I have to admit that I rarely buy my kids toys and I would prefer to make DIY Halloween costumes. I know, I’m a horrible mom that I don’t spoil my kids with commercialized stuff ;). But I’ve learned that the things they appreciate the most are the things that I make for them. Plus, it gives me an excuse to get my craft on.
Recently I made some wooden swords and shields for my kids, so when Halloween rolled around this year, my oldest son wanted to be Captain America and asked me to make him a Captain America shield. Well, of course I can, sweetheart!
The funny thing is that my procrastinating self waiting until THE morning of the Halloween party to do it, so I rushed through it. But you know I had the camera filming and snapping away so you can make something equally awesome for the kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews in your life, too 🙂
And not only that, she films the whole thing. And then shares it with the world so that other moms, Grandmas, Aunties, Uncles, and whomever, can be just as cool 🙂
What’s funny is that when my 8-year old saw the shield, he told me, “Mommy, when you said you wanted to make this, I thought it was going to look messy or something. But it turned out really good.” HA! Well….uh….thanks, Kwabena for the vote of confidence! I mean, I did have to free-hand just about all of it, and it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely not messy! LOL
Materials You’ll Need
- MDF Board – Get one that’s 1/4″ thick – Just under $7.00 from HD. You can probably get 2 shields from one board, so that’s about $3.00 per shield
- Black metal door handle – just under $4.00 from HD
- Jigsaw – I use Ryobi
- Jigsaw blade – Fine blade
Total Cost: About $7.00 each!
DIY Halloween Costume Idea: Super Hero Shields
But First….The #1 Reason You Gotta Own a Jigsaw
I’m not sure how many of you own power tools (specifically a jigsaw), but it’s only been recently that I started using my jigsaw. I had it for a while but was afraid to use it; I was intimidated. I’m more comfortable with it now, after using it on some previous projects.
But you have to own a jigsaw. Seriously. As a DIYer, it opens up the possibility of things you can make and cut out of wood. The jigsaw I own is just under 60 bucks, which is a steal. Don’t forget to buy a set of all-purpose jigsaw blades in a set like this. I think it sells for about $20-ish. Some blades are made for smooth cuts, rough cuts, sharp turns, and straight cuts. And you can get them in this nifty little blade set.
How to Make a Super Hero Shield
Step 1: Get a 1/4″ MDF Board
MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard. This is what it looks like. You want to get 1/4″ thick. I just happened to have some of this lying around from a big stash I had found on the side of the road (YES, roadside, baby!!) nearly 2 years ago. I’ve made tons of projects from this stuff, and in my opinion, it’s the best to have around. The reason the 1/4″ MDF is best is because it’s light-weight enough that it’s not going to tire out a kid’s arm from holding it.
I think the MDF size is big enough to make two shields, so if a piece costs $6.97, it’s only $3 per shield!
Step 2: Draw a Shape and Cut it Out
I’m not going to give you any particular size the shield needs to be. For my son’s, I made it round, like Captain America’s, but if you want to make it a different size or shape, you’re more than welcome to! I find objects around the house, like bowls, and use them as templates. Sometimes even with templates, they’re crooked. HA! No one said I was perfect. 🙂
But at least cutting it is easy with the jigsaw and a fine blade for easily making close turns and cuts.
Step 3: Paint and Attach the Handle
Okay, the type of handle you’re going to get is in the same aisle in HD as the fancy cabinet handles, but you’re looking for the section in that aisle with the more industrial ones. Handles from the fancy pull section all have invisible screws. We don’t want that. Those handles can’t be attached properly because of the hidden hardware. Instead, we need these industrial ones that can just be screwed down on top, like this pic below. They’re also wider and more comfortable for kids to handle.
But there are a couple important things to do first:
a. Cut a small piece of MDF for the handle to sit on. You need this or else the screws will go right through to the other side when drilling them in.
b. Paint it. (In this project, I didn’t paint it first because I was in a hurry but ideally, you’ll paint it before you attach it.
Now just sit your handle on top of the little piece you cut as a platform, and screw it in with the 4 screws that came with the handle.
See how my 8-year-old easily grasps it? They’re wide and comfy and strong. I love these handles!
STEP 4: Draw Your Design and Paint
Here I was using a bowl as the template. I couldn’t find my protractor, so I guess the bowl will have to suffice!
I struggled like you wouldn’t believe to try to get that stupid star to be right!!! I was pressed for time, so ended up free-handing a lot of it. YIKES!
I used Annie Sloan chalk paint on the top — Emperor’s Silk and Aubusson Blue. For white, I just used a craft paint, since I’m all out of Annie Sloan whites.
(Man…..I sure know how to put a hurtin’ on some paint, y’all!)
You can paint it before putting the handle on. I did it the opposite way–handle then paint, since I was pressed for time when working on it.
I’m ferocious, aren’t I?
I ran out of time trying to complete the shield, so I left the white paint for later. My son was excited to see me arrive to his school with a new shield in hand. And my, my, weren’t his friends impressed. LOL. Of course, Kwabena was so excited to tell everyone that his Mom made it, and that she “has a blog, and a YouTube channel.” HA! So funny hearing him describe what I do to others. LOL
STEP 5: Let Your Kid’s Run Wild With It
Man….these are such awesome toys for kids. Not just because they cost, like, no money to complete (and only about 1 hour of your time). But they’re just really cool and to say that you made it with your own hands is such a rewarding feeling!
Here are all my boys at my oldest son’s Halloween party at school. They had such a good time!
When we got home later in the evening, I added the white paint that I didn’t have time to add earlier in the day.
I just love making stuff for the kids! They’re lucky to have a crafty mom, I guess 🙂
Other Great Ideas
Since these are so easy and inexpensive to make, here are some ideas of when you could make these for kids:
- Birthday party ideas – Make all the kids a shield for a Super Hero Theme Party
- Birthday Gift
- Playtime – My kids love playing with these things at any time, not just Halloween!
Okay, so what do you think?? Would your sons, daughters, grandkids, nieces, nephews love this? Leave a comment below and let me know who’d you’d give a gift like this to!