Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dragon Party Armour Part 2: Swords and Shields

It's finally here!! Two tutorials in one!!

When I had originally put the party together two years ago, I hadn't taken many process photos. The tutorials I put up were done after the fact, and I just hadn't gotten to the swords and shields, despite the best of intentions.

So, after many requests, here is the tutorial at last!

For these two projects, you will need:

- Sturdy Cardboard (boxes or sheets, whatever you have): The swords and shields need thicker cardboard than the helmets. I found diaper boxes are fairly sturdy. Anything that carries heavy cargo - the boxes we bought our kitty litter in actually held up the best.

- Something round to trace (unless you're freakishly good at drawing a perfect circle). However big you want your shield to be - i used a plastic bowl lid that measured just shy of 11 inches across, and it was the perfect size for my pint-sized guests.

- Another something round, but smaller - for the center piece, the "boss". I used a plastic cup, tracing the bottom which was about 2 1/4 inches in diameter. 

- Pencil or pen

- Box cutter

- Tape: silver or grey duct tape, regular masking tape, and maybe some clear box tape just in case.

- Glue gun

- Paper - Draw your own sword, or print the template. The tip of mine is curved because it was for children 5 and under - i didn't want any eyes lost.

- Scissors

- Brown paint (optional)

open your box and trace and cut out shapes. You will need 2 or 3 identical shapes for one sword, depending on how strong you want to make them. I only used two layers, because i had to make 13 swords. Some of them did hold up well, but others bent after a little use. For a sturdier sword, i'd suggest using three. 

DO NOT cut the shields on a crease in the cardboard.



IMPORTANT: Make sure the two swords are cut on a different grain. One horizontal and one vertical, or both diagonal in opposite directions, however you are able to cut them on your cardboard.


 The crease is not as important on the swords, since you're gluing multiple pieces together, and the grain of the other piece should support the crease in the one. Try not to allow too many bends, though. 

cut them out carefully with the box cutter. MAKE SURE you have something underneath to protect your surface. And extra piece of cardboard, cutting mat, whatever you have.

Tip: Even though we're cutting cardboard, i found it easier to use scissors on the boss (the small center circle), since cutting small curves with a box cutter was really annoying. To make it easier, the boss can be cut out of thinner cardboard. it's not necessary for this piece to be thick and sturdy.

You will also need a straight strip, about 6 x 3/4 inches, cut with a horizontal grain:


 Glue your pieces together with hot glue. Or any glue, really, i just liked that hot glue is fast. That being said, work quick so the glue doesn't cool before you get your pieces together. I glued a few inches from the top, then carefully, trying not to bend the cardboard too much, slid the glue gun between the pieces and did a little bit more.

You'll be wrapping it up with tape, so it's not super important to get every little inch. Just enough to keep them together. The glue also helps it stay sturdy.

Tape the hilt with masking tape. I had a little trial and error to find out the best way to tape them to cover all the edges without showing too many ends, but you'll have some ends showing no matter what.

Then tape the blade. Use two big pieces of duct tape for either side. Trim the curve at the top.

Then use a half strip of duct tape and, starting at the base of the blade, run it along the edge of the blade.

About half strips: If you, like me, are making these for a party, you will be making a lot of them. you can unwrap the duct tape and cut it in half, but that is tedious and the tape more often than not sticks to itself (or maybe i'm just an idiot with tape). I had two rolls - one whole, and one i had cut into half strips. I just ran my box cutter down the center of the roll all the way around.

I didn't cut super deep, but enough to let me wrap a few things, and when i got to the end of the cut, i just used the box cutter again.  You use half strips for most of the shield, so it was worth it to me to have it cut that way.

Your sword should look something like this.

All that's left to do is paint the hilt. If you're having older kids, it might be a fun activity to have the kids paint their own. But if you're not up for the mess, you can do it before hand. Regular brown craft paint on masking tape actually gives it a nice wooden look.


These are the pieces you need for your shield:

Run a long half strip of duct tape around the edge of the shield.

Flatten it well on both sides. If  your duct tape is like mine, it might not stick well to the cardboard. It might just bubble up like this:

You can hot glue it if you want - i tried that, and it worked but took a lot of time and caused a lot of aggravation. My solution was to first run a strip of box tape along the edge. It doesn't have to be the same size as the duct tape. If it's longer, it's hardly noticeable anyway.

Provided you tape better than i do. hahaha! The duct tape sticks so much better to the box tape, so it stays flat.

Once the edging is done, set it aside and tape the boss with half strips, like so:

I tried whole strips, but they don't cover the curves as nicely, so it ended up looking pretty boxy. The half strips just looked better.

Glue the boss to the center of the shield.

Make the handle: Take your strip of cardboard and measure in from each end 3/4 inches, then 1 1/2 inches.

crease and bend those parts carefully so as not to rip the cardboard, down on the 1 1/2 inch mark, and up on the 3/4 inch mark. It will look like this:

Then wrap the handle with half strips. It doesn't have to be all the way to the end, as we will tape those down after they're glued.

Glue the handle onto the back. Be generous with the hot glue. Then lay a couple extra half strips across the ends. This was just for security.

 I put the handle to the side, so that the shield lays across the forearm, like this.

 All done!

Some warriors designed their shields to depict their prowess in battle, or with a symbol of their house or status. At the party, we gave the kids markers and had them draw their own pictures on their shields.

Hope this helped!! Enjoy armouring your own little vikings!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the idea! I am gonna have a birthdayparty for my now 6 year old next wednesday and we'll use this!


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