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Make the Riptide Sword from Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters



In this tutorial I show you how to make riptide from Percy Jackson. I also show you the option of adding a light to it so the trident lights up.

There is a video tutorial for this project at the bottom of the page. (coming tomorrow, monday)

The template for this project is here



The completed Riptide




  • The template
  • 3 sheets of foam board (you probably won't use all of it, but better to be safe than sorry)
  • A hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • A utility blade/X-acto knife
  • A ball point pen (color doesn't matter)
  • PVA glue (Elmer's glue or something identical to it)
  • Overall about 3 by 3 feet of foamular or non-fiber glass insulating foam
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Bronze acrylic paint
  • Metallic gold acrylic paint or a gold leafing pen (we use a Krylon 18kt. Gold leafing pen)
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Gold metallic spray paint
  • Red enamel (or acrylic paint but enamel will be better)
  • Some paint brushes, at least one fine tip and one flat tip
  • Some newspaper to protect your work surface
  • A palette of some kind or a container for the paint
  • A container of water to rinse your brush

Note from Will: The Template and the tutorial are both absolutely free! But would you consider a donation of $1 to support my work? Paypal makes it very easy and safe. Click here to donate $1 - Every little bit helps Will to keep making great tutorials and templates. Thanks!



The two blade pieces

1. After you’ve printed out the template, you’ll need two sheets of foam board. Placing the template of the blade on the board, trace it with a pencil, you’re going to need two of these. Once you have two, you’re ready to move on.
2. Plug in your hot glue gun and let it heat up. Glue the two foam board swords together securely. Other types of glue will work, they just take longer.

Sand it Smooth

3. Using fine grit sand paper, sand down every possible edge of the foam board until none are sharp, but rather soft and smooth.


Dig out the purfling

4. Use the Sword Detail template piece to trace that rounded triangle shape onto a piece of foamular about 8” by 8”. Cut off any excess foam with a utility knife. Place this piece at the base of the sword near the hilt to ensure that it’s a good fit, meaning that it’s not too wide or too narrow. When you’ve established that it’s a good fit, grab a ballpoint pen (color is irrelevant) and begin drawing on the details. All you need to do is draw an outline around the edge of the piece about ¼” into the foam (see picture).
5. When you’re done, draw small, straight lines in succession along the border you’ve created, making the illusion of many squares along the border. See picture for more detail.

6. Next, use your utility blade to carefully remove every other square of foam by cutting them out and digging them out either with the blade itself or your fingers or even a toothpick. See pictures for more details.

7. Grab some fine grit sandpaper and begin smoothing out the edges of the foamular and enhancing the contour of the shape.

Make the Hilts

8. For the next part you’ll need your Outside of Hilt pieces from the template. Trace them onto a thin piece of foamular then cut the shapes out and sand them down.
9. The next step can be a little bit tricky. Basically, we’re going to use a ballpoint pen to draw out the word ANAKLUSMOS in the Greek alphabet. You can refer to your template to see how each letter should look. Once that’s done, using a ruler, you’re going to draw a border around the words, as shown in the pictures.

Glue the hilt down

10. Using basic PVA or Elmer’s nontoxic glue, it’s time to secure some of the pieces we’ve prepared thus far to our foam board sword. The reason we’re not using hot glue or another type of glue is because unless you happen to own a hot glue gun with very accurate temperature settings, hot glue is usually way too hot to use on foamular and will melt it. It’s very ugly to look at, warps the shapes of the pieces you’ve worked so hard to make, and generally diminishes the overall appearance of the project. Spread some glue on the hilt pieces* and slide them into place on the sword.

*PVA glue will not eat the foam, but it will take a VERY long time to fully dry. Do not attempt to touch or move these pieces for about 2-3 hours. They will slide out of place if you do.


Add the details

11. Okay, now it’s time to finish some of the details on the Sword Detail piece. Using a ballpoint pen, draw squiggly waves in descending lines right on the foam. See picture for details.

Cut the trident out

12. Grab yet another thin piece of foamular (about 7” x 5” x ¼”), you’ll use this piece to trace the Trident Detail onto by using a ballpoint pen. The awesome thing about this foam is that as long as you create an impression in the foam, you can see what you’re doing. You don’t actually have to go through the trouble of making sure you put ink directly on the foam. When you have the shape of a trident clearly rendered, grab the utility blade and carefully cut the trident out. Set it aside.


13. Take the parts of the template labeled Outside of Handle and trace that shape twice onto a piece of foamular. Cut them out and sand them down. If you’re using pretty thick foamular, you can cut out one shape them split it in half pretty easily if you happen to own a hot wire cutter.


14. Next, glue the Outside of Hilt pieces to the foam board sword using the PVA glue. Remember not to touch this for at least 2-3 hours.


NextContinue with the tutorial and finish the sword

Here is the video tutorial:




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