How To Make A Cardboard Shield

Hello Folks,

This is CuteFluff’s tutorial on how to make your own cardboard shield. So let’s get started, shall we?

What you will in:

  • Very Large Piece of Sturdy Cardboard (I got mine from pallets that are sandwiched in between merchandise.)
  • Papier-mâché Ingredients:
    • A bowl or large container
    • Flour, wallpaper powder, or white glue
    • Water
    • Paintbrush / Sponge
    • Strips of 1″ wide Newspaper
  • Clay, Spray or Acrylic Paint
  • Stencils or Paper Stencils of your design
  • Scotch Tape (to hold down the stencils.)
  • Hot Glue Gun / Glue
  • Mod-Podge
  • Scissors / Garden Shears
  • Screwdriver
  • Black Marker
  • Pencil / string / tack
  • Fabric – I used some old jeans
  • 2 x Short bolts, washers & nuts

So you will first have to cut out your three different size pieces of circles from the cardboard you’ve collected. Maybe, you will have better instruments handy to get exact circle sizes. I used a string, a pencil, and a tack to hold everything centered. Once the three pieces are cut out; remember to not cut yourself, arrange the pieces in a stack and centered. Be careful when you use a hot glue gun when you glue them down, as I have burnt myself being careless in the past. I recommend hot glue because it’s instant and you won’t have to worry about them coming apart. If you want a more dimensional shield add smaller stacks of circles all around the bigger portion of the shield.

Okay, now get ready to papier-mâché. Mix 1 cup of white flour to 1 cup water. I laid down sheets of newspaper. Have your strips of newspaper ready. Expect to get messy! Keep your leftover papier-mâché for the front of the shield. Add more water when needed.
Tip: papier-mâché the back of the shield first!! As the cardboard will bulge out and you will want your shield to bulge outward not inward. 

Once the first part of papier-mâché is dried, add the shields handle. Take 2.5″ /  3″ or so strips of sturdy fabric; I’ve chosen an old pair of jeans. Tie a knot on one end by cutting a smaller strip of fabric and tie it tight. Braid the three strips to the other end and complete with another knot.


Use a smaller pair of scissors and make a 1/2″ insertion on both ends of the handle. Insert your short bolts; make sure they will go thru all three pieces of cardboard. Take your handle and position it at the back of the shield centered and mark where the bolts hit with your pencil. Carefully, take the pointy end of the scissors or screwdriver and SLOWLY make a small hole thru all three stacks of cardboard. Don’t stab your fingers and don’t make the hole too big. Insert the bolts thru the two holes you’ve made in your shield, place your matching size washers and finally secure the handle with the finishing nuts.

Now, it’s time to get messy again. Prepare another batch of papier-mâché or take out your leftovers from last time from the fridge. Papier-mâché over everything, even the edges of your shield.

Once the front portion is fully dried, usually overnight, get ready for another messy job. PAINTING! Choose the main color for your shield, I’ve chosen a light gray.

Now, for the fun part! Decorating your shield! Make it your own design or follow mine. I chose the Scottish Highland Targe design. I drew out my triangle design and the circle size I wanted and cut out my two stencils. I used Pure Gold (660) and Copper (664), Folk Art Metallic acrylic paint from Plaid ❤

I started with my triangle stencil and began my design. I made it my own style of the Scottish Highland Targe.

Once complete with my triangle stencil I let dry for at least 1 hour, so I could prevent rubbing up against the wet paint. Now, onward to my various size circle stencils. I love the metallic gold and copper colors!

I continued with more circles but back to gold.

Allow for about two hours to completely dry and set, maybe give it overnight like I did. I sealed everything by using original mod-podge glue, you could also use matte if you want less of a shine. Let dry overnight.

Your shield is complete! Great job! It’s a lot of work but to say you made it from scratch is something to be proud of! Those plastic and cheap shields are no fun, but this makes a statement and unique. I truly hope you had fun too!