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Varheit - The Living Sword

Varheit is the name of the sword in my third novel (soon to be released) There are several unique things about this sword, one of which is that it is a living thing. I don't want to tell you too much about the sword. You will have to read the novel to learn all about it.

This page is all about how I went about making this sword. So, it is a complete tutorial that shows you how to make a sword out of common materials like paper, cardboard and paper mache.

I also have a whole series of other swords, weapons and armor that I make out of cardboard and paper mache. These include the complete set of Spartan 300 Gear. I have shields, flails, swords and armor. Almost all of the projects come with a video that shows you how to make it. The listing of those projects is here: Cardboard Weapons and Armor

You can get a sneak peek at the novel that this sword is from: The Left Handed Sword

YouTUBE: You can see a video of this sword on my youtube channel here: Varheit

Will Kalif

Note from Will: I may actually have this sword custom made in steel. Would that be cool?


Designing The Sword

When I was writing the novel is when the concept for the sword came to me. So I already had a bit of an idea of what I wanted it to look like. It was from here a matter of turning that idea into a reality. And, the first thing you do when you want to take an idea and turn it into something real is you have to design it. So I did a whole series of sketches until I came up with a final design. Here are just some of the sketches I did.

If you want to design a unique sword or weapon this is also where you should start.

Varheit Sketches 1 varheit sketches 2

The Next Stage in the process is to make a full size replica on paper or thin cardboard. This way I could get a feel for the overall size and shape of it. It is a big two handed sword so size was a consideration. I made several mockups on poster board and I used these mockups to create further drawings.

This is the process of creating something like this. In the development stage you see how things look and you make changes according to what looks and feels right. This process will actually continue and as I make the sword by moving into cardboard and paper mache other things will come up and I will make further changes and more sketches until I get a final design.

Making the Cardboard Template

Here is the mockup on posterboard. The overall length is 52 inches and the blade is 42 inches. Now I can use this as a template to start making the sword.

Varheit sword mockup

I used the posterboard mockup to trace onto sheets of cardboard and cut myself out a couple of cardboard swords. These will probably be sandwiched together. I still have to tinker with the sword to get the depth and thickness that I want and the whole thing will not be flat. It will have some curves to it. So that is more prototype work.

Cardboard mockups of the sword



I have completed the sword and following is more pictures of the building process. I also have a youtube video showing you this sword and how it works. Once I had the design settled and then transferred it to cardboard the next step was to create a wooden version. So I did the same thing as I did with the cardboard.



Then I took apart an LED flashlight and installed it into the sword.


The light

I cut grooves in the sword and ran the wires down to the handle. I installed the batteries and handle of the flashlight with on/off switch in the handle of the sword.

Flashlight in sword handle

I glued foam to the sword. This will be the swords face.

Foam glued to sword


Carving the face


The sword face

The Sword face is completed and painted.










The Completed Sword

The Completed sword



The Sword design, concept and name are copyright© 2010 Will Kalif - All Rights Reserved