Introduction: Real Captain America Shield

Picture of Real Captain America Shield

When I first saw Captain America: Winter Soldier shortly after it premiered in theaters, I was in awe. It was easily the best Marvel movie I had ever seen. He had always been my favorite superhero, with his adventurous story, his good character, his quick thinking, and of course, his amazing shield.

Having known of Instructables for years now, I've seen the amazing tutorials you all have made. So for a while now I have been brainstorming to create something better than I have ever made before, something... super. That's when it hit me: The Shield. I've heard about and even talked to many people who would love to own a legitimate replica of the famous shield. But there is also a certain satisfaction that comes from building something yourself. So I went to work, and after months of sketching, measuring, planning and building, this Instructable is ready to be shared. I have designed the handles in a way that while still acting as handles, may be pulled from the back of the shield to convert them into shoulder straps, so you may wear the shield on your back.

So for those reading, thank you! I hope you enjoy. And to those of you who decide to make your own shield, I hope you have a super time!

Let's get started!

Step 1: Materials, Tools and Expenses

Picture of Materials, Tools and Expenses

While Cap's shield is as beautiful as a new penny, for me (probably because I'm a teenager) it also cost a pretty penny to make. Your journey will likely take a lot of searching for specific parts, and also a lot of waiting for them to be delivered in the mail. I know I did myself. That being said, here is everything that you should need and how much it cost me:


- MH Saucer Sled ($32)
- Rust-oleum metalic paint in colors: Cobalt Blue, Silver, and Apple Red ($23-$25)
- Rust-oleum paint primer ($7)
- Two 44" tan leather belts ($20)
- Four 1.5" D-rings ($7)
- At least ten 3/4" neodymium disk magnets ($10)
- Superglue ($3-$15)
- General purpose repair putty ($5)
- About 5' of 1.25" x 1/16" weldable steel ($12)
- Eight 1/4" cable tie clamps ($8)
- Eight 1 1/2" rectangle rings ($9)
- Tiny furniture nails ($2)
- Small self-drilling screws ($3)
- Eight relatively small nuts and bolts ($1.50)


- Drill
- Small drill bits
- Dremel
- Cutting wheel dremel bit
- Small abrasive engraving Dremel bit
- 800 and 150 grit sandpapers
- Painters tape
- Sharp cutting blade
- Palm sander
- Tape measure

Side note: Yes, the sled is made of plastic. However this is not your ordinary plastic, it is as smooth as metal, and much more light and durable. When finished, it will look and feel like metal as well.

Step 2: Preparing the Sled

Picture of Preparing the Sled

Prepare the sled for painting by unscrewing the handles from the shield and setting them aside. There will now be 5 holes total on the shield. Use the repair putty to fill and cover the holes and leave to harden. When the putty has successfully hardened, use your palm sander to gently and carefully smoothen the putty. Once the sled has no holes left, use the palm sander to roughen up the outside and inside of the sled.

Now that you have a solid smooth surface, mark the exact center of the outside of the shield with a sharpie. Then start to divide the shield into 8 sections by drawing a straight line from the center to the very edge of the shield 8 times, as if you were slicing a pie.

The shield should now consist of 8 slices.

Step 3: Making a Mark

Picture of Making a Mark

This step is quite possibly the most tedious and most important part of the project. It is imperative that this step is executed properly, because when the paint is applied it will really make any small flaws stand out.

Now that you have your shield divided into sections, drill a small screw into the exact center of the shield, but not all the way. You now need to trace the rings onto the shield with sharpie so that you will know where to dremel. Tie one end of the string to the bolt at the center of the shield, and the other end to the sharpie pen with various specific lengths of string. Look to the photo included for the diameters of each ring.

Essentially think of this step as connect the dots. Your goal is to swing the pen like a pendulum from one slice of the shield to another, making perfect circles and connecting the slices.

Once you have three rings traced onto the shield with your sharpie, preform the same pendulum-like procedure with the handheld dremel instead of the sharpie. Etch out the circles creating shallow grooves in the shield, giving it depth. Note: Make the rings a bit deeper than you want them to look when completed, because after a lot of sanding they will become shallower.

Finish this step by removing the screw, filling the hole with the same putty you used earlier, and thoroughly sanding everything down with your palm sander to remove any blemishes. Then give it a wash to remove any debris!

Step 4: You're a Star

Picture of You're a Star

In this step you will be etching out the last but key detail of the shield: the star. The tricky thing about stars is that they have to look perfect or else it will look wrong. Treat this step with great precision.

