Learn how to make practice nunchucks for fun, decorative conversation starters, or tools for your kids to impress their friends with their best Brandon and Bruce Lee moves! You can call them Nunchakus or nunchucks….They are one of the most iconic weapon types from martial art films and television.
Kids today are very enraptured by ninja culture as you can see with popular movie and TV icons. How many wanna-be Bruce Lee’s were spawned by that scene from Enter the Dragon where he kicks some serious bad guy ass with his trusty Nunchakus and haphaphazardly manufactured your own ‘chucks?
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But First…Let’s Play it Safe!
As you know these are considered weapons NOT toys. Learn how to diy your own nunchuck set from materials that will not cause physical harm so you can practice your moves, have a cool costume prop, or just have a new ice-breaker in the living room.
What Can You DIY Your Nunchucks Out Of?
There are a variety of different objects you can make your nunchuks from. They include cardboard, foam, and PVC pipe. Plastic or PVC tubes – at least 1″ in diameter and 10-12″ in length would work well.
In addition to the material of choice for the stick shaped part, you will also need a length of nylon rope. According to my research the appropriate length between the sticks is about 6″.
DIY Glow Stick Nunchucks
Glow sticks are a great tool to use – those disposable glow sticks that all the Raver kids use at concerts, or camping enthusiasts take on trips. You can get your hands on some of these and some nylon rope and have yourself a set of these in no time! This would be such a great craft activity for sleepovers and summer camp!
Look for the kind that have a hole or opening at the top to make it easy to thread through. Because these sticks don’t have a permanent shelf life, I was debating earlier whether or not you would want to go to the trouble to make the rope part permanent with some kind of strong bond adhesive.
I think you could get the right result just by threading the rope through each end of the stick and tieing a knot in the middle and just using some decorative tape to hide the knot. Later on, when you need to change glow sticks, just untie the rope and remove the tape.
Pool Noodle Nunchucks
I saw this idea mentioned somewhere and I thought it was pretty cool, for one thing, these are harmless fun toys kids play with – they’re made of foam and would produce an excellent toy version for kids to enjoy and practice their moves with their friends!
I see pool noodles all the time at the local dollar store, but only during the warm weather months so if it is out of season you can find some online like these here. You’ll also need some duct tape in attractive colors or patterns too. Now this part is slap-yourself simple!
You will need to cut the noodles into an appropriate length like 8 or 9 inches, which may require a craft knife (adults should do this part) Blow off the foam dust remaining from the ends. Get a few lengths of duct tape and wrap the ends of each cut noodle.
This part, in which you accommodate the rope in the middle, seems tricky, but you can run another length of tape over the piece of rope and secure it down on each end. As I know duct tape, it will never let you down. Cut another piece of tape and go over that piece and it should hold securely. Voila!
How to Make Practice Nunchucks From Plastic or PVC
Now me, I had some digging around to do, I didn’t have foam noodles, glow sticks or pvc…apparently the only thing I had at my disposal was the rope. Until I finally found an ace up my sleeve.
I finally found something that worked great. I got 2 Voss water bottles…..exactly the kind I used to make this project right here! Whatdaya know, these really worked! If you can find something like those or another pair of skinny plastic tubes like that, you are set – Yay, you!
Just be sure they can be safely drilled because we are going to go there in a moment.
After peeling off the labels and I removed the caps we have to determine where to drill holes for the openings. I put them right in the center of the caps.
Now we need placeholders so we can thread the rope through….My rope is too thick for little holes, so I am creating a loop from wire that will be big enough to thread the rope through. I twisted the wire on the other side of the cap so it will be secure.
Run the rope through the loops you have created. Because sometimes ropes have the tendency to look a little frayed, or the ends show too much, I countered that by taking some more wire and wrapping it around the rope.
I think it also makes it look more unique and interesting, too.
Now that we have done the technical stuff…..are you ready to decorate your nunchuks? It can just be a simple paint job or there are other things you can do, like using tape, stickers, etc. to embellish them.
I’m using some decorative washi tape around the caps and ends to embellish mine. I want to do something else, but I don’t have my hands on it at the moment…I want to fill these up with some of that clear acrylic vase filler stuff for grins.
How do you like my Ninja Turtles bedspread I am using as a backdrop here; it’s a family heirloom – I thought it was very fitting; as the Heroes in a Half Shell from the 90s have made a comeback and have helped make martial arts culture very popular with kids.
Enjoy! Start swinging!