Teaching medieval history can sometimes be dull and dry, but if you add a creative medieval craft activity, such as a paper medieval helmet, it can be turned into an exciting adventure. Children can learn about why people used to wear medieval helmets, and what it feels like to wear one. Everything needed to create a paper medieval helmet can be found in a recycle bin and at a craft supply store.
Heat 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) of water and 720 ml (3 cups) of flour until the mixture starts to bubble. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and set it aside to cool.
Cut 25 mm (1 inch) thick strips of newspaper with scissors.
Blow up a balloon so that the widest part of the balloon is around the same width as the helmet wearer's head. Dip 25 mm (1 inch) strips of newspaper in the wet flour mixture and cover 2/3 of the balloon with the pieces of newspaper, smoothing the mixture down with your fingers. Once the area has been covered with a full layer of paper mache, continue adding layers until the balloon has around five layers of paper. Let the balloon dry completely.
Pop the balloon with a pin, and remove the deflated balloon.
Using scissors, cut around the base of the helmet to make the bottom a smooth edge. Cut upwards from the bottom of the helmet about 15 cm (6 inches), cutting out a rounded arch from the helmet. Cut out another arch exactly like the first, leaving about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of space between the two arches. There will be a middle section jutting down in between the two arches. This will be the front of the helmet where your eyes will look out.
Try on the helmet, making sure to position the helmet so that your eyes are looking out of the arches. Measure where the end of your nose is, and mark that measurement on the jutting section. Take off the helmet and cut the section at the marking. This will create the nose piece, which is similar to a traditional medieval helmet.
Paint the entire medieval helmet with silver metallic paint. Once the paint has dried, paint over the entire surface again with black paint diluted with water. Use a tissue paper to buff away the black paint, leaving behind a stain that will make the helmet look aged and weathered. Once dry, you can wear the helmet.
Things you need
- Silver metallic paint
- Black tempera paint
- Paint brush