Scabbard Making Tips
The LOTR Scabbards are incredibly detailed. Check under the characters for pictures of the scabbards. We're just listing general techniques here.
In the movie
In the movie, they actually start with a Teflon wrap under a thin layer of leather. Many of the scabbards have decorative rings and metal tips. The scabbard and belts may be heavily tooled on the leather.
There is no metal ring at the top of the scabbard. That ringing noise is an added effect that folks expect to hear in the movies. Anyway, it would scratch the blades.
Felt and Leather
Wrap the blade in heavy felt, wool, or even cardboard first...the idea is that you pad it so that you'll have clearance to draw the blade from the finished scabbard. The resulting shape is what you need to use as a pattern.
There are several ways to proceed from there. If you're going to use light weight leather, such as is used for making garments, you need to fit two long rectangular pieces to the wrapped sword blade, including seam allowances. Pin them inside out, then sew along the seams. It's best to test this in heavy cloth first before you do it in leather! Turn the resulting tube back inside out.
You can, of course, taper the pieces to form the actual point of the scabbard too. I usually make my scabbards over long so that the tip of the sword is not slamming into the tip of the scabbard every time you sheath it.
Most metal swords are quite hefty, so you'll need to give thought to how you're going to secure the scabbard properly to a belt. Check the characters in the DVD and the action figures to see what sort of rig they're using.
Alternatively, you could make the scabbard in heavier leather, which is usually my preferred option; that will get you into wet forming the leather, and possibly baking it for hardness. If you're going to do that you need to find out more about wet forming/heat treating leather. There are several good websites for this, but generally typing "Making Leather amour" into a search engine will turn up something.
Depending on the design you settle on, you may also want to finish the tip of the scabbard off with metal as well.
== Rob Jan
Another option is to make a canvas or similar heavy fabric scabbard. Of course, you need to reinforce the mouth of the scabbard, to hold it open and stop the sword tip from cutting it.
I usually prefer to make these fittings out of brass strip, but there are all sorts of things you can use.
You'll want to pad it with felt anyway so that it doesn't mark the sword, or gets marked by it! Padding the scabbard with felt or wool is also a generally useful thing to do.
== Rob Jan
It's also possible to make scabbards out of plastic "U" channel (the kind that is used to make electrical cable runs) with plastic sheet glued in between for spacers. You can then simply glue on a leather covering.
== Rob Jan
We have a tutorial in another section on how to make the knifes and scabbard.
Leather and Metal
For securing the metal to the scabbard, contact cement or epoxy may
work. Remember to scuff the back of the metal with coarse sandpaper or a
file first, to help hold the glue. I usually use small nails driven through
the edges of the scabbard from front to back, which is more necessary if
those metal parts are going to be holding the weight of a
Just getting this section started...
Please feel free to contribute tips and pictures!
This page was last updated 04/22/08