How to Make a Soldier Breastplate Costume

Written by camela bryan
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How to Make a Soldier Breastplate Costume
You can make a breastplate from turkey roasting pans. (suit of armour image by Christopher Nolan from

Don Quixote, Mark Anthony and Sir Lancelot are some of the character costumes which require a breastplate. You can make one with foil roasting pans. Four of the large roasting pans will make a full front and back suit of torso armour. Use the size which will hold a roasted turkey. Clean recycled pans will work just fine. No special equipment or sewing is required to make this breastplate.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 4 large foil roasting pans
  • Kitchen shears

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  1. 1

    Cut the rolled edge off the top of one short side and two long sides of all the roasting pans. Cut down the corner of the pan from the top edge to the bottom of the pan at the two corners where you removed the rolled edges. For the remaining corners, cut from the top edge to the bottom edge at a point 1 inch away from the side which still has its rolled edge.

  2. 2

    Flatten the thee sides with the edges cut off. The remaining side will form the "skirt" of the armour. Cut along the edge of the bottom of the pan to the corner on the remaining inch of the long sides. You are forming a tab which will later be used to join the skirts of the armour together

  3. 3

    Place the bottoms of two pans together aligning two of the sides. Fold this edge over a half-inch keeping the edges together. Repeat this fold until you reach the bottom of the pan. You are rolling the sides together to join the two pieces. Open out the pans and press the roll you made flat. This is the centre of the breastplate. Repeat this procedure with the other two pans to form the back of the breastplate.

  4. 4

    Measure the distance across your shoulders. Be sure to measure the distance from one sleeve seam of your shirt to the other. Measure the distance from the top of your shoulder to under your arm, which is half the distance around your shirt's armhole. Mark your shoulder measurement on the top pan keeping the seam in the middle. Add 3 inches to the armhole measurement and mark this distance down from the top on both sides of the front of the breast plate.

  5. 5

    Cut 3 inches straight into the pan at all four marks. Connect the top and side cuts on each side by cutting a smooth curve. These are the arm holes. Measure 4 inches toward the centre from each arm hole. Cut down 4 inches at each of these points and join the cuts with a smooth curve. This is the neck hole. The breast plate should look like a large tank top at this point.

  6. 6

    Cut arm and neck holes for the back in the same way. Join the shoulders of the front and back by matching the top edges and folding them over half-an-inch. Repeat this fold several times, rolling the shoulders together.

  7. 7

    Try the breastplate on and cut the arm and neck holes larger, if necessary. Take off the breastplate and close one of the open sides by rolling the edges of the foil together. Join the "skirts" together at the front and back and on the closed side by folding the tabs you cut earlier together once or twice.

Tips and warnings

  • You may close the open side of your breastplate by having someone roll the edges together after you put it on or you can cut off the excess foil and leave it open.
  • Shape your breastplate as desired after it is completed.
  • Squeezing the foil together to shape the waist will help close the holes where the skirt seams meet the side and centre seams. You can use a bit of foil to cover these holes if necessary.
  • Designs can be pressed into the foil with a blunt tool such as a dowel.

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