In this episode I’ll be telling you how I made some decorative miniature Viking shields! These are really nice little things to decorate empty spaces around the house – and they’re surprisingly easy to make.

What you’ll be needing for this project is some wooden hardboard (called Masonite by some) for the shield disk, a length of narrow off-cut wood for the handle, and an empty deodorant aerosol can. You’ll also need a marker pen or pencil, some all-purpose glue, and acrylic paint in the colors of your choice. Before you begin, you should also look for any motifs or designs you’d like to draw and paint on the shield.

This is much easier (and quicker) than making a full-size Viking shield for display purposes (you can read this article if that’s what you’re looking for)!

I used a side plate as a template to draw the circle of the shield on the Masonite, then I used a jigsaw to cut around the circumference of the shield. I used a bench grinder to smooth off the fluffy bits on the edges after cutting, but sandpaper would do the job as nicely.

The Viking shield had a circular hole around the center of the disk, behind which a handle was fixed which ran the length of the shield. The purpose of the hole was to allow the hand holding the shield to have enough room to move while holding the handle without the knuckles rubbing against the wood it was behind. A steel dome was affixed on the outside of the hole to protect the hand against sword blows, arrows or spears etc. We’ll be simulating that cap with the concave bottom end of a deodorant can!

Once you’ve cut the concave base of the can free and cleaned it, you’re left with a shiny metal dome (which probably smells rather nice too). We need to use this as a template for drawing the circle in the center of the disc. Place the circle in the approximate center and then measure around the disc sides to the edge of the disc to make sure it’s in the exact center, and then draw around it. Remove the metal dome. Obviously the hole we make has to be smaller than the disc itself, so with a pencil, draw a smaller circle inside that circle, as evenly as possible, just big enough to provide a lip for the dome to be affixed to with glue later on.

To cut the smaller center hole, we need to drill inside it with a drill bit large enough for the jigsaw blade to fit through. Then with the jigsaw, cut along the inner circle line until the plug is free, and remove it. Once the edges have been smoothed off, we’re ready to work on the handle.

As you can see in the photos, the handle is cut from a single piece of wood, broad enough to be held by a hand to scale according to the size of your shield, and long enough to reach almost to the edges of the shield on two sides.

Once you’ve gauged how thick and long your handle plank needs to be, you can trim and shape it accordingly. To make a grip for the hand that would’ve held it in the center, simply trim out a hollow, again to scale. This should be at the center, corresponding to its position over the center hole. It’s important that the bottom faces of the handle plank are level, even and smooth, so that the glue will hold them tightly to the disk. Apply the glue and press and hold it into position, then leave to dry.

Once this has dried sufficiently, apply glue to the bottom edges of the metal dome and set it in place around the center hole. Now that part’s done, you can start painting your design on the front side of the shield!

My more patient half painted the outside with some suitable Viking designs we found on Pintrest, and she also painted the inside to look like wood-grain! The two examples in the photos currently decorate our front entrance foyer at Fort Engela!

That’s all for this time – photos included – enjoy!

Have a DIY week!


This website is about Christina Engela’s inspiring and innovative DIY projects. Follow Innovation DIY on Facebook.

To view her main website, visit Christina Engela – Author. To view Christina’s previous human rights advocacy work, visit Sour Grapes: The Fruit Of Ignorance. You can also visit Our Ghost Encounters, a website about the paranormal.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email via the Contact form.

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2021.

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