Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Box Full of Fun

Threading string through breastplate.
My son brought a book home from school about making home-made costumes.  I was naive enough to think that he just wanted to read it and look at all the pictures.  But he brought it home for a reason.  He had a particular costume in mind:  a knight in shining armour.  I was concerned when he pointed out how we were going to make all the pieces.  Not only is he a perfectionist, but when it comes to making crafty things, I'm about as far from Martha Stewart as a person can be.
Fortunately, I somehow made him realize that it couldn't all be made in one night.  We would have to take a couple days to make all the pieces.  The sword and shield were relatively simple once I found big enough cardboard boxes.  The hardest part was cutting through the cardboard with our dull scissors. (The directions said to use a craft knife, but I didn't think we had one and I was too lazy to look around for anything else.)  After the sword and shield were complete I thought he would be satisfied.  I should have known better.  He announced that the next item we had to make was the breastplate.
Breastplate and shoulder strap.
Here looks were deceiving!  We cut out the pieces and covered them with foil.  The next directions were to hole punch the sides so they could be strung together. Simple enough right?  Have you ever hole punched cardboard wrapped in foil?  It was like trying to punch a hole through concrete.  My hand couldn't squeeze hard enough!  I tried pressing it against the floor then Ryan put his little hands on mine and pushed with all his body weight on my hands.  OUCH! But it worked.....we only had 9 more holes to make.  With 2 remaining my palms could no longer take it.  I tried pressing with my foot but that didn't work much better.  Finally, I got the last 2 holes made. We threaded string through the sides lacing each half together and then fastened the shoulder straps.
The moment of truth came when he tried it on..... The breast plate looked good, but the shoulder straps were far too big for his tiny shoulders and the entire piece slipped right down to the floor.  It was getting late so I told him for now we should use string to hold the shoulders together.  "Mom did real knights use string in their armour?" He asked.  Yikes, I hoped this question wouldn't lead to random exclamations of "THIS WILL NEVER WORK.... WORST DAY EVER!" I knew I had to tread carefully.  I told him, "sometimes knights used leather to straps to hold pieces together and it was a lot like string."  That seemed to be good enough and we promised we would try to fix the design tomorrow.  After that, onto the helmet and gauntlets.  I never knew so much could be made from a simple cardboard box!
Luckily he doesn't seem to care that his shoulder strap is faulty.




  1. That is so cool. I showed my son and he was impressed. It's so great to have crafty kids... my son loves arts and crafts too. I'm so glad!!

  2. The directions on how to make this and lots of other great costumes are in DK's book called, Dazzling Disguises and Clever Costumes by Angela Wilkes.