You'll need to go online and find a simple star that you can print to scale on standard printer paper and cut out. Everybody's shield will vary in little ways, so I suggest that you determine the size of the star yourself. Your goal is to have all 5 tips of the star coming right to the edge of the center circle perfectly. Now, tape the star into place with painters tape and trace the star onto the shield with your sharpie again.

Now that you have your star traced onto the shield, confirm that it looks perfect and get your dremel ready. This time you'll want to switch out the soft abrasive bit for a thicker cutting wheel. Very carefully use the cutting wheel to etch out the star to the same depth as the rings.

Then if you'd like to get rid of the debris you can wash it again.

Step 5: Details, Details

Picture of Details, Details

Now that you have the general details done, it's time to refine them. Give your shield a quick coat of white primer which really brings out any small flaws. Once you have found and addressed any minor flaws, sand it all down and give it a couple more layers of primer. Make sure that you allow ample time to dry!

Step 6: All American Paint Job

Picture of All American Paint Job

You now have a solid coat of primer. Once it's dried, it's time for the stars and stripes. Carefully give the shield an even layer of silver paint, covering the whole body. Allow time to dry, then for good measures give another coat of silver.

Note: Be careful to paint away from anything that you do not want to get paint on, such as houses, cars, or other valuables. Wind can make airborne paint travel a long distance... I've learned that the hard way.

Now that your silver shield is dry, it's time to add some red. Take strips of your painters tape and make sure to completely cover the middle stripe and the center circle, as you want to keep those silver. Whatever is not covered with painters tape, will turn red. Maybe you're wondering, how can you cover a rounded edge with straight edged painters tape? Well, not only do the grooves you made in the shield look awesome, but they're also helpful. Use your fingernail or a thin, dull object to press down in the circular creases you made to define the circle under the tape. Then use your sharp blade, and cut off the excess! Proceed to paint multiple coats of red until the color is solid and no silver shows through.

Using the same taping procedure, cover the star and the rest of the shield however you please, and get ready to paint the shield blue! As with the rest of the coats, I recommend you paint a few. Make sure all of the little details look nice and neat, and you're done with this step!

Step 7: The Finest of Details

Picture of The Finest of Details

It's time to add what really makes the shield pop! The star on the shield is supposed to have a slightly smaller star etched into the inside of it, with rivets at the tip. Well, I wanted to get that exact look without actually riveting the shield, because it could mess up the paint. So I opted for the cheaper, safer, equivalent and got these neat nails that look identical to rivets.

To etch the smaller star, print out a slightly smaller star (again, it will have to be your own proportions) and trace it out with a fine tipped sharpie. Since this is supposed to only be an etch and not a huge cut, you won't be using any motorized tools. I used a very small flat head screwdriver to slowly and carefully etch out the small star.

Once you have the star etched out, nail in the special furniture nails to the tips of the etched star. Through this detailing process you will have taken off some paint, so sand down the star and give it another coat of paint.

Congratulations, you have finished the front face of the shield! You may now give it a couple semi-gloss protective coats and now move onto the back of the shield!

Step 8: Metalworking

Picture of Metalworking

At this point you're going to need to put your cutting wheel bit back on your dremel, as it's now time to cut some metal!

Measure out with your tape measure 5" long rectangles of steel. You will need four 5" rectangles. Also measure out two 9.5" rectangles.

After you have all of the pieces cut out, cut both ends of the 9.5" rectangles and one end of the 5" rectangles at a 30° slant. You will want them to look like as pictured in the photo.

Use 2 cable tie clamps on each of the 5" pieces of metal, more specifically, the flat ends. Make sure you have a rectangle ring inside the tie clamps when you secure the tie clamps.

To give the metal the look as if it was bolted into the shield, but not actually have to bolt it, you will need to drill the screws into the metal however you would like it to look, but cut off the excess coming out of the bottom of the metal. After it's smoothened, you have two options:

1. Superglue the metal to the inside of the shield

2. Use the putty as mentioned earlier in the instructable to secure the metal to the shield, which will give it a more welded look.

Go ahead and give the back a silver coat to make everything a uniform color!

Step 9: Leather Addition

Picture of Leather Addition

You are going to need to cut your belt into separate lengths for different parts of the handles. You'll need to cut off two 11" long strips from the ends of each belt, for a grand total of four 11" strips.

You'll also need to cut one 9" piece off of each belt for a grand total of two 9" pieces. Set aside the remaining portion of the belt.

