Cosplay Tutorial Contest – Kingdom Hearts Riku’s Keyblade Way to Dawn Tutorial by Axel Iroppoi

Way to Dawn Tutorial [The cheap way]

My tutorial will show you how to make beautiful props at affordable prices.


First we start off with a big block of foam from your local home depot/Lowes! One sheet will do, you can get the thinner one that costs around $10 because the sheet is big enough to double up [and save money]. [Remember that you cannot use a jigsaw on the thinner foam, it will only break it, you have to cut it out by hand with an exacto knife]


Once we have our foam, draw out the shape of the way to dawn. There are 2 ways to do this. The way we did it was just drawing it out by hand, but if you are not an artist, you can always go to kinkos and get a blown up picture of the keyblade to trace. Next, you can start cutting out the keyblade you’re your knife. [don’t worry too much if a piece breaks off while you’re cutting, this happened to me in the pic below, you can just hot glue it back on. But be NEAT!]


Once you have cut out one, place the cut out keyblade on top of your remaining block of foam and trace it. Then cut out a second keyblade.


Once you have cut out both sides to your keyblade you can attach your wooden dowel to one side. Remember, the wooden dowel should be thick! You are supporting a keyblade that is very thin in the middle and is meant to hold up a very thick blade. I used a yard stick from home depot. I also used a smaller piece of wood to provide support on the wing part of the blade. I used hot glue to attach this. Make sure the glue is not TOO hot, or else the foam will melt. Don’t worry if it doesn’t glue perfectly, just make sure it is attached enough. We will be bonding it with bonding adhesive later. [Also note how thin the foam is as well, this is why we are doubling up.]


Next, glue the two sides of the keyblade together. You will have a gap in between the two sides of the keyblade, don’t worry. We will bond the two sides together with adhesive and finish off the gaps with caulk.


Use adhesive caulking to fill the gaps. Wait for this to dry. I left mine to dry for an entire day. Then take regular caulk and finish off any imperfections. Now we can begin carving the keyblade details. First draw out the keyblade the details in sections. Then take a wood rasp and begin carving. Remember to ALWAYS wear a mask when carving anything out of foam.


Once finished with a section, use different degrees of sandpaper until the area is smooth. Do this for the entire keyblade. The wood rasp makes carving a lot easier.


Now create the two eyes (one for each side) that will be attached near the handle and the heartless symbol for the key charm.


For the keyblade use regular white primer (for painting walls) and paint the entire keyblade with 6 full coats of this. If you can’t get primer, regular white house paint will work as well. This will get the keyblade ready to be spray painted. If it is sprayed directly the spray paint will eat the foam.


Section off sections of the keyblade using painters tape. Spray paint each section with its primary colors. I used a dark blue for the majority of the blade, red and cream for the both wing sections. This will make it easier because the majority of the blade is already painted.


Now begin to add the details. I used regular acrylic paint for this. Blend the paint together to create new colors. Use darker colors for shadows.


Finally attach the chain with hot glue (I used a plastic chain from iparty). Attach the heartless charm to the chain. And the two eyes near the handle (after painting). Now we must add the red to the handle. I decided to use red electrical tape for this. I looked at the photo of the blade and tried to match it as best as I could.




This is a guest post from Axel Iroppoi, entered in the Cosplay Tutorial Contest. Click here to check out all the participants and their scores, and more details about the contest, like the rules, how to join, the prize, etc.

Author Bio:

Name: Axel Iroppoi
Gender: Female
Nationality: Russian and Middle Eastern
Personal Blogs & Social Networks: deviantart, facebook, YouTube
Comments about the tutorial: This Tutorial will show you how to make the “Way to Dawn” Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts! It will show you how to make a beautiful prop at an affordable price!


I’m also a devotee for cosplay. To do well in this performance art, I’m interested in hunting for funny, gorgeous or fantastic pictures. From these breathtaking works and interviews done by cosplay talents, I always get inspired.

3 thoughts to “Cosplay Tutorial Contest – Kingdom Hearts Riku’s Keyblade Way to Dawn Tutorial by Axel Iroppoi”

  1. are the boards that you used the 4ft by 8 ft ones? cuz those were the only sizes i could find online at lowes, also are the the 2 inch thick ones that you used? or the 1 inch?
    how hard/easy was it to carve out the details with the wood rasp? was the caulk easy to sand down and smooth out?

    sorry for all the questions, but i LOVE how it turned out, its amazing!

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