Introduction: Viking Round Shield / Lagertha's Shield From Vikings

About: Hi, I'm TheRedsmith. I'm a maker. I make stuffs. You can support my work on ( You can see my work on youtube &he…

Hi! I'm The Redsmith, I'm a maker.

My wife and I love the TV show 'Vikings'. So, when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she asked me to make her a Viking Round Shield. And more specificaly, Lagertha's shield. And that's what I did.

I really like how it turned out. My wife loves it and I hope you will too.

I made a full tutorial video that you can watch here :

I know the shield is not historically accurate and 100% exactly the same as show in the TV show, but my wife likes it, I like it, so I hope you will too :)

Let's get started!

Step 1: Measure and Cut

For a 74cm/30 inches wide shield, you will need :

  • six boards of pine (800mmx190mmx25mm / 31 1/2" x 7 15/32" x 31/32")
  • two strips of pine (800mmx30mmx20mm / 31 1/2" x 1 3/16" x 25/32")
  • large clamps
  • wood stain and blue paint
  • some masking tape
  • a sheet of steel or aluminium
  • a strip of leather or cow hide
  • leather dye
  • upholstery nails
  • carpenter nails
  • some wood glue
  • a hammer / ball pein hammer
  • a tablesaw or a jigsaw
  • a handsaw and/or a coping saw
  • a wood rasp
  • metal cutting snip

I already had most of the materials and tools laying around. I just needed to buy wood and I paid 8 US dollars for a plank of pine (4 meters / 13,12 ft) to make this shield.It's a standard size where I live and pretty cheap.

The purpose is not to make a shield resistant enough to hold during battle but to have a nice decorative shield, light enough for anybody to hold it, so pine will work just fine. But you can also use hard wood if you want to, but the shield will also get heavier, so be sure to choose the right material depending on who you're building it to. (For example, I recommand plywood for a kid)

1) I cut six 800mm / 31 1/2"boards and two 30mm / 7 15/32" strips on my tablesaw but you can also use a jigsaw.

2) Once all my boards and strips were ready, I started working on the handle.

Step 2: Prep the Handle

1) I selected the board I wanted to place in the middle of the shield then trace the handle.

As the board is 25mm thick, I made the handle the same width. The length only depends on the size of your hand. Leave approx. two centimeters/one inch on each side, just to be confortable.

2) I used a jam pot lid to trace round edges, but as you will see later, the shape wasn't the best one, and I had to fix my mistake later on.

Step 3: Cutting and Filing

1) I used a jigsaw to cut the handle. I don't really like using a jigsaw, so if you are like me, just take your time.
Choosing the right blade is important to have clean cuts.

2) Then I used a rasp to round the edges and the handle.

Once I was happy with the result and the handle fit nicely in my hand, I could glue all the boards together.

Step 4: Sanding and Glueing

1) Before gluing the board together, I gave them a light sanding with #80 grit sandpaper.
But, you can skip this step as sanding will be required after the glue is dry and to give the shield its final shape.

2) I put a good amount of glue on the edges of the board making sure the handle was right in the middle of the others, press all the boards together and clamped them.

Step 5: Make It Strong and Clean

1) When I glued all the planks together, I made sure to do it on a flat surface, and put as many clamps as needed to keep them straight and tight.

2) I also nailed two strips accross all the planks to prevent wrapping and bending, but also give the shield cross support and durability. I used a nailgun to keep them in place for now but I attached them more permanently

a little bit later.

3) Once the glue was dry, I gave it a quick sanding to remove the excess glue.

Step 6: Make It Round

1) To trace the shape of the shield, I put a little nail in the middle of the center board, attached a string to the nail, and decided the final width of the shield (I chose 74cm/30").

2) I attached a pencil to the string and then was able to trace a perfect circle.

3) I used my jigsaw to cut the excess wood of the shield.

You could also use a router with a circle jig or a hand saw if you feel confident enough.
Don't worry if the cut isn't perfect and your shield perfectly round, you can fix this later with the sander.

Step 7: Make It Even Stronger

1) I used a rasp to round all the edges of the shield and the permantly attached the wooden strip to have a better cross support.

2) I drilled holes into the strip, making sure I had at least two holes in every board of the shield, then hammered some carpenter nails in it.

This step is very important as it will give strenght and durability to your shield, but make sure the heads of the nails are flush to the boards to avoid enjuries.

Step 8: More Sanding and Stain

1) Now it's time for a good sanding. I used a belt sander but you can also use a palm sander, or sand it by hand.

I used #80, #120 and #240 grit sandpaper.

2) Then, I applied wood stain to the whole shield. Just make sure one side is completely dry before staining the other side.

