Traditional round shields only protect a knight's upper body. A kite shield is longer in order to provide additional protection. Layers of wood were used to create the base for the shield. An outer layer of leather prevented swords from breaking the wood layers. for For adult and children costumes, the shield can be made from cardboard. Once the shield is put together, it can be decorated to match the costume.
Measure two pieces of cardboard 24 inches wide. To find the length, measure from your shoulders to your ankles. You can adjust the length to create the shield size you prefer. The corrugated lines of the cardboard should run up and down.
Measure halfway from the top of the shield. Mark a horizontal line across the cardboard at this mark. From the end points on the line, draw lines at a 45 degree angle down to the bottom of the cardboard. Cut down the 45 degree angle lines. This will create the pointed bottom of the cardboard for the kite shield. Repeat with the second piece of cardboard. Layer the cardboard pieces. Round out the top corners. Trim the edges so they are even. Have the person who will wear the shield hold it up. Check the size and trim down the edges if necessary. Glue two shield pieces together.
Cover your work surface with newspapers. Paint the shield to match your costume. A basic design is to quarter the shield. Paint the sections diagonal to each other in the same colour. Then centre a 1-inch piece of foil vertically and horizontally to create a cross. The outside edges can be foiled as well. Tape it down to the back of the shield so the tape is not visible. Let the paint dry before adding the foil.
Measure the width of the shield above the line you made in step 2. Subtract an inch from both sides and from the top of the shield. Cut a piece of cardboard with this measurement. To curve the edges, centre the piece on the back of the cardboard and tape down the sides to the shield. Place your hand on the piece to hold the cardboard in place. Pull gently on the sides of the shield to help it bend. The piece of cardboard will keep the shield from bending completely in half.
Cut out a 3-inch-by-12-inch piece of cardboard. Place the shield flat on your work surface. Put your arm on the shield as if you were wearing it with the palm facing up. Tape the strap over your arm. Tape it over and under your arm. It should fall just before your elbow. Remove your arm. Cut any excess cardboard. This piece will hold your arm in place as you wear the shield.
Cut out a second 3-inch-by-12-inch piece of cardboard. Place the shield flat on your work surface and slide your arm through the first strap. Tape the second piece over your hand for a hand grip. Trim any excess piece of cardboard.
Try on your shield to get a feel of the grips. Adjust as needed. Then wear your shield with pride.