"Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it..."
- Albus Dumbledore
With Halloween on the horizon it only felt appropriate that I should make some Instructables to mark the occasion. I'm in the process of creating a Halloween window display based on the Harry Potter series of books and movies, the Hogwarts Coat of Arms is just one of the many props that will feature in the finished display.
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima designed the Coat of Arms based on J.K. Rowling's description in the Harry Potter books. It is divided into four, with each quadrant representing the founders: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. You can find out more about the emblems of the wizarding world on Pottermore.
My Coat of Arms is brought to life using colored felt, some decorative rope, glue and a handful of templates. I had a lot of help from my girlfriend who did some of the fiddly bits, including the detail work. She also helped with the gluing, so a big thank you to Joanne for putting up with me.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
To re-create the Coat of Arms you will need the following tools and materials:
- Craft Knife
- Ruler (a metal ruler is recommended)
- Pencil or Marker Pen
- Hot-Melt Glue
- PVA Glue
- Large piece of Cardboard
- Printed Templates (covered in the next step)
- Decorative Rope
- Selection of Colored Felt
- A little patience (I find it often helps!)
NOTE:When using knives and scissors take care and supervise children at all times, fingers are precious!
Step 2: Templates
Download and print the provided templates. I'd recommend using card instead of paper to add some durability (I used A4 380mics, 290gsm thick card).
Once you have all of the templates printed, cut them out using a scissors or craft knife. Cut along the lines, you can ignore the detailed bits inside, you'll use this for reference later.
NOTE: I've attached the template files individually as PDFs and collectively as a ZIP for your convenience.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Felt
Now that you have your templates, draw around the outside edge onto the colored felt with the pencil or marker pen. Use the following image on Wikipedia to help you select the appropriate colors for each element.
Tip: If you flip the template so the printed side is facing down when you draw around it you can avoid having visible pencil or pen lines on the finished side of the felt.
- To create the yellow + that divides the four quadrants, cut three strips of felt 16mm wide. They need to be around 12 inches long (or 30.5cm ), we will trim them to the correct length later.
- The smaller pieces are used to create the shading of each emblem (i.e. the dark markings of the badger, the hair on the griffin etc.). Once you have the main creature shapes cut out you can re-use the templates to cut-out the smaller detail pieces. Use the Wikipedia image for guidance.
- Lay out your cut pieces of felt and check that everything lines up properly. Use the templates for reference and trim where necessary.
Step 4: Adding the Detail
Adding the detail will really help each element stand out. It's only a minor thing but it adds a sense of shape, depth and a little definition to the design.
Use the templates for reference and replicate them by freehand using a pencil as shown in the photos.
Step 5: Glue and Assemble
Now comes the fun part, this is where you really start to see the whole thing come together.
This step can be broken down into four main stages:
- Sticking on the yellow + cross strips
- Sticking on the house colored panels
- Attaching the house emblems
- Attaching the central 'H' - known as an ‘escutcheon of pretence’ in heraldry.
Note: I've included a short time-lapse video of mine being assembled to give you a quick idea of the process.
1. We'll be using a large piece of cardboard as a backing panel to glue everything to, so start by taking one of the 16mm wide yellow felt strips. Using the PVA, glue it horizontally to the centre of the cardboard, but don't put glue on the yellow strip right to the ends, leave a gap at either side (this is to make it easier to trim to the desired length and shape later). The horizontal strip will define the positioning of the subsequent pieces as each new piece added will use it as a reference when aligning and squaring up.
2. Now glue on the first house colored quadrant. It doesn't matter where you start, but I started with the yellow Hufflepuff. Use the yellow strip we glued down in the previous step as a guide to keep everything square and straight. As the yellow strip is purposely a little longer than required, set the first quadrant a few mm's inside, leaving a little excess of the central strip sticking out, this will be trimmed later.
3. Now glue the second of the vertical strips next to the quadrant you just stuck down, using the quadrant as a guide to keep everything aligned and square.
