How to Make Homemade Body Armour & Shields

Updated April 17, 2017

Halloween for many families means making homemade costumes. Making a costume can be a fun activity and a way to engage your child's imagination. Have your little knight look up pictures in books and magazines to help you in the design of his suit of armour.

Lay out a section of cardboard to cut the front and back pieces of the armour that will lie in the front and back of your knight's chest. Using the design you've chosen as a guide, draw on the cardboard, allowing room for the cardboard to wrap slightly around your knight's middle. Do this for both the front and back piece. Then do the same for the design of the shield (it's easy to add a cardboard sword to this ensemble as well).

Cut out the front and back pieces of armour and hold them up to your knight. Make any necessary adjustments needed before assembling the armour and decorating it. Do the same with the shield.

Spread Elmer's glue on the cardboard and then lay a sheet of foil over it, letting it dry before cutting it. Wrap the edges of the foil around the cardboard and glue about an inch on the backside to give a polished look to the foil. Finish the armour by cutting out designs from coloured paper and gluing it on. You can also cut out other decorations, such as a crest, from coloured paper, according to the design you chose and glue them to the shield as well. Do the same with the back side of the armour. Let the armour and shield dry completely.

Cut a strip of cardboard wide enough for your knight to hold onto and staple it onto the back of the shield. Have someone help you hold the two pieces of armour onto the knight and measure how much string you'll need between the two pieces (add several additional inches if you plan to reuse the armour, so it fits over the knights head) to attach the armour. Cut the string and laying the armour down with the foil facing down, staple the string to the inside of each piece (make a knot on the end of each piece to prevent the string from sliding under the staples). Use two to three pieces of string on each side. Slide the armour over the knight's head, hand him his shield, and he's ready to do battle.


It's easy to add to this costume by including a sword, dagger or even a helmet. Cardboard's flexibility makes it easy to work with and you can just throw away anything that doesn't work.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Coloured paper
  • Elmers glue
  • Tin foil
  • Serrated knife
  • String
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Andre Zollars started writing in 1999, when she worked in the editorial department at "The Missoulian." She has been published in "Endovascular Today," "High Country Angler," "Outside Bozeman" and "Western Ag Reporter." She also has written for online magazines New West, Hunting and Fishing USA. Zollars holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of Washington.