One delightful side effect of wrapping lots of presents is that you get not only wrapped presents (PRESENTS!), but empty cardboard tubes to use for swords.
I conveniently finished two kinds of wrapping paper and a roll of paper towels the same day, and thought of a way to make wrapping-paper tube swords even awesomer. What they really needed were those cross-tree hilt things.
I gently pressed the short piece just flat enough to cut two pointy-ended ovals out of it, one on either side for the long tube to slide through. It was a little bit trial and error. The oval has to be longer and narrower than the circle of the tube so that it will hold it in place, but not so narrow as to smash the tube flat.
I really like playing swords with the cross piece. It catches your opponent's sword when you parry it so your hand doesn't get pretend cut off, which is a great feeling.
The swords have even held up relatively well. When one end got bent out of shape, we just slid the hilt to the other end and kept going. Then, when that was bent, we strengthened it with leopard-spotted duct tape. The awesomeness just keeps sharing. I love it.