Introduction: Rubberized Armor for Joan of Arc

Picture of Rubberized Armor for Joan of Arc

This is a suit of armor made entirely out of cardboard and bicycle tubes, styled after the style of armor that Joan of Arc would have worn.


used bicycle tubes (free at any bike shop)
hot glue/gun
screws of varying lengths
acorn cap fittings

The entire base is constructed from cardboard that is cut and hot-glued into shape. Each individual piece was then covered in multiple coats of brown paper dipped in wallpaper paste, creating a thin, lightweight but very sturdy form of paper mache.

Every piece was then gesso-ed to remove any corrugation lines, then spray painted matte black.

After the individual pieces were primed I applied the bicycle tubes in varying combinations to create varying effects, such as weaving, stretching, piping, and other cuttings and manipulations. The tubes were adhered to the frame using rubber cement.

Finally, each piece was connected together using an awl, screws and acorn cap fittings to create a more intense armored feel.

This armor took about fifty hours of intense work to execute.


LittleBilly (author)2016-10-12

I thought Joan of arc wore white armor

cap826 (author)2016-05-23

how many tubes do you think you used? a rough approximation would be great

FlexxDawn (author)2015-03-12

This is freaking awesome!

askjerry (author)2011-11-11

I am missing something... I can't seem to find the detailed instructions in this instructable... where are the pictures of the steps to build it?  The drawings, etc?

I see pictures of a finished product... but an instrcutable is supposed to instruct on HOW to do it.

Please consider an edit of your work to include some details in your instrctable.

Thanks, Jerry

graceduval (author)askjerry2011-11-11

sarcasm is not appreciated.

askjerry (author)graceduval2011-11-11

Okay, no sarcasm...

People tune into Instructables to learn how to make, build, and do. You have a wonderful item... but basically no details on how you did it. It's like taking a picture of a great Thanksgiving dinner and not sharing the recipe with the exception of saying to "get a turkey and cook it."

Seriously... I would like to see how you achieved some of the textures and designs you have in the piece. How you got the materials to work together, how to start on a project like this with respect to getting the basic shape, etc.

If you edit the piece and include those details... it would be an incredible instructable. You talk about creating a papier-mâché, but not how you got the rubber to properly bond without pealing off. Having worked in latex sheeting before, I would like to know more details. (As I'm sure others would as well.)

I asked above, because I have seen other contributors write one instructable with a basic "how-to", and a second one with very detailed steps... I thought you might have done the same... and forgotten to add the reference.


officerwhitex (author)askjerry2014-04-16


Attmos (author)askjerry2012-02-08

you're obviously niether creative or observant. Just looking at what she's made gives me all kinds of ideas and plans. People also tune into Instructables for creative ideas to build upon, not to duplicate.

depotdevoid (author)askjerry2011-11-12

Generally, a Photo Instructable is used for times when the maker didn't take as many "Process" pictures as would be required for a full Step-By-Step instructable.  At least, that's when I do a photo instructable.  

Most of the time, specific questions are encouraged for such a photo instructable.  For example, I'm quite curious to know what "Gesso" is, and what an acorn cap is.

Windsrock (author)depotdevoid2011-11-19

Gesso is a primer for oil and acrylic paintings. An acorn cap seems to be the top part of oaks seed. So it make's me suppose that it means that the parts of the costume are partly overlayed. I hope this helps.

Thevail.TS (author)Windsrock2011-12-17

An acorn cap is a type of nut that she has used to secure AND cover the exposed ends of the screws that are through the pieces. They call them acorn caps because thats what the nut looks like with the little built in cover for the end of the screws to fit into.

Windsrock (author)Thevail.TS2011-12-18

Well, that makes more sense :)
Thank you for the information.

Libahunt (author)askjerry2011-11-12

I think it's totally okay to just show off what someone has made. It gives ideas and its inspiring. Otherwise we would see just few instructables a day and on very basic projects only. Writing a step-by-step is very time consuming, not everyone has that time. And with some project you might not want anyone to copy it precisely, just give general idea.

This one has techniques mentioned. If you are interested you can google on them or maybe someone has already written a general instructable on them. No point in insisting every instructable about an advanced project must have all basic instructions included.

It seems reasonable how Kiteman explains purposes of different kinds of instructables here:

I want to see all cool things people make. Please do not scare them off by insisting excessive effort on documenting.

wacky_tertle (author)graceduval2011-11-13

Your armor is amazing, you did a great job, but it would be nice if you had instructions on how to make it... anyways, this is still awesome. Good job!!!

Attmos (author)askjerry2012-02-08

DUDE, be creative. Make your own.

