X 28″ which means you will need two (2) sheets of poster boards to yield the six (6) required 8.5″ X 14″ sheets. Sorry international customers I don’t know what is the standard size poster board available in your area but you will need to make six (6) 21.6 cm X 35.6 cm or, rounding up, 22 cm X 36 cm sheets.
Create Cutout Pieces
The patterns are located on pages 6 to 19 in the booklet. For pages 6 to 11 print out on 8.5″ X 14″ (21.6 cm X 35.6 cm) card stock sheets and for pages 12 to 15 print out on 8.5″ X 14″ (21.6 cm X 35.6 cm) printer paper. Precut 110-lbs 8.5″ X 14″ (21.6 cm X 35.6 cm) card stock sheets are available at various office supply, art supply, and online retailers. You can also make your own sheets from poster board. International customers can print out pages 16 to 19 on A4 size printer paper instead of printing out pages 12 to 15. For any patterns printed out on printer paper, be sure to roughly cut out the patterns then paste it onto cardboard.
When you print out the patterns, make sure you select the “Scale: 100%” option. DO NOT select the “Scale to Fit” option otherwise the pieces will not fit properly. Check the scaling by measuring the scaling square. For each page of the pattern is should measure 1″ on the horizontal and 1″ on the vertical.
After completing this section you should have 53 total pieces for the sword and scabbard builds: 25 pieces made from cardboard and 28 pieces made from card stock.
Step 2: Cut Out Pieces (2:51)
The main function of the scabbard is to protect the sword blade. It is also a blank canvas that you can add some nice decorative features and you can add loops so the sword can be worn on a belt. If your child is right handed, you will want to wear the sword on the left side and vice versa for left handers. Depending on the quality of construction, the sword should sit slightly snug to slightly loose in the scabbard. To get the sword out of the scabbard with a slightly snug fit, squeeze the front and back surfaces with the thumb and finger. You should find that the sword can slide out freely. If you find that the sword sits too tightly or too loosely in the scabbard, there may be errors in the constructions of the scabbard or sword.
Tip #1: Make sure you properly score Cutouts 1 and 2. It will make folding the two pieces easier.
Tip #2: For steps 5 and 6, practice folding both cutouts BEFORE you commit to gluing the pieces together. This will help improve the quality of your build.
Step 4: Fold Cutouts 1 and 2 (1:12)
Step 8: Finish the Scabbard (3:37)
Most of your efforts will be spent on building the blade of the sword. Once you completed the sword, DO NOT start using it. Instead let the glue dry overnight then paint it then coat it with water-based acrylic sealer. If you take big swing with the sword while the glue is wet, you run the risk of damaging the blade. The paint and sealer help harden the paper surface and improve the blade’s toughness, but don’t expect miracles. It is made from paper after all. The blade is 20″ (50cm) long and 1.67″ (4.2cm) wide with a diamond cross section.
Guardian Cadet Sword
Tip #3: Let the glue dry overnight before taking big swings with the sword.
Tip #4: Tacky Glue® is thick and doesn’t flow like normal white glue. Follow the instructions and spread out the glue evenly on the work piece before securing them together. This will help improve the quality of your build.
Tip #5: Do a dry run of the construction step BEFORE you commit to gluing the cutout pieces together. This helps you mentally note the details of that step.
Step 13: Build the Blade (6:54)
Step 16: Assemble the Pommel (5:26)
Step 17: Final Assembly (2:49)
Paint and Decorative Touches
Time to personalize your sword and inject some personality into your sword! Use the table below to help get you started. It outlines the color schemes used for the Guardian Squadrons and some new Guardians colors. If you like a list of the brand and specific name of colors we recommend, please email us. We highly recommend that you coat your sword and scabbard with water-based acrylic sealer, like Mod Podge®. The coating will deepen the colors and increase durability. The Mod Podge® Hard Coat works well on the blade and gives its a smoother and harder surface. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly apply the coating.
Tip #6: You can “cheat” by using the paint and coating to fill in small gaps. This will give you a more uniform finished look.
Tip #7: We recommend coating the blade with a minimum of 2 coats; for best results opt for 3 to 5 coats.