How to make a Knight's Shield - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

How to make a Knight’s Shield

| January 1, 2014 | 15 Comments

So… with Christmas over.. and our house sprinkled with new toys and empty boxes it is definitely time to think frugal crafts – how can we upcycle our cardboard boxes? What can we make from all the big cardboard boxes in our house? One thing I have wanted to make for ages for Red Ted is a Knight’s Shield and Sword made from old cardboard boxes. And now is my chance. (Before I go on.. we have LOTS more Cardboard Box Crafts for you, as well as some Cereal Box Crafts that you may like! Do check them out too!).

Cardboard Shield Craft

Knight’s Shield Craft Materials:

  • One large box
  • Acrylic paint
  • PVA glue or a hot glue gun
  • Papier mache (1 cup flour, 2 cups water, stir and microwave until thick) and newspaper (OPTIONAL!!!)

Knight’s Shield Craft How To:

Cardboard Knights Shield

1) Draw a shield into the largest side panel of your cardboard. On our shield, the lines of our cardboard ran ACROSS the shield. From left to right. I was hoping that this would give the shield more stability. Cardboard has a habit of bending at these lines.

If you decide NOT to papier mache your shield, I recommend that you have TWO pieces of card per shield – one with lines going from top to bottom and one with the lines going from left to right. This means that you are limited by the dimension of your box a little more, than if you only need the card going in one direction. If you do not use two pieces of card glued together, your shield will start bending after very little play and be annoying. So. Either use the 2 pieces with opposing lines, glued together or papier mache (as from step 3).

2) I then cut out two handles for the back of the shield. I was trying to be clever and made one “handle” bigger – for the arm to go through and the second handle smaller for the hand to hold onto. Well it worked fine.. except, I made it for Red Ted’s right arm…. when he is right handed and should really be holding the sword in that hand. Doh. Your call.

The handles are made from long rectangular strips of card, folded and glued down. I used a hot glue gun as it is quicker, but PVA should work fine too.

Knights Costume DIY

3) Papier mache your shield. We papier mached the inside first – so that I could secure the handles. I made sure the centre of the shield had at leas 3-4 layers, so that it was nice and stuff and less likely to bend during play.

4) Curvature of your shield. I confess, by sheer luck and fluke, our shield started bending, thanks to the wet strips of newspaper…… but it was bending the wrong way. Argh. So, whilst it was drying, I first weight the shield down a little to flatten it and then I gently curved it the right way – i.e. so the handles curved in a little.

5) Once dry I papier mached the front of the shield (to give it a smoother surface). I had little papier mache paste left and was too lazy to make more, so only applied one layer or so of news paper and also to the edges, so I had a smooth surface to paint later. Again, I gently curved the shield whilst it was drying into the direction I wanted it to take! Surprisingly, the finished shield came out with a perfect curved shape!

DIY Knights Costume Shield

6) Once fully dry, I painted the front of the shield: Gold, Blue and Red – in the end we decided to go for a Mike the Knight shield (a popular UK Children’s TV programe), though I was also very tempted by a St George’s cross. To make sure I painted it all evenly, I used a ruler to marked out the lines for the gold and the 4 “rectangles”.

Knights's Shield - Mike The Knight Craft

7) Once painted and fully dry, I downloaded this Mike The Knight shield template. Fiddled with it in Power point (i.e. made it bigger) and printed it off in yellow and white. The cut it out neatly and glued it on with decoupage glue and adding a layer of decoupage glue to seal it. Note – you have to apply the paper gradually, to stop it wrinkling or bubbling. Don’t rush this!

Knights Costume DIY from Cardboard

Done. We are SO pleased with the result.

Making a Cardboard Sword

Whilst waiting for the shield to dry, I also made a quick sword. With the sword it is even MORE important to add two layers of cardboard with the lines running both across and up and down. As it will bend. Again. You can papier mache the sword or you can use masking tape to give it a nice neat edge after gluing the parts together. Then paint!

Mike the Knight Craft


Happy Knight Play!!

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Category: Costumes, How To's, Kids Craft, Recycling

Comments (15)

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  1. This is seriously adorable, I will have to keep this in mind for my little guy! Thank you for sharing
    Sheena @

  2. I have lost count of the number of plastic/wooden shield and sword sets I’ve purchased for between £5 and £10, and then brought into the house for my knight-mad five-year-old. Within a week he’s managed to crack/break/smash them up (not by hitting anyone, you understand). Perhaps if we made this he might take a little more care.

  3. McStreamy says:

    We just made a sword and shield with cardboard and different colors of duct tape last weekend. The shiny gray tape makes a great blade. I taped some wooden chopsticks in the sword to help it keep shape.

  4. katy says:

    Just made this for my son, 6yrs. He is loving his knight play. Had to make another for his sister 4yrs so he can battle someone. Now to read some knight stories to add to the play.

  5. lemondedis says:

    thanks a lot for sharing these neat creations! i posted this here:

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