VirginiaGent (author)2012-09-17

Great armor! This is just the thing I needed to spark my ideas when making armor for my son - very inspirational. I am thinking that the attaching hardware will be covered in Plasti-Dip for further protection and added color when I make this. Great tattoo, as well. Thanks for taking the time to post.

devland2 (author)2012-04-23

Jaw dropping and inspirational. Have lurked here for years without comment. Your work will motivate me to put up some of. My own

Trooper14 (author)2011-11-10

This looks amazing. It reminds me of the Necromonger soldiers from Riddick. All it might need is a helmet. :)

Attmos (author)Trooper142012-02-08

Have you seen Demolition Man? Wesley Snipes wears a armour made of tire rubber. I always thought it would be cool to make one. this is awsome.

yzorg (author)Trooper142011-11-16

Digg this!
Yea definitively looks like awesome necromonga gear!
it looks like dark-future. very cool.
I think actually no one knows what armor Jeanne d` Arc would have worn if she existed. and i dont like the film cause its too hollywoody.

fondyin (author)2012-01-25

I love the work.

As for the people screaming for the instructable, it seems as though they want pics to go along with the written. I am amazed at the work done here.

I am sure someone can follow the written directions and can achieve something similar.

great work.

rosebud557 (author)2012-01-06

This is so Cool!! I'm wondering if you could use used truck tires( too heavy maybe) and the rubber to make pants and the sleeves on the coat.

klausrother (author)2011-12-29

"I think actually no one knows what armor Jeanne d` Arc would have worn if she existed. and i dont like the film cause its too hollywoody."

@yzorg: au contraire, mon frere. The Maid was a well-documented historical figure so there's no doubt that she existed. I'm not aware of any extant accounts detailing exactly what her kit was like, but scholars of costume and armor can (and have) made well-educated guesses. For details, I recommend the following:

To my trained eye, there is more 16th-century Maximilian armor in this costume than early 15th century French; but a brilliant job regardless.

HOLY GUACAMOLE. That is such an amazing costume. I would ask for a Instructable step by step but asking for you to work another 50 intense hours is way too much to ask.


ridex (author)2011-11-24

This is truly amazing
magnificent job

r570sv (author)2011-11-20


cobourgdave (author)2011-11-20

You clearly spent a lot of time planning and building this armour. The weaving of the rubber strips is quite ingenious and your pictures show it. I don't think any one needs to be led through the process of glueing carboard together, and I think you were wise to bypass this. I think your objective was to show just how much you can achieve with quite basic and easily obtained materials. An excellent design well executed. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

H3xx (author)2011-11-10

I want to make a joke about Joan of Arc and the electricity nullifying properties of rubber, but it would be entirely too corny.

davIRE (author)H3xx2011-11-16

sadly for joan, rubber was not flame retardant

Madrigorne (author)H3xx2011-11-11

*giggles uncontrollable, regardless of corn*

justjimAZ (author)2011-11-15

I have to echo the requests for a step by step - or at least more info. Looks amazing!

doctressjulia (author)2011-11-13

You're awesome! I love your armor- it is gorgeous. Wow. :D

Make more, please!

jessyratfink (author)2011-11-13

This is gorgeous. I never thought used bike tubes could look so elegant!

mjwshagy (author)2011-11-12

Wow! that is truly a work of art. A lot of design work and research must have gone into this.

Kiteman (author)2011-11-08

Just... wow.

I really wish you'd post a proper step-by-step of your stuff - other people would love to make it as well.

RavingMadStudios (author)Kiteman2011-11-12

Agree 110%. This is a great-looking project, and I'd love to know more about the techniques involved.

I do agree that a step by step or collection of progress shots would be great, but I also understand that this project took fifty intense hours(it'd take longer for me I'm sure).

SWV1787 (author)Kiteman2011-11-08

I totally agree with wanting a step by step... I have already got a list of bicycle shops to ask to save me punctured tubes

ModMischief (author)Kiteman2011-11-08

Add me to the list of folks who want a full step-by-step. Even just some progress shots would be awesome.

zerochance (author)Kiteman2011-11-08

Agree, this is awesome, pure genious. Unfortunately you must now start over and do it for us step by step : )

shall23 (author)2011-11-12

I.......needs this.....

nerd12 (author)2011-11-11

If some were to fall of a cliff in this then they would bounce like the incredible hulk

Udon (author)2011-11-11

I very like.

I tried to work with rubber, but I'm no good.
This is inspiring.
It's clear a lot of work went in....

wobbler (author)2011-11-11

But what happens if you get a puncture in battle? Great design though despite this fatal armour flaw.

mtngrown (author)2011-11-11

I just want to add my Kudos to the comments you've already received. Truly amazing work! It reminds me of the Vaako's armor in the Chronicles of Riddick. Really great work.

jalexander14 (author)2011-11-11

That is awesome!

wthit56 (author)2011-11-11

This is some of the coolest looking armour I've seen! Really well done, and an ingenious idea!

mountainmandan (author)2011-11-11

This is awesome! I've built non-wearable things out of inner tubes and have wanted to make some sort of costume. This gives me some great ideas. Thanks for sharing! :)

paqrat (author)2011-11-10

Truly beautiful. As someone else already said, this is a work of art. Thank you.

burnerjack01 (author)2011-11-10

Very sharp! Amazing look. being rubber and all, how "sweaty" is it? Like, would you melt down wearing it at LARP event?

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