Historical Characters

Here you can make a Roman couple or a Viking couple! Marcus and Flavia are wealthy Romans. Bjorn and Helga, are Vikings. Children can explore the past by making their own versions of these characters. The project can be extended with storytelling, role-playing games, making a setting for the people to live in or you could try making characters from other periods in history.

Skill Level

Beginner; Key Stage 2 (Age 7+)

Time to Make

30 minutes for 1 character + drying time for paint

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Paint the wooden people using flesh colours. Leave to dry.
  2. To make a robe or a long dress, cut a 10cm x 10 cm tissue paper square, fold it in half to make a rectangle then cut a small ‘V’ in the middle of the folded edge. Brush glue over the wooden body then wrap the tissue paper over the glue with the ‘V’ at the top.
  3. To make arms, cut a 10cm x 1cm strip from flesh coloured card, or paint the ends of a white strip with flesh coloured paint. Cut the ends into curves for the hands. Cut a small piece of tissue paper to match the body colour, glue it around the card strip leaving the hands uncovered. Glue the arms to the back of the body.
  4. Hair can be made from wool, embroidery threads of natural raffia. Glue short pieces of material onto the heads, leave to dry then trim, plait or curl into a hair shape for your characters. Make short hair from wool cut into tiny pieces then press onto a head brushed with glue.
  5. Glue small tissue paper strips onto the bodies for shawls, sashes and hoods. Make capes from felt or hessian and belts from thin ribbon, embroidery thread or raffia.
  6. Add small details to the characters using other materials. The Viking helmet is a tealight holder cut in half then curled around the head. The Roman lady has a headband made from embroidery thread with an acrylic gem.

Top Tip

There are lots of ways to make costumes and accessories for your figures.Before you start, try and find out about clothes from different periods of history to give you some ideas and details for making the characters.

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