Shields have been used for protection against weapon attacks for as long as humans have been in conflict with one another. The first shields were made of wood or animal skin. In modern times, shields are not just used for protection, but also for decoration or costume pieces. Foam shields, known as boffer shields, are commonly used by live-action-role-playing participants. LARPers typically use foam shields and weapons during their events. A foam shield can be made at home using relatively few materials.
Cut a shield back out of a ¼-inch thick sheet of plywood using a band saw. Cut the same size shape out of the open-cell foam sheet using a utility knife.
Cut a small rectangle of foam out using the utility knife and duct tape it to the centre of the back of the plywood shield. This should be about the size of your forearm, as it will serve as your arm rest. Be sure to cover it completely with duct tape.
Drill four holes through the plywood shield and the leather straps. Secure the leather arm straps to the plywood by inserting metal bolts through each hole and putting a nut on the other end.
Secure the foam shield to the front of the plywood using a hot glue gun. Add a layer of foam padding around the edge of the shield and secure it to the front and back of the shield using duct tape.
Cover the front of the shield in large canvas cloth, wrapping it over the edges to the back of the shield. Secure it to the back of the shield using a staple gun. You can paint or decorate the canvas front of the shield to your liking.