Start by feeding the 11" belt through both the D-rings and the rectangle rings and bolting the belt together together as seen in the photo, on all four sides. Then take the two 9" pieces of belt, slip on two rectangle rings, feed them through the D-rings, and bolt them to themselves, also as seen in the photos.

Now is the time to add the main handles. Remember putting the two rectangle rings on the 9" leather piece? Those are so that you can slip in the remaining buckle portion of the belt . Those will be your arm handles! You'll need to take your drill and make some small holes so that the buckle can, well, buckle.

Step 10: Securing Magnets

Picture of Securing Magnets

Here is where the magnets come in. Man, I love magnets.

I found that I needed to glue 10 magnets to both the belt and metal to sufficiently hold up the shield. Since your own shield may be a bit different, you might need to place the magnets differently than I did. However, I can at least show you how I placed them.

Side note: Magnets stick to magnets stronger than magnets stick to plain metal. So, if you find you need a stronger bond, try gluing some magnets to the shield where they'll connect with the magnets on the belt.

Step 11: Time to Admire

Picture of Time to Admire

Congratulations Captain, you now have your very own shield. What are you going to do with it? Take it to ComiCon, share with your friends, fight your neighborhood crime? Whatever you decide to do with it, I hope you enjoyed building it as much as I did mine. Thank you all for reading, and best of luck!


AaronD2 made it! (author)2017-08-07

By far the most complex, most work, and most rewarding instructable i've ever done. LOVED IT, and got so many awesome comments at comicon this weekend. Thank you soooo much!!!!

Just a few comments/edits/updates for those who want to try and make this. The things i learned, enjoyed, or wished i did different.

1) layout. i attached a schematic. the plans said and 8" circle +2.75 2.75 and 3... which doesnt add up to the full sheild width. use 2.75, 3, 3.25 to have a good scale the gradually widens.

2) give yourself tons of time. good paint takes good time to dry. and you have lots of work to do on both sides. DONT get confident its dry and flip it over early to work on metal.

3) as for paint. the rustoleum metalic is amazing, its perfect, the exact right colors... except the red is no longer made :( youll need to dig it up off amazon, its over 20 a can but worth it.... also get 2 cans of silver, youll need it.

4) "cut the metal with a dremel" YEAH RIGHT. 20 disks later and i think i scratched it. find a saw or take it somewhere.... and if you have someone shear it off at a shop (like i did) remember to describe your 30deg angles better than i did... or youll need a couple 60deg triangles to fill in the holes... lol... personally i like the new look thought so it worked.

5) youll need to bend the metal to get contact. just put wait on it, its fairly flexible. trial and error will get it. the shape is critical or the glue wont bond

6) when he says superglue, he means gorilla glue. which means CLAMP AND WAIT. dont rush it. its awesome but slow

7) lots of magnets. i upgraded to 1.5" and still wish i had more. this thing is heavy

8) check the leather lenghts yourself before you cut. the exact angle of how your metal glued will effect your lengths. in my case i wish i had gone with (6) 11" instead of (4) 11" and (2) 9". the 9" is just to short and i can barely get it on my shoulders and have to stretch it till the magnets grab. also the remaining peice you can adjust to fit your arm. give yourself LOTS of holes at 1" apart. I was suprised how loose it was at comicon, and wish i could tighten it. sized for my arm... not thinking it more comfortably rests in more forearm and wrist most the day. the extra slack made it floppy, hard to hold straight, and made it pull at a weird angle on the magnets.

dragonrising (author)2016-05-15

I made this last summer, and it was a huge hit over Halloween! It now sits in the spot of honor against my wall! I have but one thing to say. I had trouble with the paint flaking off, and I think it was due to the fact that I didn't sand well enough to get the rough surface. But great instructions, and I love it!

JoshH171 (author)dragonrising2016-10-04

That may have been a part of it. Also, whenever I spray paint a prject, I go back over it with a clear acrylic spray to seal it in. Protects the paint from the weather and from chips, as well as keeps it from smelling bad after a while.

Bobo5678 (author)2016-09-11

it sucks

KeithH76 (author)2016-08-19

Ok, so I had a question concerning the metal for the straps. I've bought some aluminum instead since it was lighter weight, and cheaper. I was just wondering how people got it to fit the bowed shape of the shield! Did you guys bend it?

KathrynR11 (author)2016-04-12

Quick question! I am trying to make this build, however, I can NOT find metallic red spray paint anywhere. Every time I go to a store, it has to be purchased in a set of 6 or more. Where did you buy your metallic red spray paint?

