I started using the discarded card inners of wrapping paper to make a cosplay prop recently. I have some vague idea of making a Wizard’s Staff, possibly with a knob on the end – so it needs to be reasonably solid but not actually usable to hurt anyone.
I was inspired by the fun I’ve had making wands, so the approach I took was to roll several layers, secured by tape and nest them like a lamination, with outer layers then smoothing the texture out a bit.
I’ve got it to about six foot, and started painting it black to prime it and see what the tape looked like in terms of surface change – and all seemed to be going reasonably well when I spotted a weakness about two thirds up. It meant that while the rest of it was sturdy enough, it would likely snap if the top hit something in transit – fortunately there was a thicker card tube to hand that had a smaller radius than the staff.
It took a bit of swearing and surgery with scissors to cut through painted tape, but I managed to access the hollow core and insert the tube deep enough to reinforce from the inside.
Moral of the story, thicker card on the inside of props, and don’t underestimate toilet roll tubes…