In the Middle Ages, helmets and armour could make it difficult to determine friend from foe on the battlefield. The solution was for each knight to paint something personally significant on his shield or armour. It became fashionable for families to design their own artwork, or coat of arms, that was personally significant to them. Colours, animals and symbols were used to stand for different personality traits as well as family history. When creating your own coat of arms, keep in mind the personality traits and family history you would like to highlight.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Sheild shape template
- Scroll saw or jigsaw
- Silver or gold spray paint
- Tempera paints
- Permanent markers
- 2 leather straps
- Staple gun
Trace the shield template onto the sheet of plywood. Coat of arms designs can also be displayed on things such as tapestries or clothing.
Use the scroll saw to cut out your shield shape. Sand the edges and top of your plywood sheild, making sure there are no sharp edges or splinters.
Spray paint your shield shape with silver or gold paint. Allow the wood to dry overnight.
Learn about heraldry and symbols for coat of arms (see "References"). Decide what personality traits and family history you would like to display on your coat of arms. Many coats of arms were separated into four different sections, highlighting many facets of a knight's family or personal triumphs.
Decorate your coat of arms using paint or coloured permanent markers. If you have chosen to separate your coat of arms into four sections, use two sections for personal triumphs or personality traits, and two sections to represent your family or history. Write your last name in bold letters somewhere on the shield.
Display your coat of arms in your room. If you would like to use your shield to dress up, attach the two leather straps to the back of the shield using a staple gun. Put your forearm through one strap, and hold the other in your hand.
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