It's easy to panic if you haven't figured out your costume for Halloween. Try this idea and step onto the battlefield in style with this easy Viking Helmet and body shield combo. Using household items you can whip up a solid costume for pennies! The body armor can be worn around you or easily adapted into a shield you can carry. Put your hair in braids and wear a tunic and boots underneath, and you’re ready to go!
Scotch Tape (clear shiny blends best)
Scissors or X-acto Knife
Cardstock – white on at least one side
Marker, Pencil or Pen
Measuring tape (optional)
To make the helmet:
Step 1: Measure your head all the way around -- you can use a measuring tape or string. Cut several long strips of card stock two inches wide, and tape two together. Wrap this long strip into a ring that is one inch larger than your head size and tape the open ends together securely with duct tape.
Step 2: Next you’ll craft the dome of the helmet. Tape one end of another strip to the ring base and curve it over to the opposite side. Tape both securely with duct tape, making sure the tape ends loop around the base and trim any exposed sticky parts. Continue with another at a 90 degree angle to the first, then two more making an X across the quadrants formed by the first two. Reinforce the intersecting strips in the middle with more duct tape. When this is done you’ll have a dome frame. Set aside.
Step 3: Now you’ll make the horns. On the white side of your remaining cardstock, draw a horn freehand. Cut it out and trace three more -- make sure you flip it twice so you have mirror image horns to put together. Glue two of each together, white side out, but make sure you leave a half inch tab at the flat end unglued. When dry, fold each tab out at a 90 degree angle so the end of each horn looks like a T. Set aside.
Step 4: Cut a piece of tin foil big enough to cover your cardboard dome with several inches extra on the sides. You can use two pieces in an X pattern if necessary. Shape the tin foil to hug your helmet, tucking the excess underneath and taping it the base to secure it. You can trim away excessive foil as it overlaps. Work your way around the helmet to make it as smooth as possible, adding extra tape on the inside when you’re done.
Step 5: Using your scissors, carefully make a small one inch incision between two of the supporting strips of card stock holding up the dome from the inside. Stick the pointy end of one of your horns through this slit from the inside –the slit will expand as the horn goes through. When the folded base of the horn hits the inside of the helmet structure, tape it securely from the inside to keep it in place. Do the same on the opposite side of the helmet for the other horn. You can add clear tape on the outside of the helmet to make sure the slit doesn’t get bigger and to keep the horns in place. Try it on -- you’re done with this part! Follow directions below for the body shield.
To make the shield:
Step 1: You’ll need a large piece of cardboard the size of your torso—you can tape two smaller pieces together if needed. Place your large flat piece on the floor and draw your shield shape –you can freehand it, but use your ruler to make things symmetrical. You can also use newspaper to develop your pattern and then trace onto the cardboard. If you’re just making a shield to carry, you can make it smaller or curved more at the bottom. Once you’re set with the design cut it out.
Step 2: Make four slits at each corner if you’ll be wearing it as body armor across your chest, or two slits on opposite corners if you’re making a shield. Slide one end of your ribbon through the top slit and tie a knot on the outside. Tape the knot down with duct tape and add extra around the slit on the interior to secure it. Extend the ribbon diagonally down to the slit on the opposite bottom side. For body armor you’ll want to leave enough slack so the ribbon can go across your back and still have room to be tied; for a shield you’ll need a smaller length to keep it close to your body. Cut your ribbon accordingly, and slide the other end through the slit and knot as above. Do the same for the remaining slits, and cut your ribbon in the middle so you’ll be able to tie it on to wear it.
Step 3: Cut two large strips of tin foil several inches longer than your shield and place them shiny side down on the floor. Put glue on the right half of the shield on the front and place it down on the foil so the edge goes down the middle of the shield. Fold the excess around the back, taping it down with duct tape. Repeat for the left side. You may cover the exposed cardboard and tape on the interior by gluing down an extra piece of foil. Have a friend tie it across your back, or pick up your shield and get ready to battle!
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