Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield

Introduction: Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield

About: I'm an engineer and a dad who has a love for designing and making toys, STEM projects and anything electronicy.

Welcome to another Cairdy Craft instructable! This week, we're making a piece of geeky gaming goodness in the form of Link's Hylian Shield from The Legend of Zelda.

Check out the video below for a step by step guide or read on to make your own!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

To make your very own Hylian Shield, you'll need these tools and materials:


  • Xacto/Stanley/Craft knife
  • Healing cutting board/Old wooden board to cut into
  • Tacky glue stick


  • 2 sheets of A2 foamboard
  • Printed shield templates (attached in this step)
  • Sticky rubber feet (the little round ones used to stop coasters scratching surfaces)
  • Can of spray adhesive
  • Spray paints: Gold, Silver, Red and Royal Blue/Dark blue (I used Rustoleum)

Step 2: Cut and Stick Templates to Foam Board

First up, cut out the paper templates.

Arrange and stick the shield edge pieces together, then stick the smaller template pieces around the edge of the shield's frame or in the space in the middle.

Step 3: Cut Your Shield Pieces Out

Next, using your cutting board to protect your floor/table/kitchen, use your knife to cut around the outside and inside edges of the shield edge.

Then, cut out the smaller pieces.

Step 4: Trace and Cut Your Back Piece

Now, lay out the shield edge piece on your second piece of foamboard. Trace around it with a pencil and cut it out.

Then, lay the shield edge and your base shield base on top of each other to make sure the edges match up. If they don't, a light sanding will sort that out!

Step 5: Optional: Remove Paper Templates From Foamboard Pieces

Now, an optional step (which I chose to do) was to remove the template pieces. I wanted to leave a good surface for the paint to take to, but in retrospect, you could leave the templates stuck down, as long as they're well glued!

Step 6: Cut Angled Edges of Smaller Pieces

Now comes the deft, careful cutting part! To add a sense of 3D-ness (if that's not a word, I'd like to coin it now) to the pieces, use your knife to cut in at 45 degrees to the base of each piece. Check the photos of the curved, scythe-shaped pieces for a closer look.

Once you've cut each edge on the scythe pieces to 45 degrees, do the same to all the edges of the smaller pieces. See the photos for what this look like!

Step 7: Add Studs and Grooves to Shield Edge

Now to make that shield edge look a little more authentic!

Using the printed shield template as a guide, stick the rubber feet along the edge (see photos).

Next up, use your knife to cut shallow v-cuts at 45 degrees at the top, bottom, top-right and top-left of the shield's edge.

Now your shield should look properly riveted and battle damaged!

Step 8: Spray Paint Shield Pieces

Next up, find a well-ventilated area (I mean, outside or with lots of fan-assisted extraction) because it's about to get spray-paint smelly!

Spray using the following colours:

  • Triangles: Gold
  • Bird pieces: Red
  • Shield edge and scythe-shaped pieces: Silver
  • Shield base: Royal/Dark blue

Then, leave them to dry properly. I found this was around an hour or so in my case.

Once they're nice and shiny, it's time for gluing!

Step 9: Dry Fit Shield Pieces Together

Before gluing, it's time to dry fit your pieces onto your shield base.

Arrange them by hand, trying to keep the top and bottom most triangles pointing up/down respectively. Then, arrange the other pieces around them.

Now you know where they need to go, it's time for the gluing!

Step 10: Glue the Shield Pieces in Place

Time to get you into a sticky situation! (Sorry, pun intended...) flip your pieces over one at a time and spray on an even coating of glue.

Next, carefully press them in place, making sure to hold them down firmly for around 15-20 seconds to help the tacky glue take to both surfaces. If the glue goes on pretty liquidy, give it half a minute until it goes tacky to the touch before pressing them on.

With the scythe-shaped pieces, as the cutting can make them bow a bit, use both hands to stick them down, aligning the straight edge to the edge of the triangles.

I'd suggest gluing in this order:

  1. Top and bottom triangles
  2. Side triangles
  3. Scythe-shaped pieces
  4. Bird's diamond head and arrow-shaped body
  5. Bird's wings and feet

On the subject of glues

Indulge me, if you will for one paragraph! Choice of glue is quite important. You want the glue to set strongly, but not to take too long (unless you have a uniform way of pressing the pieces in place to go off). I found spray adhesive worked well as the glue goes on tacky, making sticking easy. You can also get a fairly uniform covering of glue quickly. You could also use hot glue for the smaller pieces, but I found in testing that the glue went solid too quickly for the larger pieces and had a habit of oozing out the sides when pressing the pieces down. So, spray adhesive works best for larger pieces, although you can get away with a very tacky glue stick in a pinch!

Step 11: Stand Back and Admire!

Hurrah, you're done!

Stand back and admire your fine handiwork as you are now the proud owner of a Hylian Shield!

Time to grab your Master Sword and... wait... that's another project coming soon!


You could spray the back of the shield to make it look more metallic.

You could also cut a strip of foam board to make an arm brace for the back.

Thanks and see you soon!

Thanks very much for checking out my instructable and do check back soon when I'm hoping to have the Master Sword ready to make!

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    9 Discussions


    10 months ago

    I made this, I didn't have most of the materials... did this stop me? Absolutely not. I haven't finished it yet but this guide has helped a lot


    I love your tutorial! I'm working on this right now and wonder if you can use a heat gun to heat the foam and give it a curve? Thanks :)


    5 years ago on Step 9

    can it be made smaller? maybe just scaled down to maybe 4-5 inches?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    i csnt get the pdf to print. im trying to find a template that isnt only an 8 x 10 i have no way to make it bigger myself and need this done for my daughters birthday tomorrow :( this looks like it would have been my salvation but it says forbidden


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    wanted to add thanks for the tutorial you have some awesome tips it looks great

    Cairdy Crafts
    Cairdy Crafts

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks very much! I hope the new link helps you out :)


    5 years ago

    I love this! Going to have to give it a try when I have some time off :)

    Cairdy Crafts
    Cairdy Crafts

    Reply 5 years ago

    Hey, thanks for the comment! Let me know if you do and post a photo!