How To: Skyrim Shield

Posted on Nov 17, 2013 in How To
How To: Skyrim Shield


I really don’t want to write an introduction. There is no need to explain the need for a shield, let alone one inspired by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. So without further ado, this is how it was done!

Tools / Materials

  • Pencil
  • String
  • Yardstick
  • Sandpaper
  • Jigsaw
  • Power drill
  • Hammer
  • Duct tape
  • Medium and small paint brushes
  • Cleaning rags
  • 2x2ft 1/2in-thick plywood board
  • (1) 20×2.5 1/2in-thick plank
  • (2) 16×2.5 1/2in-thick planks
  • 3/4in nails
  • Door handle (galvanized steel)
  • Wood-stain
  • Spray-paint (colors of your choice)
  • Additional information detailed in instructions.


  1. Find the center of your 2x2ft plywood board, then draw a circle out by holding a string at the center point out to the edge of the board. Accuracy is key here, don’t be afraid to mark the board up with pencil. I’ll note that my diameter ended up being closer to 23.5 inches. Use your jigsaw to carefully cut out the base of your shield.
  2. Prepare your backing boards. I decided on (1) 20×2.5in for the center and (2) 16×2.5in for both sides. I purchased 1/2in-thick poplar hobby planks and cut them with the jigsaw accordingly.
  3. Sand down all edges of the wood you’ve cut. Begin to pencil out the placement of the backing boards. Both sides will need lines down the vertical and horizontal center in order to line up the backing boards and the placement of the nails you will be hammering through it. Don’t worry about using too much pencil, it can be erased somewhat and the wood stain will cover it up.
  4. Drill small holes where the nails will be placed. This is to prevent the wood from cracking. Now you can start nailing the backing boards in. Make sure that the backing boards are secure (I used duct-tape) and that there is clearance underneath for the nail to pierce through the back. When each nail is through, flip the board over and hammer the nail down into the back flush to secure the boards even more.
  5. shield2


  6. Prime all surfaces of the wood for painting by lightly sanding them. Time to stain. Please be smarter than I am, do this in a well-ventilated area. Stroke the brush along the grain. Try to cover as thoroughly and quickly as possible for an even color result. I only kept the stain on for about 5 minutes for a medium-darker color. Use a rag to wipe the surface of the stain off and let it dry out/ventilate for a few hours.
  7. Screw in the handle to the back. I did this step before the previous step mostly because I wanted to bash my good friend with it as soon as possible. It is important that the screws be less than 1 inch long because we don’t want the screw poking through the front. I placed mine in the center, however, the two off-center boards can be used in conjunction with an arm strap for a more sturdy grip.
  8. shield3

  9. Design time. I really enjoy The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and went ahead and used my image editing software to extract and blow up a 1:1 scale print-out of the Falkreath Hold’s distinctive Celtic deer motif. The easiest way I could accomplish this was by cropping overlapping portions of the image over 8.5x11in pages (accounting for the non-printable area) and taping the pages together. The colors needed are navy blue and white.
  10. shield8

  11. The quickest and cheapest way I figured I could paint this was with spray paint, but I still wanted to brush the paint on. To achieve the matte navy blue color for my design, I resolved to spray and combine a glossy navy blue and a matte black into a small plastic cup. If you don’t have plastic cups, the spray can cap works just fine. Cover the majority of the board and use only vertical brush strokes. It doesn’t have to be perfectly even, the goal is a primitive look. Let it dry for a few hours.
  12. shield4


  13. To paint the symbol, I sprayed flat white spray paint into another plastic cup. I lined up the print-out centered and upright with the back of the shield before beginning, and taped the top so it wouldn’t become misaligned. I followed the template, folding up section by section as I went along. Admire your work as you let it dry.
  14. shield6