How to make a Roman breastplate from cardboard

Written by kelly sundstrom | 13/05/2017
How to make a Roman breastplate from cardboard
Roman officers wore breastplates known as muscled cuirasses. (Getty Creative)

When teaching kids about Roman history, the kids can become disinterested in the material if you do not provide them with an activity that is creative and interactive. For example, when learning about Roman armies, children can construct a Roman breastplate using basic craft materials such as cardboard. You can create a Roman breastplate using supplies that can be purchased from any arts and crafts store. Once finished, the children can wear their Roman armour while learning about Roman armies at the same time.

Place two cardboard sheets onto a flat surface, and draw a tapered oval onto both sheets using a marker. Cut out the ovals from the cardboard using scissors.

Insert a hot glue stick into a hot glue gun, and plug the gun into an electrical socket to heat up for 10 minutes.

Cut four pieces of twine, each measuring 30 cm (12 inches) long, using scissors.

Place the two tapered ovals flat onto a table top. Position the ovals so that the wide ends face up.

Squeeze a quarter-sized dollop of hot glue onto both top corners on the wide ends on both ovals. Place the end of a piece of twine sticking up vertically onto each hot glue dollop. Allow the hot glue to cool for 3 minutes.

Squeeze a dollop of hot glue about 25 mm (1 inch) across onto each side, placing each dollop of glue along the middle of each side. Place the end of a piece of twine sticking out horizontally onto each hot glue dollop. Allow the hot glue to cool for 3 minutes.

Turn both breastplate pieces over, and paint the surfaces using metallic bronze acrylic paint. This will make the breastplates look like those worn by Roman soldiers. Allow the paint to dry for 20 minutes, then paint a layer of clear acrylic glaze over the bronze paint. This will make the paint look more shiny like metal. Allow the glaze to dry for 20 minutes.

Place the two ovals together with the painted sides facing out. Tie the corresponding twine pieces together at the tops and sides of the breastplate. Slip the Roman breastplate over your head to wear it.


Keep hot glue out of the reach of children. Hot glue can cause severe burns on skin.

Things you need

  • Cardboard box
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue stick
  • Acrylic paint, metallic bronze
  • Paintbrush
  • Acrylic glaze, clear

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