Thought I would make a tutorial on how I made my Hylian Shield. This was for my Gerudo Link costume but the same tutorial can apply to any version that you would want to make. Cost of materials is based on Michael’s prices, I am sure you can find everything cheaper elsewhere. A lot of these materials I already had from other projects.
Two foam core poster boards ($6)
One large sheet of craft foam ($1)
Two colors of cheap acrylic paint ($1.50)
Car upholstery fabric (>$1) - Get 1/8th of a yard at your local fabric store’s discount/remnants section
Silver metallic spray paint ($6)
Air Dry Clay (Optional and dependent)
Mod Podge (Optional and dependent)
Box cutter (preferably smaller kind)
Hot Glue Gun
Sewing Machine (Optional)
I drew out my basic shape on newspaper that I folded in half. I made sure that it was relatively proportional to my body. I’m a small guy. The size of my shield was a basic two page spread of a grocery ad spread out. One I got a shape I liked, I traced that onto one sheet of foam core poster board. Next, using the same newspaper outline, I hand traced out a rough outline of what the silver portion of the shield would look like and cut it out so that the two pieces would be able to fall proportional on one another. I hot glue gunned these pieces onto each carefully. The third tier of the shield is the pentagon at the very top, which if you look at references appears to be higher than the rest of the silver portion. I cut out the shape of the pentagon from the remaining portion of my newspaper, cut it out on foam core poster board and hot glue gunned it on.
I suspended the shield about five inches from the ground using books and set several heavy books on it. I slowly increased the weight by increments. Set the books at the top and the bottom of the back of the shield to get a more dramatic curve. By heavy books, I’m talking hard cover novels and large piano books.
I used a similar method with newspaper folded in half to make the silver emblems on the shield, transferred it to foam core poster board then hot glue gunned it down. For placement, a helpful tip I use for myself is to draw a straight line down the middle so I can see if everything is proportional. I used very cheap Crayola air dry clay that I had lying around to make the rivets in the shield. You can also use those small, clear gems at the bottom of fish tanks or anything you think might be disc shaped. Doesn’t matter, we are going to spray paint it anyway. This next part is optional, however, I really liked the designs on Link’s shield from Super Smash brothers / Twilight princess and did a quick pencil drawing on top of my pentagon. Afterwards, I laid strips of the cheap air dry clay and wet my fingers to work it all smoothly. Crayola air dry is cheap but gets the job done though it has problems sticking initially, just wet the back if you are having issues or wait until it dries then hot glue gun the back. You can use a more expensive air dry clay which will probably be less brittle if you prefer.
I took everything outside and spray-painted it all silver. I had excess gold spray paint so I decided to do the triforce that way as well, though if you want to use yellow or metallic gold paint that works too. The triforce was made using the same folded newspaper method onto craft foam until I got a size and shape that worked well.
I coated the entire shield about three times in the color I desired for the background then glue gunned the triforce down.
Using the same folded newspaper method to get a symmetrical shape, I sketched out half of the Gerudo symbol and cut it out. I would suggest making sure that your newspaper size is the same as the area you are trying to cover. Once I did that, I transferred everything onto craft foam, painted it then attached it using hot glue onto the shield. My reasoning for using craft foam on the Gerudo symbol and triforce instead of foam core poster board is that in reference images they do not have as much dimension and height as the silver symbols on the shield.
The shield looks almost done! I used four sheets of paper towels and made myself three edges: one with paint, one with water and one that was dry. Using each of the corners, I set to smearing black paint all over the silver and gold parts to dull everything down and used the wet and dry side of the paper towel to keep it from being too dark.
I coated the back with black. You will notice that there are crease marks. Unfortunately, that will happen because of the amount of bending that went into the shield, though the front will look perfectly fine.
I covered everything with Mod Podge as a protective layering. It will prevent chipping and hold everything together. This step is optional. Your shield will still look awesome without this step but I like it for durability sake.
I used the car upholstery fabric and sewed along the edges then hot glue gunned it onto the back so that I could have handles for the shield.
Great, you’re done! If anyone has any questions feel free to shoot me an ask. Hoped this helped anyone out there on a relatively cheap (if you have most of the materials on hand) and easy way to make a shield without any special or expensive equipment.