Step 9: Fixing a Mistake

1) That's when I realized the hole for the handle was a little too wide for the shield boss I wanted to make.

So I attached cutt offs to the shield with glue and nails, and closed the gaps with wood putty, sanded and stained it again.

2) I recommand to make the boss shield first, then use it as a reference to draw and cut the shape of the handle.

But every mistake can be fixed, so no biggie ;)

Step 10: Draw the Symbol

1) According to Katheryn Winnick, Lagertha’s shield carries a runic symbol Fe (hu) : “Lagertha shield resembles a TREE & Rune FE – meaning ‘Wealth’ = Strength, Growth, Family (Tree),”she said. “The design for this shield/flag is loosely based on a rune from the Scandinavian alphabet meaning ‘Wealth.’ Runes are very important in Viking history as they are some of the few well preserved reminded we have of their lives".

2) I traced the symbol with a straight edge and a pencil, then used masking tape to hide the dark areas.

Be sure to use masking tape wide enough, or overlap to strip of tape to get the desired width.

Step 11: Paint

1) I used an acrylic paint called "emerald blue". But be careful to choose the one which matches the most your expectations. Every paint manufacturer uses different names for the same color, so, for better results, I recommand you to run some tests before painting the shield.

2) I applied two coat of paint and let it dry fully before removing the masking tape.

Step 12: Make the Boss

1) When the paint was drying, I made the shield boss.

You can buy cheap shield bosses online but I thought it would be much more fun to make my own.

2) I used a 1mm (20 gages) aluminium sheet, traced a circle with a compass and cut it with a beverly, but you can also use a snip or any metal cutting tool.

Step 13: Hammering, Hammering, Hammering

1) Then I used a pounding hammer to curve the surface and give it a round shape. I made sure to keep a one centimeter lip all round to attach it to the shield later.

2) I also used a wooden log I had carved previoulsy to give it its round shape, but once again, this step is totally optional.

If you decide to do it anyway, just be patient. Taking a flat metal sheet and turning it into a round shield boss takes time. A lot of time. I hammered for at least two around to get the result I wanted, and as it was my first time, it was still not perfect. But very fun :)

Step 14: Make It Round...again

1) Once it was quite round but not round enough, I drilled six holes and put six little screws to keep it in place and finish the shaping.

2) I used the other side of the hammer (the pein head) to get to final shape and a good surface finish.

I was very happy with the result for my first time. Once again, just take your time.

Step 15: Weathering

I didn't want the boss to shine to much on the shield, so I tried weathering it a bit.

1) First, I used my 2x72" blet grinder to smooth the edges, but you can also do it by hand with some sand paper.

2) Then, I used some polishing compound on the buffing wheel. I stop polishing when the boss had this dark color due to the polishing compound and used a rag to clean it.

Step 16: Hide and Dye

The only part missing now is the leather strips.

1) I cut some cow hide into three 5cm/2" strips. If you have made a 74cm/30" round shield, you should need around 240cm/95" of leather/hide to go all around it (the strips have to overlap a little).

2) Then I deep dyed them in brown with leather dye and let it dry overnight.

Step 17: Details

1) When the paint was fully dry, I remove the masking paint and corrected some details.

2) When removing the masking tape, the paint may flake or peel off, so you can use a very thin paint brush and correct any flaw in the design. Same with the stain.

Step 18: Holes and Nails

1) I used a compass and marked the leather strip every inches. That's where I wanted to put the upholstery nails.

2) If you put upholstery nails every inches, you will need a lot of them (approx.240 but some will bend or break so be sure to have enough before you start).

Step 19: Dressing the Edge

1) I put nails all around the shield to hold the leather strips on the edge of the shield. I made sure to place it correctly (one inch on the face of the shield, one inc on the edge, one inch on the back) and hammered the first nails.

2) As I couldn't get a hide long enough, I made three strips and overlaped them. One inch of overlapping should be enough for them not to move and have a nice result.

Then I flipped the shield over and finished putting the nails.

Step 20: Ad the Boss

1) I also used upholstery nails to attach the boss in the center of the shield.

2) If you did everything correctly (without making the mistake I made), it should hide the hole and the handle perfectly.

Step 21: And You're Done :)

Congratulations! You're done.
Off course, you can customize it the way you want : choose different wood, size or colors.

Here is the full tutorial video :

Once again, I know the shield is not historically accurate and 100% exactly the same as show in the TV show, but it was very fun to make and I'm very happy with the result. :)

I tried to make this Instructable as clear and easy as possible.

If you have any questions or requests for clarification, don't hesitate to comment. I hope you liked it and if so please vote and like, share and watch the videos.

See you soon for my next Instructable!

The Redsmith

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