How to Make a Crusader Chain Mail Helmet

Written by tami mason
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How to Make a Crusader Chain Mail Helmet
The Crusades lasted from 1096 to 1272. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Crusades were a series of holy wars centred around the city of Jerusalem. European Christian crusaders and the Saracens were at war almost constantly. During the 200 years that the Crusades lasted, helmets and armour changed significantly, resulting in tall helmets that covered the entire head and face, with small eye slits. During the Early and Middle Crusade period, the helmets were either conical or rounded and open-faced, according to Robert de Tyre with the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. Dark Knight Armory illustrates this style of helmet with a camail attachment -- a piece of chain mail that hangs from the bottom of the helmet and drapes around the neck and shoulders. Creating a crusader helmet for a costume party is a fairly straightforward process, and is suitable for adults and children.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Balloon
  • Papier-mache
  • Foil
  • 1/2-inch springs
  • Wire cutters

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  1. 1

    Inflate a balloon, ensuring it is slightly bigger than the wearer's head. If you can't find a balloon the correct size, use a round ball, such as a basket or netball, for the mould.

  2. 2

    Mix papier-mache paste of one part water and one part white glue. Tear newspaper into strips, dip them in the paste and apply them to the mould. Remember not to cover the entire balloon, as the face should be left open. The helmet should sit above the eyebrows, the sides should come down low to cover the ears, and the back should come down enough to cover the entire back of the head. Build up the papier-mache on top of the mould so the helmet is slightly pointed at the top. Allow it to dry.

  3. 3

    Apply white glue to the helmet and cover it with foil.

    Chain Mail

  1. 1

    Cut open the 1/2-inch springs with wire cutters. Link the first spring to a second spring and squeeze it shut. Continue until you have a line of interlinked springs long enough to reach from one ear and around the back of the helmet to the other ear.

  2. 2

    Repeat Step 1 until you have several lines of interlinked springs. Link the second line to the first one and continue until you have a sheet of chain mail that is long enough to rest on the shoulders.

  3. 3

    Glue the chain mail to the inside bottom of the helmet. To prevent the chain mail catching in your hair, apply papier-mache over the area where it is attached to the inside of the helmet and allow it to dry. Cover this area with foil.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not let young children use wire cutters.

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