How to Make a Wooden Shield


Introduction: How to Make a Wooden Shield

About: I'm not an expert in anything. I just enjoy making things sometimes for the process sometimes for the end product.

While watching Game of Thrones it hit me how freaking cool would it be if The Punisher was a medieval knight!!! So I decided to make a wooden shield with a stylized Punisher skull on it. I also made a sword to go with the shield because, why not (that will be a separate Instructable). This is a fairly simple build as far as the shield goes, however it was my first time trying to carve something. Keep reading to see how I made this. This Instructable is entered in the Halloween Prop Contest please take the time to vote if you think I deserve it.

Link to build video:

Step 1:

I used 1x4x6 pine boards. I cut five pieces to 24 inches long and six pieces to 32 inches long. The 32 inches long pieces will make up the shield and the 24 inch long pieces will be the skull on the shield.

Step 2:

Using my table saw set at a 1-2 degree angle I ripped both sides of each board. I say 1-2 degrees because my saw is anything but exact so the 1-2 degrees is a guess. I didn't want the angle to be too aggressive otherwise the curve to the shield would be too dramatic. This will make more sense in the next few steps.

Step 3:

Then I glued up the pieces, this is where I ran in to some trouble I had trouble clamping all 6 pieces together so I had to clamp and glue them 3 at a time. This worked way better. So I ended up with a pair of panels that were 3 boards wide and 32 inch long. you can see the slight curve caused by the angled table saw cuts.

Step 4:

Once the two panels had time to dry I glued those two panels together.

Step 5:

Here is what the full 6 board shield panel looks like once the glue was dry and the clamps came off. In this picture you can see the slight curve of the shield.

Step 6:

Using my angle grinder with a flap desk I smoothed the joints, trying to round them over. Since the cuts weren't perfect I had to use some wood filler on the joints. I made my own wood filler by mixing saw dust and wood glue. I filled all the joints with the filler and then sanded off the excess again trying to make the curve of the shield a little smoother.

Step 7:

I found an image of a shield that I liked online and printed out a template of the shield. To see how I make enlarged prints checkout step 1 of this Instructable.

I taped the shield template to the wood and traced the shape on to the wood. I used my band saw to cut out the shape of the shield.

Step 8:

I used my belt sander to clean up the cuts and round over the edges. I also took the time to sand the entire shield front and back with a palm sander up to 220 grit.

Step 9:

Next I spray painted the shield black. I tried to tape off the edge so I could add a white stripe on the outside edge but the paint bled through the tape. So I sanded off most of the blunder and then used my brush to add two thin pin stripes along the edge. I also decided to scuff up the black paint a bit to add some character and make it look worn and not so clean. This pretty much finishes off the shield. Now its time to move on to the skull.

Step 10:

The panel glue up is the same as the shield and so is tracing on the skull template on to the panel. This time I had to use my jig saw to cut out the eyes and the nose holes of the skull.

Step 11:

I am not a wood carver but I tried my best using my angle grinder fitted with a flap disc. I mostly tried to remove material to show off the details of the skull. I added some groves to give it a hand carved look where I thought it made sense. This was messy but fun don't be afraid to really get at it and remove some material.

Step 12:

I then painted the entire skull with White paint and then covered that with an Ivory colored spray paint. I also tried my hand at weathering the skull. For this I used watered down brown acrylic paint that I would brush on and wipe off with a clean rag. The goal here is to get the brown paint in to the crevices left by the carving and grinder. This gives the skull some depth and interest and really makes it pop!

Step 13:

To attach the skull to the shield I used construction adhesive on the back of the skull and placed it on the shield. I added some weight to the skull to make sure it stuck on well. I plan to use this as a display piece so I didn't add any handles. Handles could be easily added using some scrap leather or an old leather belt and a few screws with washers to attach it two handles to the shield.

Step 14:

And finally here a couple of pics of the shield, you can see in the second pic the companion sword I made.

This Instructable is entered in the Halloween Prop Contest please take the time to vote if you think I deserve it.

Link to build video:

Halloween Contest 2017

Third Prize in the
Halloween Contest 2017



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    19 Discussions

    This looks super-sweet..I'm thinking it would make for some nice wall art in the man-cave. Good job on the instructable.

    Do you have any suggestions for making it more structurally sound, so kids could fight with it?

    1 reply

    I'm not sure the shield is pretty heavy already, I don't know that a kid could carry it for too long. You could add some wood supports in the back that span across the shield with glue and screws or maybe some aluminum strapping also glued and screwed. Or you could make it out of EVA foam and make some swords out of EVA foam for the kids to play with.


    9 months ago

    Hi, love the work!!!!!!!!! I would really love to make the sword please make it an instructable!!!!!! Really cool.

    1 reply

    Thanks. I'll make sure to write up the sword Instructable too.


    9 months ago

    Great Job mate, you got my vote. The punisher looks awesome

    1 reply

    "Oh yeah. I made a sword" :)

    Nice touch. thanks for the great step-by-step info!

    1 reply

    Really awesome build!!!! Keep up the great work, and I am glad to see someone who uses his mistakes as an advantage. I have a question though: What did you use to make the wood filler, wood glue and...??? Love your build

    3 replies

    Thank you it was wood glue and saw dust. I got the saw dust from my palm sander and just mixed it with the glue.

    Well written and documented Instructable! You got my vote!

    1 reply

    9 months ago

    Great decorative work, especially the skull. Perhaps you should, however, mention that this technique is strictly for decorative pieces. It wouldn't stand up to use in the Society for Creative Anachronism or other recreation groups. For the "real" shield one needs to make a shield press.

    1 reply

    Good thing I'm not a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism then.