Class Projects: How to Make Medieval Shields

Updated July 20, 2017

Making medieval shields is a great class project for students. Not only is it easy to do, but it will allow the students to express their creativity and allow them to have a fun time doing so. Fun projects are also ideal in increasing a student's interest in the subject matter by helping to maintain their attention. For instance, when you learn about medieval shields as part of the lesson plan, you will have their full attention.

Draw the shape of the shield you would like to make on your posterboard. Most shields at the time were either circular or kite shaped. While real medieval shields were quite large, your model should ideally be about three feet tall and two to three feet across. Use pencil so you can adjust it as necessary. There are various shield shapes that came from the medieval period, so look at some models to help you decide on your shape.

Cut the shield out of the posterboard. Use scissors to cut this accurately.

Place the shield on a large piece of cardboard. Trace the shape of the posterboard cut out onto the cardboard. Use the box cutter to cut the shape out of the cardboard.

Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard so that its length is one inch less on each side when laid over the back of your cardboard cut-out. Slightly bend the cardboard shield so that the sides touch the ends of the horizontal piece. Duct tape the ends together. This will give your shield a slight curve to it. This will go on the back of the shield because you will be placing the handles on it later on.

Cut strips of cardboard about two inches wide to make the handles. The handles should be six to eight inches tall and protrude three to four inches off of the back of the shield. Make sure you make one handle larger than the other, so you can place your forearm through one and grip the other with your hand. Use duct tape to attach the handles to the horizontal piece of cardboard on the back of your shield.

Paint your design on your piece of posterboard. This is where you can get creative and paint any design you like. Most medieval shields had simple designs that had cross shapes on them. A good place to look for reference photos is on websites that sell medieval replica shields for re-enactors.

Glue the poster board to the shield and enjoy.

Things You'll Need

  • Large cardboard pieces
  • Duct tape
  • Posterboard
  • Tempra paint
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
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About the Author

Brian Birmingham began his writing career in 2007 writing for his high-school newspaper. He has written two plays that were selected as winners in the Young Playwrights Festival. He also wrote two short films that won Best Screenplay and Best Picture at the CCHS Film Festival. Birmingham is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University.