We weren’t going to make full-sized shields for our Middle Ages units since we’d made small ones. However, I was guilt-tripped into it as it got closer and closer to our homeschool group’s Night at the Museum party and my kids had no costumes.
By the time Josh unearthed some long-forgotten costumes, I’d already psyched myself up to make the shields. Plus, and we already had the supplies. The shields and swords turned out really cute and they were very easy to make.
Supplies needed to make a knight’s shield and sword
- Heavy cardboard
- X-acto knife
- packing tape
- spray paint
- optional: resident artist and sticker paper
How to make a knight’s shield and sword
Step 1: First, I used an X-acto knife to cut a large, heavy cardboard box into four pieces. Then, we drew a basic shield shape onto one piece of the cardboard, using the ruler to keep the lines straight. Once I cut out the first shape, we were able to use it as the template for the others.
Step 2: When we had the shield all cut out, we spray painted them (and part of our yard) with our desired colors.
Step 3: While the paint was drying, my very artistic older daughter drew the dragon that was going to be the emblem on our shields. Our colors and emblem were chosen simply because they matched those of the costumes we found.
After Brianna drew the dragon and colored it, I copied on to full-sheet sized sticker paper. This allowed us to stick the emblems onto each the shield without enlisting Brianna’s help to free-hand them all. This gave the shields a uniform look…and gave Brianna a break. We wound up having to cover the stickers with packing tape, too, since the sticker sheets didn’t adhere well to the painted shields.
Step 4: Finally, we put Dad to work brainstorming a way to affix a handle without putting something all the way through the cardboard and risking damage to the design on the front. He cut thin strips of cardboard and, using packing tape, we affixed the cardboard strips to the back of the shield, bending them into a handle shape.
Step 6: And, of course, what good are shields without swords? We cut them out of cardboard, too. The handles were pretty flimsy, so we used paint stir sticks to reinforce them, attaching the stir sticks to the swords with packing tape.
Step 7: We then wrapped the “blade” in aluminum foil, using our poor, overworked packing tape to seal the edges. The handles were wrapped in duct tape. Finally, we wrapped white yarn in an X shape around the handle and blade, both to cover the edge of the aluminum foil and to give the swords a more realistic look. I love the final effect!
Here is my crew, all decked out with their shields and swords:
Don’t they remind you of the kids in Narnia?