Also, is the metallic silver you used very bright? I purchased a metallic silver that has turned out to be fairly bright, and I'm not sure if it is the same thing you have used in this build. Does it need to look more muted/aluminum? Just let me know what you think pleaes.

Finally, instead of using the plastic sled, I am using EVA foam. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but will post pics when it is completed!

jlester3 (author)KathrynR112016-05-15

Amazon has it as well - (but kinda pricey).

Have you tried an autoparts store? They usually have a bigger selection of metallic paints.

SteveRogers328 (author)2016-05-11

*dremel bit

SteveRogers328 (author)2016-05-11

Hey I am making the shield, but I used the wrong size deemed bit on part of it so could I fill it in with putty and try again or is it too late???

WestonCurran (author)2016-02-16

That looks awesome! Is their anyway I could cut the shield down to 20 inches instead of having it be 25 inches? I'm about 5 foot I know lol, thanks!

D-piddy8493 (author)2016-01-29


TannerH15 (author)2015-11-17

You have inspired a fellow teenager and cap' enthusiast to "attempt" to make this build :D the real question now is whether it will work out or not XD

Kerowyn (author)2015-11-14

Awesome! This looks like it would make an amazing gift! Thanks!

KristinK5 (author)2015-11-08

The cable tie clamps that hold the rectangular rings-- how did you attach those? Was it like the steel strips? Put nails through, cut the ends off, and super glue? Did you glue to the shield or the metal strips? Sorry for the questions! I really like this build. Sled is coming tomorrow!

bathsheba_everdene (author)2015-10-21

Oh, I think I finally figured out how to do it by measuring. After removing the handle, you would measure from one handle hole to the opposite one, and divide in half. I was thinking you'd have to find exact opposite sides of the shield somehow.

bathsheba_everdene (author)2015-10-20

I just had an idea about how to (hopefully) find the exact center of the snow dish easily. I would set it on an even surface, concave side up, and place a marble inside which should roll to the exact center. Does the sled distribute its weight evenly enough for that?

hannahvb44 (author)2015-10-17

How did you secure the cable tie clamps to the steel?

AlexF27 (author)2015-09-14

Hey, in a previous build I used a steel saucer sled. After sanding the original paint off and priming, I sprayed the Rustolium silver, after letting it dry for 2 days it dusted off when I dragged my fingers across it. Have you had this problem, or any advice on how to avoid it?

Floyd_Waxler (author)2015-08-05

Very cool. Great detailing on your shield! I want to make mine the blue version from his stealth suit at the beginning of TWS =)

lynx2676 (author)2015-05-03

when i look on amazon the price is 111$

trans4mation (author)lynx26762015-05-24

Perhaps the price has changed, I'm not quite sure. If you wait long enough the price is likely to return to normal, Amazon prices tend to fluctuate and can be tracked by various Amazon-price-tracking websites. Good luck!

ArthurS5 (author)trans4mation2015-08-03

What if instead of the straps, I can just glue big magnets on the shield and two big magnets on my long gloves?

lynx2676 (author)lynx26762015-05-03

what should i do???

AmazngSpidey (author)2015-07-28

Oh and dude I meant to ask, when you make the sections/lines how do you get them so straight and perfect? I haven't been able to keep mine straight

AmazngSpidey (author)2015-07-22

I noticed what I have isn't what you have. Does it matter? Or do I have to use what you did?

You can use different types of paint! It's your shield, and that's what makes it unique. If it has a slightly different look or feel, that's great! I'm sure it'll look amazing.

KyleN5 (author)2015-07-11

What's up bro awesome instructable! I am currently about 70% done with my build following your instructable, but I had a question about cutting the steel. Did you use a standard dremel with a metal cutting blade to cut it? I picked up a dremel saw max metal cutting blade pack from Lowes but was worried it might no work with a standard dremel. Here's a few pics of me and the wip shield!

Super Rohit (author)2015-06-12

Where can we get that MH sacuar shield

trans4mation (author)Super Rohit2015-07-06

Try looking around online, you should be able to find them all over (maybe not so often during summertime?)

jgderuvo made it! (author)2015-06-11

Well, sort of. I couldn't find a saucer since they are out of season and ridiculously expensive on eBay. So I made a cardboard shield design from Dali Lomo combined with a simpler variant of your back end of the shield. I used nylon webbing instead of leather because it's cardboard! But the spirit is there.

trans4mation (author)jgderuvo2015-07-06

That looks oober sweet! REALLY nice job with that! Props.

