Introduction: Simple Wooden Shield

My son has been obsessed with swords/shields lately. This interest was fueled yesterday by a trip to the Renaissance Festival where there were 'real' knights battling it out!

There was of course offerings of wooden swords/shields at the festival but I was not impressed at the cost/quality ratio so we decided to design/make our own when we got home. This turned out to be a fun project for the whole family and didn't cost us anything - we are fortunate to have a shop full of supplies to satisfy what we needed.

Materials used:

  • 1"x8"x24" board
  • Silver Paint
  • Black Paint
  • Cloth strap from a retired old book bag
  • (4) small screws

Cost: $0

Time: ~1.5hr not including breaks while waiting for paint to dry

Step 1: Design Phase

We turned to Google Images for selection of the shield Shape and Decor.

Each of the kids selected the basic shape they liked, and then chose a pattern that would be painted onto their shield

The photo above shows our experimentation with adjusting size/shapes of the design pattern on different shaped shields.

Step 2: Shaping

Once the general shape was chosen, I sketched it out onto the plank for approval before cutting.

I cut out the shapes on a bandsaw, but a jigsaw would have worked just as well. Once the shapes were cut, I cleaned up the edges with a sander and then routed a roundover onto all edges.

Step 3: Base Paint

We found some silver spray paint in the shop and gave them a couple of coats. This was a prime opportunity to grab a snack and prep for the detailed design while waiting for the paint to dry (next steps).

Step 4: Details

We printed the chosen design onto plain white paper and taped it down to the shield after the base coat was completely dry.

To transfer the pattern onto the wood, I used a ball-point pen to trace around the outside. Once complete, removing the paper reveled a subtle pattern to use as guidance while painting the details.

I was not overly careful when tracing, so I made sure the black paint covered past the scribed indentations. They hid quite well.

Step 5: Handles

We sacrificed a beat up old backpack for some webbing that would serve as the shield handles. You will see that I simply used some small screws to fasten the webbing to the shield.

I had the children place their arms flat on the table to size the length of the straps - leaving a couple extra inches for adjustment. Then I fastened the top side of the cut webbing to the shield and had them lay their arm on the shield to figure out where to mount the bottom side of the webbing.

We learned that their fist was much wider than their little forearm, so a quick adjustment and they were done!

We also started building a set of simple swords (pictured ) - I could post those details another day.