Simple (and Frugal) Fun: Dressing Up a Duct Tape Knight


The following post originally appeared in 2010.  I’m republishing it today with a few updates.  Note: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

If you are a regular reader of my other blog, then you have probably noticed that one of my family’s favorite crafting materials  is duct tape.  We love creating with this sturdy, sticky, colorful tape.


Duct Tape Knight

We were inspired by one of my daughter’s favorite reads, Igraine the Brave and a booklet from CurrClick, The Shield and Buckler booklet.  Our own “Igraine” and her little brother, Sir Max the Bold, were in need of some knightly attire.

The booklet costs $1 and taught us how to make duct tape shields using five gallon bucket lids.  But, you certainly wouldn’t need the booklet to get started.

Basically, you’re covering a 5 gallon bucket lid with duct tape and creating a handle on the back (also from duct tape) for your child to slide their arm into.

We made a shield for each of our older kids. The cost of each shield was just under $3.oo (each lid was 99 cents and the duct tape was approximately $6 – and we’ve got some leftover for future projects).


Duct tape comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can personalize this project for your kids. We chose red and chrome for this project.  Jillian embellished her shield with Sharpie markers.

After our success with the shields, we began to experiment and design on our own knight’s gear. Recycling some cardboard to use as a base, my husband Chris made two different styles of knight’s helmets (I’ll share how he made those in a future post) and we’ve refined our shield decorating technique, too.

The possibilities are limitless!

Our Favorite Brand

We have discovered a few things along the way with our duct tape adventures.  One of those things we learned is that not all duct tape is created equal and not all brands offer a wide selection of colors and patterns.  Our favorite brands of duct tape to craft with is Duck Brand by Shurtech, which we found at our local hardware store, and the Kid Made Modern tapes found at Target.


This craft would go nicely with one of our Unplugged Play Ideas:  creating a cardboard castle.

Our duct tape adventures are continuing as Jillian, challenged by Todd Oldham when we were at Crafting Community to make her Halloween costume this year, has been using duct tape to create an evil queen costume.  I’ll be sure to share her creation once she’s finished!

What are some of your family’s favorite frugal crafting materials?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. Totally, totally cool!!! My kids always get a roll of duct tape in their Christmas stocking… there is so much to do with it and so little time!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Se7en’s Fabulous Friday Fun 41 – Link-Up…

  2. love ALL of this. my kids are addicted to duct tape right now. My oldest has just made a cell phone carrier for his fly fishing vest out of duct tape….great ideas, thanks for the info…

    def doing the duct tape for Christmas thing…

  3. oo love this! Sammy is just now starting to get into dressing up. I need to start making some things for him to use :-)
    Lindsay @ BytesOfMemory´s latest post: Menu Plan Monday 10-25-10

  4. What a great idea!

  5. Have you seen all the different colors of ductape and even prints? My daughter could go to town with the hot pink!
    Nisha´s latest post: Workin’ the Weight Loss with some RUNNING!

  6. This is so cool, what a great idea. I’ve used duck tape on many things but this is fabulous. Thanks,

  7. Oh boy! My son is a big fan of knights, a big fan of duct tape, and a big fan of the Renaissance Faire we’re going to next week. This may just the ticket! Thanks Kara.
    Hannah´s latest post: Boys 2 Men

  8. Oh my goodness, duct tape is a crafting staple in our house.

    We attended a birthday party recently with heavy duty duct tape knights. So much fun!

  9. LOVE this – we’re also big fans of duct tape. Great idea!
    Melissa @imaginationsoup´s latest post: Soup Scoop – Best Links of the Week

  10. We’re duct tape fans here too. I experimented with a technique of using duct tape over old clothing (something I picked up from a knitting book, in a plan for making a dress form), and have made some fun costumes with my son.

    We’ve made hoplite armor for our homeschool history fair:

    And a Thor costume for Halloween:

    Wish I’d played with it when my kids were younger, like you have!
    patricia´s latest post: year of writing

  11. my son loves shaving cream – you can paint with it, use it in water, the bathtub, add dye to it..

  12. My son always loved duct tape, and as a teen he would carry it in his pocket flattened out like he saw once on a MacGyver show (we own the whole series, lol!)
    Such a cute idea!
    Successful Woman’s Resource Center´s latest post: Make an appointment with yourself

  13. What great ideas! This is the perfect duct tape post for beginners. The only other source I know of is that website started by two brothers, Really cool, but a little overwhelming to get started! Thanks for all the ideas.
    Valerie´s latest post: Coaching the Strong-Willed Child

  14. Kara, we’ve had quite a few duct tape knights marauding around here in days of yore. My daughter also went through spools and spools of masking tape. When she was 3-6 it was her favorite plaything/crafting tool. Easy to create costumes for her barbies or stuffed animals with masking tape and scraps of cloth, decorate her room, create in general – easy to tear and easy to clean up. And cheap!
    Sarah´s latest post: Ultimate Guide For Better Brain Health

  15. Hello there, just changed into alert to your

    weblog thru Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I’m gonna be

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    proceed this in future. Lots of other folks can be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!
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  16. That is so fun! GREAT idea!

  17. Duct tape! How have we not crafted with this yet. Our favourite frugal crafting material of all time: appliance boxes – not so frugal if you buy an appliance to get one ;).
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: Harry Potter’s Luna Lovegood Costume (made by our 9 year old!)

  18. So exciting to see all these great knight ideas. We are novices when it comes to manufacturing knight costumes. Can’t wait to try some of these techniques.


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  2. […] Simple (and Frugal) Fun: Dressing Up a Duct Tape Knight: Need a shield for Halloween? How about making an easy one for under five dollars?! […]

  3. […] This Duct tape knight costume dressing up is a wonderful and simple idea from Simple kids. […]

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