Introduction: How to Make a Homemade Captain America Shield (under $15)

I wanted to be Captain America for Halloween, but I was not satisfied with spending $30 on a cheap plastic disk. So I made my own shield!

Step 1: Things You'll Need.

I got all of my supplies for this shield at Walmart for less than $15. Some I had lying around at home, so you might have a higher bill than me, but it shouldn't go over $20 regardless. Anyway, here is my list:

1) one round pizza tray
2) 1/2 yard of non-rolling elastic strap
3) hot glue gun/ hot glue sticks
4) painter's tape (one roll)
5) one sheet of white posterboard
6) one can blue enamel spray paint
7) one can red enamel spray paint
8) access to a PC with printer, or a stencil for the star if you don't have a printer
9) protective equipment such as latex gloves and a face mask
10) a few pencils
11) tape measure/ruler
Optional:
- duct tape
- one can primer/ white paint
- one can gloss coat
- compass (the one for drawing circles and angles)
- fine grit sandpaper

Once you get your supplies, let's move on!

Step 2: Attaching the Straps.

Sorry, I forgot to take a lot of pictures of this step! Set your pizza tray down as if you were going to put a pizza on it. On the one I used, this was the side with the price sticker. Remove it!
Figure out how big you need your straps to be. I personally wanted two straps. I put my strip of elastic around my forearm and then again on my wrist and cut two pieces that matched. Figure out what locations work best for you and hot glue the elastic bands down. The glue might not like the metal so make sure you press the elastic down really well. If you have duct tape, you can reinforce the straps around the contact points with it. Make a note of where the bottom of the shield is so you can position the star accordingly.

Step 3: Sketching Out Your Design

There are two similar but different ways to plan this out. The first is to trace the edge of the tray onto your poster board. The second is to measure the diameter of the tray and draw a perfect square with that measurement. Finding the midpoint of a square is easier than finding that of a circle. I chose to trace my tray then draw the square around it.
My diameter came to 15 3/4 inches. You will need four concentric bands, so find your midpoint by dividing your diameter in half. If your tray is the same as mine, you will need to mark a hash almost every two inches along your center lines. These lines will be the edges of your rings.
When you're done measuring your ring markers, grab your compass or find a round object with the same measurements. Trace out your concentric circles.
If you have a printer, find a star stencil to print out. My shield needed a 4 inch star, easily found through Google. If you printed out your star, trace it onto the center of your smallest circle.
Using scissors or an X-acto knife, cut your rings out. Do not cut out the star from the inner circle yet.

Step 4: Prepping the Shield

If you choose to prime your shield, do it now. Originally I wanted the silver to come through for the white sections, but I found a can of primer laying around so I changed my mind. I applied two coats, with light sanding after each one.
Lay out your rings on the shield to make sure your measurements line up. It's important to check before you start painting.

Step 5: Let's Paint!

This is where I goofed up. You'll save lots of time and frustration if you work your way outward from the center. Tape down your ring stencils (all except the innermost ring) to protect the shield from paint mist. Cut the star out. I wrapped my star in tape to make it easier to remove.
Set the star down, lining up the bottom. Paint your inner ring blue. Apply as many coats as you feel you need. I did 3 very light coats, each 2 hours apart.
After the blue paint dries, remove your rings and make sure it didn't bleed out into the white. If it did, tape off your fresh blue section and sand down/ apply new primer.

Step 6: Red Rings

Almost done! Let's do the red.
Tape off your blue section and star, and remove the outermost ring stencil and the ring touching the blue. The only stencil ring remaining should be the one covering your white ring. I made the mistake of starting with the red rings. A lot of paint bled through and I had to redo lots and lots of paint. The end result isn't as pretty as I hoped. Anyway, back to painting.
Use as many coats as you feel necessary. Be careful around the edges of the stencil and tape so you don't end up with red in places you don't want it.

Step 7: Check for Errors

When the red is dry, remove any remaining tape and stencils and check for any painting errors. If you made a mistake, tape the shield up, sand it down and do it over.
If you have a can of spray gloss, it'll help keep the paint from chipping.
That's it! Nice and easy, right?
It took me a total of 16 hours from start to finish with no prior experience working with paint. Thanks for reading my first instructable! If you try it out, show me your shield!

Comments

author
seamster (author)2014-10-28

Hey, nicely done! That was clever to use a pizza tray to make your shield.

You did a good job on the painting! That is some deceivingly tricky painting to do on a shield like this. Well done!

author
asissenstein (author)seamster2014-10-30

Thanks so much for the kind words! Long time lurker, recently created an account to give back to an awesome community.

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Bio: I play bass, guitar, and ukulele. I love learning new things.
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