Hey guys! I've been asked to throw together a tutorial of how I made my mallet, so here it is. I took a bunch of progress pictures while putting it together, which I'll use here.
(I should start off by saying I got inspiration from this tutorial, so check that out too if you wanna!)
- Hollow metal rod
- EVA foam (I used two kinds; one that's 1,2cm thick, and one that's 0.8cm. I'll specify which one's which later)
- Glue gun (and loooots of glue gun sticks)
- Knife (I use a utility knife but I'm sure a hobby knife or something equally sharp could work, just get something to cut that shit up I don't care as long as you're careful)
- Dremel tool (though sandpaper definitely works, it just takes longer)
- Wood glue + paint brush
- Black spraypaint
- Red acrylic paint + paint brush
- Clear varnish spray
Get what you need
So, what I did first was to find something that could work as a handle. Sometimes I'm thankful that my dad is somewhat of a hoarder, because he had a bunch of hollow metal rods in various sizes that I could choose from. Of course, it doesn't have to be hollow, but it's best that way if you want it to be light to carry (and believe me, you'll want that). It also doesn't have to be made out of metal, it can be wood or plastic or whatever - just find something you think will work!
The EVA foam I buy is actually yoga and puzzle mats. They're cheap and they're big!
Everything else I already had at home (a cosplayer basically always needs all the other things). You can find all of that shit in hardware stores.
Once you have what you need, you're ready to rock.
1. Cut out circular pieces
In whatever size you want your mallet to be. I found that my trash bin was the perfect size so I just traced that and then cut out the pieces. You'll need four pieces; two for the core and two for the sides of mallet. (You can cut out extra pieces to put between the core and the sides to make it more sturdy, if you'd like. Experiment!) For this I used the thick 1.2cm foam.
Ignore how messy my room/floor is. There were little bits and pieces of EVA foam everywhere.
2. Put your core together with the handle
Use your glue gun to put the pipe or whatever together with one of the circular pieces. Then, glue on some leftover EVA foam that you won't use for anything else to make it more sturdy, before gluing on the second core piece.
Mmm, delicious EVA foam lollipop.
3. Add details to the ends of your mallet
Before you start assembling the actual mallet, you're gonna wanna add the side details, if it involves something that doesn't have to do with only painting on details. (Of course, you can do it later, but it's easier to do it now.)
Like I did; I wanted to carve something in on one of the side pieces, so I did that before the gluing commenced. (If you're using sharpies to write/draw/mark shit and you gotta erase it, use rubbing alcohol!)
Also, you might wanna sand the edges of the side pieces here if they're uneven.
4. Mallet, assemble!
Cut out a piece of foam that will go around the whole core and glue it on using your glue gun (I used the 0.8 foam for this). Make adjustments if you need to - I had to, so my utility knife was my best friend during those dark times. After gluing the mat around the core, glue on the sides of the hammer, and then seal it all up. (If you wanna increase the sturdiness by adding more foam to the inside, do so before you glue on the sides. Obviously. How else would you fucking do it)
5. Add details
My favorite part! I love playing around with this sort of thing when I create my own designs. You definitely don't have to do what I did for this part, just go with what you think looks cool (unless you're trying to follow a certain design). Here are some progress pics of what I did.
Don't forget to sand stuff so that it's all even and smooth and neat!
6. Seal the foam
This is important that you do before painting the mallet, as the foam will only soak up the paint if you don't. Watered down wood glue is a cheap and easy way to seal the foam; just mix some wood glue together with some water and use a brush to apply it all over the mallet.
7. Paint the mallet
You don't need me to explain this bit. I just went down to the basement (couldn't be outside since it was raining) and sprayed the whole thing black. After it had dried, I sprayed it with clear varnish spray, and after that had dried, I painted on details with red acrylic paint.
8. Additional details
If you feel like adding more stuff to make your mallet look hella, then go for it. I used my glue gun to add a red ribbon to the handle, for example. I'm also thinking about adding studs or chains to the mallet, but we'll see. Go nuts! Have fun!
Again, here's the shitty Instagram pic I have of my mallet (better pics will hopefully come after the con next week):
I hope this tutorial may help a bit (or at least give you guys some inspiration somehow). If you have any questions or if I was unclear about anything or whatever, just let me know and I'll do my best to answer/explain/help/yaddayadda! <3