NickM17 (author)2015-06-06

Fantastic build! I was wondering where you got the steel. I can't seem to find anything like what you described.

trans4mation (author)NickM172015-07-06

At my local hardware store, it was just a long strip of steel. I'd check out your local stores if you have any!

NirixDesigns (author)2015-06-03

This is by far the best tutorial I have found for a CATWS shield after searching for a long time... Great job, very well presented and professional ?? So I think I have a few ideas for some changes to suit me, but I am definitely going to be using this tutorial and making a shield soon! Luckily my dad is good at finding things on sale or at lower prices, so i can hopefully make it without going broke ?.

Also, The Winter Soldier is probably my favorite Marvel film ever... Currently more so than AOU. Just wanted to add that side note?

Sounds great! I'd say it's worth looking around a bit to find parts for as cheap as possible. A penny saved is a penny earned!

KevanS28 (author)2015-06-03

Maybe someone can help answer if they know... Tons of comments, (understandable, amazing job) so you may have answered this.... But I found the saucer in plastic and metal, would the steps be the same overall if I used the metal saucer instead?

trans4mation (author)KevanS282015-07-06

Hey KevanS28! The process would be similar for all except the engraving. As far as creating the slight rings on the front of the shield, I imagine it would be more difficult than with plastic. But if you have the expertise, metal definitely has it's advantages.

JennyM5 (author)2015-05-30

Hi, this is such a great tutorial! I'm in the midst of making the shield right now for use in a Peggy Carter costume (replicating this scene: (

My question is about the back straps. Did you measure yourself to figure out how long they would need to be in order to cut the metal pieces? I'm thinking I may need to modify them a bit for comfort thanks to having a different build by virtue of my gender. Any tips for how you figured out the length you needed to make them? Thanks in advance!

trans4mation (author)JennyM52015-05-30

Thanks for your comment! To attempt and answer your question, I'll give you a few details about my mindset while working on the straps.

1. I am not a very muscular guy. I had pretty much bet that with the amount of leather I'd be using, it'd be enough to fit my back. Well, although it did fit on my back, it didn't allow room for a lot of growth. I would attribute this to the concave nature of the shield, which unfortunately cancels out the lengthiness of the straps.

2. While building the shield I was less focused on how well it would fit me, and more on movie accuracy. The result happened to luckily fit me based on my smaller design, but I am not confident it would comfortably fit larger or differently developed figures. Not being a lady, I am unsure how much you would need to modify the straps - however I am confident it can be successfully done.

Conclusion: Two ways to fix this come to mind: Either 1. add extra leather, and try to fit it inside the shield, or 2. develop the longer, middle part of each strap to be adjustable. Maybe with velcro if you're only using it as a prop? I would go with the latter.

I hope your shoot goes well, it sounds like a lot of fun! I should really get into that show... I've heard good things about it.

JennyM5 (author)trans4mation2015-05-30

Thanks, that's really helpful! I'm leaning right now towards getting a pair of suspenders I can wear under the costume and attach a ton of magnets to, then placing corresponding magnets on the shield. You're exactly right, since it doesn't matter what the backside looks like, I can load it up with strategically placed magnets - some for the handholds and some (hopefully) strong enough to hold it to my back. Might take a bit of trial and error but I'll figure it out.

Thanks again, I'll post pics of the finished product when I get there!

trans4mation (author)JennyM52015-06-01

Great minds think alike! I had considered doing something very similar in order to attach via magnets, that's technically what Cap's shield does these days. I look forward to seeing your progress!

ChrisK20 (author)2015-05-30

Really great shield! I want to use your handle style, but I'm not clear on how you attach the ties onto the metal strips. Can you elaborate on that?

trans4mation (author)ChrisK202015-06-01

You can attach the cable ties to the steel pieces by pre-drilling holes in the steel where you would like them to be, then secure the cable ties on top of the holes by drilling a screw through the ties and into the steel. If I still haven't explained well enough, PM me and I can try and go into depth.

Cap America (author)2015-05-31

I just got my list together, i plan to buy all the stuff on the next few weeks, i will post soon my results!

Looking forward to it!

dragonrising (author)2015-05-30

I could only find a purple or orange sled. Would this work just as well, if you are still painting it silver?

Definitely will still work. Either one really, whatever is cheapest/you feel would work best.

syke25 made it! (author)2015-05-25

Not captain america, but I used your tutorial. very simple to follow, just had a little trouble getting the handles to hold on.

About This Instructable




Bio: I have a burning passion for building and creating things, and that's why I admire Instructables so much - everybody welcomes and helps inspire creativity.
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