4. Repeat the previous two steps with the quadrants and strip on the opposite side.
Tip: I used a mini-roller to ensure that all the felt pieces were flat and there were no lumps of glue or bubbles.
5. The smaller emblem shading pieces we cut out earlier are glued to each creature using superglue (i.e. the black patches on the badger, the hair on the griffin and the head pieces of the slytherin snake). This also applies to the detail pieces for the 'H'.
Tip: Use the templates and the Wikipedia image to help with aligning and positioning the pieces.
6. Glue the three parts of the central 'H' together (this includes the two-part frame and the letter piece itself).
7. Carefully glue all of the completed emblems onto the quadrants and the 'H' into the centre. Take note of where certain pieces overlap the 'H' and where they overlap the outside edges, again use the templates and image as a guide.
8. Once all the glue has set you can trim the oversized yellow strips. Mark where to cut with a pencil by following the natural line of the quadrant edges, then trim with the knife and glue down with either the PVA or superglue. This completes what I refer to as the shield.
9. The two remaining pieces (what I refer to as the wings) are simply glued to some pieces of cardboard and will be cut in the next step.
10. Admire your handiwork.
Step 6: Cut Out From the Backing Card
It's now time to cut out the main shield piece and the two wings from the cardboard.
1. Using a pencil or marker pen draw a line around the shield, leaving a gap of approximately 6mm from the edge of the felt (this will be used to secure the decorative rope in the next step).
2. On the wings you'll want to draw the same line with a 6mm gap on the outside facing edges, but leave about an inch or more overlap on the inside edges as these will be used to secure it to the back of the shield.
3. Using the knife and cutting mat, cut along your line to remove the shield from the excess cardboard as shown in the photo. Also cut out the two wings as shown in the photo.
4. Glue the wings to the back of the shield with superglue, use the 1 inch overlap section as the fixing point.
Step 7: Decorative Edge Using Rope
To add some real quality to the overall look we'll be using some rope to decorate the outside edges. I'm using an Aztec Gold colored rope with an approximate diameter of 6mm. This will be hot-melt glued to the 6mm piece of cardboard we left when we cut-out the shield in the previous step.
Tip: Before cutting the rope wrap some selotape around the section you intend to cut, this will prevent the strands of rope from fraying and unravelling.
This step is completed using two pieces of rope, one piece for the top edge, and one longer piece to wrap around all the remaining edges, including the wings.
1. To begin with start at the top edge. I started gluing the rope in the middle v-shape and worked my way out to the end, completing one side before moving onto the other. Apply a bead of hot-melt glue to the cardboard and fix the rope in place, following the edge of the felt.
I glued in 3-4 inch sections at a time, waiting for the glue to cool before moving on to the next section. It takes a little longer but it means you are less likely to move or disturb the rope as you go along.
The ends of the rope should fold over the back of the cardboard, try to follow the natural outline of the quadrants as you fold. Secure the rope ends to the back using a lump of hot-melt glue to hold it in place.
2. Repeat the technique for the remaining sides. Again I started in the middle (v-shape) and worked my way out one side and then the other. You'll continue the rope beyond the quadrants and continue to follow the edge around the wings (as shown in the photo), secure the rope ends behind the cardboard with a lump of hot-melt glue.
Step 8: Wall Hanging
Finally, you'll want to wall hang your finished Coat of Arms. To do this we'll be using the same decorative rope as in the last step.
1. Cut the rope to the desired length (depending on how you want the rope to sit on the wall hook), be sure to leave a few extra inches either end for securing to the back of the cardboard.
2. Once you have your rope cut to length, hot-melt glue it to the back of the shield. I secured it in two points, one in a straight section and the other in a small coil shape to make it doubly-less likely to fall off.
3. Give the glue a few minutes to completely cool and harden, then hang up your newly finished Coat of Arms and let it have pride of place.
Thanks for reading, I hope you like the Instructable. Questions and comments are always welcomed.