Dad, I need a Roman Shield


‘For homework. I need to make a Roman Shield. For Monday’.

‘But its Friday night’.


So the conversation ended. And on Saturday morning we found ourselves at the cornucopia of arty delights that is HobbyCraft. We bought some card, some spray paint, some tape, some shiny bits and I ended up with a bill of £43. Yes £43 for a bit of homework.

But lets be honest here I love it – Competitive Dads are rife in Surrey. The important thing, I reminded myself, was to make sure the 8 year old got a chance to participate in the creation.

So we began at the beginning. We Googled ‘Roman Shield’ and found a design. Then we got a massive piece of foam filled card (its got a proper name but I don’t know what it is) and made a curve in it by sticking another bit of card on the back.

Then we cut out a template for our design:

Then we (well I) sprayed it a lovely gold and stuck it on the shield (which was already red because I got lucky and realised it was cheaper, quicker and easier to buy it red rather than painting it red). Quicker, easier but I don’t see the cheaper bit.

Then a bit of deft taping allowed us to spray a silver trim round the edges:

The patio looks much nicer with a silver coating anyway

We got a polystyrene cone, sprayed it gold and then, after it had semi-melted from the paint we stuck it in the middle. Then we got busy with some brass tacks and some ruby red mosaic tiles.

The fun bit was not sticking ourselves to the shield with Superglue. In my experience Superglue is usually isn’t that super but it certainly wanted to stick everything to absolutely everything for this job.

Now we had to create the handles. Step in the child to ensure a good fit. Enormous amounts of tape were required for this part:

And there you have it. Dead handy tips should your angel turn up and require a Roman shield in no time. You might scoff and think that’ll never happen to me – but for those who haven’t experienced this joy – watch out!!!

Actually this was easier than when I had to build an Egyptian ‘Shaduf’. But that was a while ago and I have no pictures. I’ve no idea what has happened to my, I mean our, shield. Its probably propping up one of the school walls or something.

54 thoughts on “Dad, I need a Roman Shield

  1. My daughter has just told me Roman shield required thks for your info hope /won’t spend that much and will probably look rubbish but we will try together cheers

  2. Made one tonight, used corrugated card and gaffer tape. The boy painted it himself. It doesn’t look as good as this one, but it was loads cheaper!

    • Nice one – I looked at the end result again and still can’t work out where the money went – I mean it’s not like it’s going to stop an arrow or anything…

  3. VERY cool. I once made a complete suit of armor for my then 3-year-old out of foil covered cardboard. It really looked cute. 5 stars for parents who do craft project with their kids.

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  5. Here in the United States, that is $70-ish. And that IS a lot for a bit of homework, but that is an AWESOME looking shield. So . . . . really it isn’t a lot for a project with your kid AND an awesome looking shield. I guess . . .kids are expensive.

    Thanks for liking my lasagna post. It really was my first red sauce lasagna! We just finished eating it tonight!

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  7. Hahahahahahahhahaha we had a fancy dress parade at school when I was about six or seven and my dad made me a ONE CENT COIN costume. It was a perfect one cent piece. I loved it – dad is artistic so he painted the design on perfectly. It was the most uncomfortable bloody thing to wear – but it won me a mars bar! You, too, are an awesome dad.

  8. A few years ago I had to help my youngest son make a Roman shield, helmet and breastplate — just to make a speech in class. And we only had two days to do it. That was not fun. 😦

  9. That’s so cool! It reminds me when I was a little kid and would win all the science fairs because my dad would do my science projects. So I guess he really won them.

    Once he made this giant spinning wheel out of plywood. I think he was most proud of that one!

  10. Mmmm – I remember a certain young man who announced he had to go to school dressed as a Saxon. Luckily his sister had a brown school uniform so bits of that got adapted for the day and we got a sword from Woolworths (those were the days).
    Then the night before he said – oh I need a Saxon snack. We put a couple of little Waitrose meusli bars in a wooden bowl and they looked almost authentic. we still call those bars Saxon snacks to this day! Happy times.

  11. My youngest was always grate, sorry, great at the last minute homework request. The worst was “Dad, I need a cloud for school tomorrow” at 7 on a Thursday. DIY followed by chemist. Chicken wire and rolls of cotton wool. Thankfully, clouds are of indeterminate shape.

  12. Growing up my brother and I always had the most unique costume’s thanks to Dad’s ingenuity! Never forget the year I went as Pippy Longstocking and he fashioned a wire contraption into my braids to make them stick out just like hers!

  13. Reminded me of the time my husband and a friend of his made a Ghostbusters Proton Pack for our son’s Halloween costume….lots of cardboard, paint, duct tape, tubing….it was a work of art and the envy of the other 9 year olds.

    • That sounds great – our 8 year old loves all the kind of thing still but the 11 year old is into Facebook and Youtube. Its a bit sad when they start growing up (or at least getting older)

      • Hi
        My son has this homework and I’ve bought most of the same materials but I don’t know how to curve this without the foam breaking ? Please can you tell me how you achieved this?!

        • I put four books (i think about an inch or inch and a half thick) on a table then place the board face down on the books. Gently lay another book or two in the middle so it bends. It should break because the foam is covered in card.

          If it does maybe the card is too thick

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