As I’ve discussed in previous posts, our sons love Duplo knights!

Because we wanted to convert their love for Duplo knights into an outdoor activity, we recently built wooden knight shields for them to play with outside. Below I’ll walk through the process of creating them.

The inspiration for the shields comes from the recent Duplo castle sets that feature lion knight and eagle knight figures.

Our sons have Duplo knights that have these lion emblems on their stomaches and they pretend they are knights. This is the LEGO DUPLO Big Royal Castle (10577) set.

To start the project, I ordered two things online: laser-cut wooden shield shapes and custom lion head stickers. After some internet searching, I found these awesome laser-cut wooden shields on Etsy. Because our kids are still pretty young (2 & 4 yo), I opted for the 15″ shield size. This size has worked out well and was the right choice! I also elected to get 1/4″ thickness so that the shields are plenty strong and can withstand a toddler’s beating.

The 15″ laser-cut shield from Etsy. We bought two.

The other custom element needed was the lion head sticker. I took a picture of the lion knight head and traced it in Adobe Illustrator. Then, I uploaded the traced artwork to an online sticker company and had them print two largish durable die-cut stickers.

Here are the artwork files in case someone else is interested in the Duplo lion or eagle knights:

Eagle Knight Logo trace.
Source file: eagle-logo.ai
Lion Knight Logo trace.
Source file: lion-logo.ai

To kick off the project, we first added some wooden crossbars to the back of the shield. They are screwed on from front of the shield. We cut the wood at an angle on the ends to cut down on corners the kids might catch themselves on. The wood should be spaced out a handles width apart (see below!)

Adding the first layer of wooden strips to the back of the shields
Next we added a second strip of wood to make an area for kid arms to go, and then added two handles. These shields are meant for the left arm of a wearer. If you wanted to make a right arm shield, you’d mirror the handle position.
Next we brought the shields outside to paint!
First were two coats of white paint.
Both front and back.
Then we used painters tape to mask out the part that was supposed to be red.
We had to paint the red sections in the garage because it got rainy out!
When the red paint was dried, the shields just needed the lion sticker added to the middle. I didn’t mind the paint edges being a little fuzzy because the sticker would cover that up.
When the rain stopped, we added the lion stickers to the middle and then sprayed polyurethane on to make a nice durable surface
The finished product.
Our older son trying it on. Note the Lion Knight flag on the fort.
Ready to defend the castle with his foam sword

Overall, it was a fun project! The kids enjoyed it and it was pretty easy, having started with pre-made shield cutouts. I’d love to see what other custom wooden shield designs you come up with! Please let us know below in the comments section.

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