How to Make a Medieval Polearm or Poleaxe out of cardboard

This is a neat project that is perfect for show, SCA, halloween, going to a medieval faire or just for having some fun with. It is an easy process for making a medieval polearm. And you can make a wide variety of polearms. In this tutorial I show you how to make two different ones out of cardboard. This will give you enough of the basics to make just about any shape pole weapon, or one handed weapon for that matter.

If you are looking for ideas on the different shapes of polearms I have a page that has explanations and pictures of the various polearms like the Glaive, Bardiche, Halberd and more. I cover just about every pole weapon ever made. Medieval Polearms

This first picture is of the Poleaxe. It has three distinct parts to it. The first is of course the axe. This was for slicing and hacking. The second is the point at the top. This was for piercing. The third is lesser known but it is the hammer. This could deliver very severe percussive blows.

I have made this project with a six foot long shovel handle that I picked up at the hardware store. This length makes it a polearm. You can make it long like this or you can shorten the handle to somewhere between 2 and 3 feet so it can be used as a single handed weapon.

Cardboard Poleaxe


In this tutorial I also made a second axe head. I just attached it to the other end of this same pole for convenience. This second axehead is a double bladed battle axe.

cardboard battleaxe


For This Project you will need:

  • Some kind of a pole like from a broom or shovel. It can be anywhere from two to six feet in length
  • Duct tape
  • A cardboard box or a pair of boxes. You need to get two flat pieces without any creases that are each 12 inches by 18 inches in size. This is so you can make the axe heads about the size of mine. You can of course make yours smaller.
  • 1 empty cereal box to make the cone that is the spike on the top. Optional
  • hobby knife for cutting the cardboard/ scissors
  • Paint: any kind you want. I used spray paint gold, black and silver
  • Glue gun, this is optional but the best way to glue it all

First design your polearm head on a piece of paper or poster board. you can put the handle up against it to get a sense for how it looks.

Check it out for shape and size


Once you are happy with the design you can tape this paper template down to your cardboard, trace around it onto the cardboard and then cut the cardboard shape out. Do this twice. You need two sides of the axe. I am doing two axes so I have made two copies of each pole head.

Cut out the cardboard axe heads

Put one cardboard axe head under the pole then duct tape it in place. Tape it really securely. I didn't just tape it down. The tape goes around the back too. I wrapped it several different ways including an X pattern around the pole and cardboard.

duct tape it very firmlyMake it nice and tight so it won't slip when you are using it.

The small picture shows how the duct tape has been wrapped around to the other side.

The under side is shown here




Now place the second sheet of cardboard axe head over the whole thing.

Place the second sheet on top

And either hot glue the bladed edges of the axe together or duct tape them. Just tape or glue the edges that would be sharpened on a regular axe. Thats from point to point on both axe blades. The next picture shows what I mean by just taping the edges of the blade.

Tape or glue the blade edges together

The tape is a bit ragged so if you want that sharp edge to look sharp draw a line on it like in the picture shown then use a hobby knife to carefully cut away the excess. Pull away the excess and you have a nice looking edge as shown in the picture below.

Cut the tape to make a sharp edge

The axe is just about done. Roll a cone out of your cereal box cardboard or a stiff card stock and glue it to the top of the axe. You are ready to paint it!

cardboard battleaxe