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The D&D 5e DMG has a list of magic items which is not sorted, and besides for artifacts and the like, it has no guideline for homebrewing magic items.

Most important for me is that both me and my players agree that the selection of magic weapons in the DMG is lacking... The weapons suggested make one die of additional damage and about ⅔ of them shed light.

I am thinking about homebrewing magic weapons, but am unsure about balancing them with other elements in the game. I have a few ideas on how to proceed, but we don't want to screw around trying out a number of approaches to find one that works.

Is there some guideline (official or unofficial) on how to homebrew magic items / armor?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean some guide besides the DMG, pages 284–285 "Creating a Magic Item?" \$\endgroup\$ – Lexible Sep 7 '15 at 15:35
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Magic weapons were made rare on purpose - they do change game balance. I suggest the rules on page 284 of the DMG - Modifying an Item.

Take an existing weapon close to what you want and make it a flail instead of a sword. That kind of minor tweak should not break the game like adding bonuses might.

Check out the chart on page 285: Magic Item Power by Rarity and the Maximum Spell Level description below.

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