It seems like we always have pieces of PVC pipe floating around our house for various projects, with the most recent being our Nerf dart poppers.  Several days ago, Owen (age 4) told me that he wanted to turn his Nerf dart popper into a handle for a lightsaber.  It seemed like the perfect size for his little hand!  Well, I finally got around to making a lightsaber for him out of one of our favorite crafting materials – duct tape!

Duct Tape Lightsabers

 To make the lightsaber, I used:

  • A piece of 3/4 inch diameter PVC pipe, although you can use whatever width you have on hand.  I’m not sure exactly how long it was.  The length of two preschooler hands? 🙂
  • Black, silver, and green duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Paper towel rolls.  LOTS of paper towel rolls.  I don’t know why I only have two in the picture, because I used a LOT!

Duct Tape Lightsabers

 Step 1:  Build the core of the lightsaber out of paper towel rolls.  A wrapping paper roll would be even better if you have one!

I cut the paper towel rolls lengthwise and then rolled them tighter so that they would be the right size to go with the PVC pipe handle.

Note:  For durability, you really need to use two layers of cardboard.  If you’re using paper towel rolls, just overlap them and tape them together until you have the length you want for your lightsaber.

Duct tape lightsabers

Step 2:  Cover the lightsaber blade with duct tape.  I found that using strips going the long way used much less tape than wrapping it around and around the lightsaber.

Duct Tape Lightsabers

 Step 3:  Cover the handle with silver duct tape.  Stick the handle partially inside the cardboard, and secure with more silver duct tape.

Duct Tape Lightsabers

 Then add black decorations (buttons, etc.) to the handle

Duct Tape Lightsabers

 Now your lightsaber is ready for action!

Duct Tape Lightsabers

 Note:  I built this lightsaber with a preschooler in mind.  If you have an older child who wants to do a lot of dueling with the lightsaber, it would probably be better to make the blade out of PVC pipe covered with foam insulation and then duct tape over that.  Cardboard just isn’t going to hold up to a lot of dueling.  I didn’t do that for Owen because we already had these materials on hand and also because a PVC + insulation lightsaber would really be too heavy for a 4 year old to carry around, and it would provide too much impact to use it inside.  Owen is happy with the size and weight of his lightsaber.  If your cardboard lightsabers get creases in them, they can easily be repaired by adding a section of paper towel roll over the bendy part and adding more duct tape.  This type of “repair” is not very noticeable!

Another option is to make a pool noodle lightsaber.  Those are much wider (which Owen doesn’t like as well with his little hands), but they are great for indoors and almost indestructable!

Now the boys want to know if we can get the dog Yoda costume that they saw in the Petco ad so that our dog can play too.  I’m thinking no on that one! 🙂

Duct Tape Lightsaber

If you haven’t followed my Pinterest boards yet, you might want to stop by!  I have boards for kids activities, crafts, homeschooling, duct tape, and activities for older boys (age 8+).


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  1. Jessalyn Hutto Sep 10, 2013

    Nice! With your help, I am going to become a super-boy-mom. :)

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