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."

  1. Ages: 3 - 8

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. Messy

  4. Grownup needed


Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

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

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    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).

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

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

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    We also talked about how sometimes knights had images on their shields-- to represent things like strength, or spee,d 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.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    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.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Done!

    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 (i.e., 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!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

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