Viking Shields

For this activity children can create their own design for a shield. Every Viking shield had a distinct painted design to represent the warrior. This task can also inspire group-work, as children may like to try making similar patterns as part of a ‘clan’of Vikings. Shields can be arranged together as part of a larger project to create a ‘shieldwall’ or added to a longboat model. Shields were important to the Vikings as protection and were also displayed on the walls of houses and along the sides of boats.

Viking Shields

Skill Level

Beginner; Key Stage 2 (Age 7+); Key Stage 1 (Age 5+)

Time to Make

45 minutes + drying time for paint and glue

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Draw a simple design in pencil onto a wooden coaster.
  2. Paint the shield. Leave the first colour to dry before adding another one.
  3. When the paint has fully dried, scrunch up a 15cm x 1cm piece of tissue paper into a tight ball then glue it into the middle of the shield.
  4. Cut a 3cm circle from kitchen foil then glue it over the tissue paper ball. Press the foil over the ball and flatten it evenly around the edge. This part of the shield is called the boss.
  5. Cut a 30cm x 3cm strip of tissue paper, brush with glue then press it around the edge of the shield. A real Viking shield would be edged with a strip of rawhide or leather to stop the wood from splitting if it was hit.
Viking Shields Viking Shields Viking Shields

Top Tip

Look at pictures of Viking shields for some ideas on different colours and patterns.

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