Whether you need a Greek helmet for a school project or fancy dress, making your own helmet at home is cheaper than buying one ready-made from a shop. Creating the finished product takes some time and planning, but it is an activity that kids of all ages can participate in. The materials are cheap and easy to find, and by the time you're finished, you'll have a unique and sturdy Greek helmet you can wear or display.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 cereal boxes
- 300 g (2 cups) of flour
- 474 ml (2 cups) of water
- Masking tape
- Measuring tape
- Spray paint or craft paint
Find pictures of Greek helmets online. This will give you an idea of what shapes you need for your templates. You will need to make separate templates for the face guard, the band that goes around the back of your head and the neck guard that attaches to the head band.
Draw out your three templates onto the plain side of the cereal boxes. Measure your head if you are unsure how large to make the them. Once you have cut out the templates, assemble the helmet using masking tape. You will need to fix the head band to the back of the face guard and ensure the neck guard covers the back of your neck. Once assembled, try on the helmet to ensure it fits. Remember to leave a little spare room as you will be coating the helmet in papier mache.
Blow up the balloon so it is a similar size to your head and place the helmet on it. This will be the helmet's stand while you make it look more authentic. Hobby website Storm the Castle recommends fitting the balloon lengthways into the helmet so the valve is at the back. This makes the dimensions of the helmet similar to a human head.
Mix the flour and water to make the papier mache glue. Tear off strips of newspaper and place them over the cardboard template, layering them using the glue. Apply three to four coats and let each coat dry before applying the next (you might have to leave the helmet overnight).
Paint the helmet once it has dried. You can use spray paint or poster paints in a colour of your choice. Craft site LOTR Costume recommends layering black and silver spray paint to create a mottled effect. You can also use black and gold to produce a bronze colour.
Tips and warnings
- If you want to customise the shape of your helmet, you can do so when the papier mache is wet. The layers can be moulded into shapes that will stay firm when dry.
- Wear protective clothing for this project, especially when using papier mache and paint.
- Always ensure you paint your helmet in a well-ventilated area.
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