How to design your own coat of arms template

Written by suzie faloon
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How to design your own coat of arms template
Your coat of arms tells others who you are. (Coat of Arms image by Arne Bramsen from

A coat of arms is a banner or shield with symbols that can explain what your family name means or what career you have. In ancient times, the coat of arms was emblazoned on shields and pieces of war paraphernalia to distinguish soldiers during a battle. Today a coat of arms can symbolise your family, history, career, hobbies and sports. You can have a lot of fun when you design your own coat of arms that reflects the identity of you and your family.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Stencil shapes optional
  • Art eraser
  • Coloured pens or pencils

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  1. 1

    Draw a shield shape like the one in the family crest picture above. You can find images at the sites listed in the Resources section. Print out a copy and trace the outline of the shield shape you choose.

  2. 2

    Divide the shield into sections or leave it as is. Sections are usually done in quarters, thirds, sixths or a fifth small block in the centre of quadrants. See the Resources section for templates.

  3. 3

    Study different symbols and meanings at the Fleur-de-lis website listed in the Resources section. Decide which ones have the proper meanings you wish to convey in your design. You can inject humour or have a serious piece of art.

  4. 4

    Draw, trace or use stencils to place symbols into your shield drawing. Try to keep the sizes of symbols in proportion to one another.

  5. 5

    Color in the background around the symbols lightly with coloured pencils in colours of your choice.

  6. 6

    Outline symbols in ink. Black ink works well to highlight symbols. Color symbols in with ink or coloured pencils.

  7. 7

    Decorate sections or symbols with as much detail as desired. For instance, if you have an animal as a symbol you can add ink shading over the coloured pencil work.

Tips and warnings

  • Make two or three preliminary drawings before choosing an official coat of arms template for your family or business projects.
  • Artistic rendition of some family or business coat of arms may be copyright or trademark protected. Do not copy protected art images.

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