Introduction: Nerf Cardboard Riot Shield

My son wanted a Nerf battle so I had to make sure I was equipped. After making this I know there were some things that I could have done better so please feel free to add any comment that may make it easier for others on their builds. Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials

• Cardboard - I know someone that works at a department store that was able to provide large pieces but you can get away using smaller pieces
• Glue
• Mod Podge - others have used PVA
• Joint Compound - some type of plaster/cloth
• Paint - Flat White, Flat Black, Metallic Silver
• Plexiglass
• Velcro
• Round Head Pins
• Sandpaper
• Tape
• Box Cutter
• Scubbing Pad

Step 2: Pressing

Layout 1st and 3rd sheet of cardboard and cut a rectangle out smaller than your plexiglass.

Trace the plexiglass on the 2nd sheet and cut out so the plexiglass fits tight and doesn't slide around.

Apply glue between sheets then add weight till the glue is dry.

(Not shown but I also added a window frame cutout to the front for looks - can see it in later pictures)

Step 3: Cleaning the Edges

Trim the edges of the cardboard.

I then used a surform tool to try and smooth the edging out as much as I could. I ended up using joint compound on all the edges to help it look smoother but now looking back I should have either used some paper tape or cut a long thin piece of cardboard and glued that on.

(you can see the window frame I placed on the front for looks)

Step 4: Bending Sides

Here I measured in from the edges about 4 inches and drew a straight line done the inside of the shield. Then cut out about a 1/2" to 3/4" channel from the top to the bottom being careful to only remove 2 layers of cardboard and not cutting any of the front sheet. Looking back I would have just cut the sheets before gluing them altogether. The glue makes it a little tough to dig out.

Fill the channels with glue.

Bend in the sides and brace. As you can see I used some straps. You could also get away with tape if you don't have straps available.

Step 5: Handle

There are a few ways to do your own handle but I was running out of time and I am left handed and my son is right handed I needed something that could work for both of us. So I just took some velcro strips and laid them out and glued 2 sheets of cardboard on top to hold them from sliding side to side but I made sure I can still pull them out if I want to replace them.

Seems to hold pretty well so far.

Step 6: Coating

Paint or Roll on Mod Podge covering front, back, and edges. This hardens the cardboard to provide a little durability.

Spread joint compound and sand smooth. I didn't put it on thick. The purpose was to make sure you couldn't see the grooves in the cardboard when painted. This is also the point if you want to put in any deep scratches or dings you could shape the compound.

2nd coat of Mod Podge. Thought this may help harden the paste and prevent chipping if anything hit the shield too hard.

(I left the plastic on the plexiglass so I didn't have to worry about taping off that area)

Step 7: Base Coat and Stenciling

Spray paint Flat White the front.

Tape off anything you want to say or show white on your final product. You can project any images on the front and trace if you need to.

As you can see in the pictures when I cut out the skull I went too deep and ended up peeling off some of the paint and exposing the paste. This could have been caused by me adding Mod Podge on top of the compound.

Add pins around the plexiglass. Dip the pin part in some glue.

Step 8: Painting

Spray paint Flat Black on the front and edges.


Peel off the tape. Be careful you don't rip the white paint off here. Mine did lift so I used the Mod Podge again to make sure it stayed down and wouldn't peel up again.

Step 9: Adding Wear

Lightly spray your Scrub Pad with Metallic paint and just make single motion scratches where you feel fit. I tried to go heavier on the edges and around the plexiglass.

I have also seen others use sandpaper or brushes.

Step 10: Final Touch

(Optional) Apply red paint to a wash cloth and lightly smack or dab.

As I was doing these steps I would use some of the scrap cardboard as a test before actually applying.

At this time I have not finished the inside, but I plan to add felt cloth with spray adhesive then adding pockets to hold extra darts and clips.

Leftovers Challenge

Participated in the
Leftovers Challenge

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015