Two summers ago, we got some PVC pipe and various connectors and let the boys build their own PVC sprinklers in the back yard. Gresham (age 4 at the time) turned some of the pieces into this sword design which he loved and carried around all the time! Most of the PVC pieces were lost in our move, and so this past weekend we made some new swords.

Make your own PVC pipe sword


To make one, you will need at least 32 inches of 3/4″ PVC pipe, one cross piece, and four caps (non-threaded). Our swords are staying together pretty well, but if the sword is going to be used heavily for dueling, you’ll need to glue the pieces together.

I cut a 21″ piece for the sword, a 4″ piece for the handle, and two 3″ pieces for the guard (that’s probably not the technical name, but I don’t have a lot of sword knowledge). For a smaller child, I would leave the handle the same, but make the sword part shorter – maybe 14″.

Make your own PVC pipe sword

Obviously, these swords can hurt. They are not particularly safe toys, but while my husband and I do not believe in being foolish or taking unnecessary risks, we also don’t believe in banning every item that could possibly injure them. Our rules for the boys are that these are outside toys only. They are allowed to play sword fights with them, but only if the other person has agreed to play. They cannot just walk up to someone who is not playing and hit them. They can use the swords to whack down weeds in the yard or hit the swing set posts, but they may not hit the van, the house, or anything else!

Options for covering with foam:

Another option that I saw on Pinterest is to cover the swords with foam insulation or a pool noodle. We thought about that, but I felt like our boys would be less cautious with the padding on the sword, and with a PVC core, that sword could still really sting! We still have our pool noodle lightsabers, so they can smack each other indoors with those. (If your preschooler wants a sword, those lightsabers are the way to go!)

If you’re interested in why we think it’s okay for our boys to play with weapons, you might want to read this post.

Make your own pvc pipe sword

Aidan and a friend were playing in the backyard last week being “weed ninjas!” They whacked down many of the embarrassingly big weeds in our yard. Aidan wanted me to add that he has a piece of 1/2″ PVC pipe (32 inches long) that is his “ninja pole.” He can do all kinds of awesome tricks with it – like twirling it and spinning it behind his back.


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  1. Allison Mar 13, 2013

    Sarah this is awesome! My boys would love to make these.

  2. Don Goldwyn Jul 15, 2013

    Gr8 idea where can I get the X pieces from??
    Obliged for any info.Pipe is easy to get also Tee pieces but alas I cannot find X pieces as in your Picture.

  3. Kelly Dec 18, 2013

    Love this the ones I have seen in the past used the pipe insulation... the foam kind and duct tape to take some of the sting out.... you might want to try it :)

  4. Amber Hilton Mar 20, 2014

    Im makin these this weekend my kids have gotten swords fro the store n they break an the noodles are jus not what they like. Im going to try these, thank you alot

  5. Alison May 2, 2014

    I love this. Am totally doing this for my son. Haven't had time to look through your other posts yet but love the idea of your site and have already liked it on facebook. Thanks for the cool projects.


  6. Christina May 3, 2014

    Awesome idea! I'm doing a musical with my 5th graders and I'm looking for swords that will stand up to my kids, but won't draw blood on stage :-) This might be just perfect!

  7. Jeremy Jan 11, 2015

    This was pinned to a larp related pintrest board. I wanted to comment because I've been building weapons like this for 20 years. Larp has a long tradition of using padding over pvc. Linked is my picture tutorial with steps to build a version with foam. If you're worried about the swords actually hurting someone, try the padded version. The tutorial shows a way to build the weapons without using PVC joints (strapping tape is the secret) and has extra padding at the point (in case someone gets stabbed).

    You are correct! The part of a sword which protects the hand is called the guard.

    Play safe! It's only fun when they come back next week.

  8. Todd Hooper Aug 11, 2017

    Get done pipe insulation foam.... little safer and they can really get into a duel

  9. Bethany Thomson, RDN, LDN, CLT Jun 5, 2018

    Just came across this idea and my little Farmer Boys can't wait to make a gift of a sword collection for them to play sword fights with their daddy for Father's Day! Guess they will need to make this mama a sword, too! (It's easy to get outnumbered by boys :) I think we might add in a can of silver or gold spray paint to our purchase to add to the festivity! Looking forward to exploring around your site a little more... this boy mama loves inspiration!


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