DIY Shield & Coat of Arms

Did you know that during Medieval times, knights used special designs and pictures on their shields — called a coat of arms — to identify themselves?  The reason is because one man in armor looked a lot like another, so the coat of arms he carried was used to identify a knight in battle.  During that time, few people could read and write, so pictures were very important.  A coat of arms was like a label or a sign, so you could know instantly who was coming toward you, and, as my kids said, “know whose team he was on.”

This fun & easy DIY project will allow your kids to come up with a design for their own “team.”  All you need is:

  • Cardboard cut in the shape of a shield
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape – to secure the aluminum foil
  • Colored tape (we used some special glittery tape we found) – for decorating
  • Markers (we used Sharpies, which are awesome on aluminum foil, but obviously use your own judgment about that.  My 4- and 6-year-olds are okay, but the 2-year old is quarantined from them.)
  • Packing tape or duct tape – to make the handle

Before you get started, cover the shield with aluminum foil and secure on the back with tape.

Then, it’s pretty much up to your knights-in-waiting to design their coats of arms.  Lady S was happy to create designs using the super-cool glitter tape (you can get similar at any craft store.)

And then colored in the “fields” of the shield with the Sharpies and added some special designs.

We also talked about how sometimes knights had images on their shields – to represent things like strength, or speed or courage.  Sir H decided a lion was appropriate for his coat of arms.  He drew it on a piece of paper, which we then taped to the shield.

He decided the colorful tape was a good addition, too, so created a border for his shield with that.  You could use duct tape (have you seen the crazy fun duct tape you can get at craft stores these days??) or colored masking tape, too.

As the finale, we added a handle to the back.  We took a length of packing tape (duct tape would have been better, but this was what we had) and folded it in half cross-wise (ie., the adhesive part onto itself), to form the handle.  Then I taped each end to the shield.

Now my knights are ready for any adventure!




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