Monday 8 November 2010

Onward Christian Soldiers ?

My friend rang “Help! My son has to go to school dressed as an important character from history. He wants to be Alexander the Great – can you help?” “Oh sure!” I say, nonchalantly “I have some armour in the loft. Pop round at 6.30pm, and collect it!”

So I climb the ladder and fetch down the armour – helmet, breastplate, shield and sword…


…and realise this is not exactly what you’d call ‘greek’. It is more medieval Crusader type stuff [the large gold crosses sort of imply that!] and Alexander would not have had crosses, and his helmet had one of those Mohican Loo-Brush thingys on top.

Here followeth a tutorial on how to turn a Christian into a Greek [sort of reverse-Trophimus – see Acts 20] at least in terms of his armour.

DISCLAIMER- this is for a one day school activity – NOT for a Sealed Knot Type Re-enactment, so don’t expect too much veracity.

You will need

a cereal box [or similar cardboard], double sided tape, gaffer tape, and something to cover the card [I had some self adhesive holographic foil – but any paper or paint would work]

tools; tape measure, ruler, pencil, scissors

Measure the curve bit of the helmet as indicated by this bit of card


Use a tape measure! This helmet needs about 23cm


Next cut the ends off your box, cut it down the side with the seam


Open it out, and cut through the middle of the centre narrow strip.

Using double sided tape, overlap and stick that section so it is now just 3cm wide.

Cut your box into a rectangle. Width is 23cm – height is whatever your curve was. [So my rectangle ends up being a square!]


Fold the card along the two centre lines, plain side inwards. Cover the outside with your paper or whatever.


FIDDLY BIT – holding the edges together, snip cuts perpendicular to the edge through both thicknesses, about 1cm apart and 1cm long. [Ridiculously hard to explain or photograph]


This is to ensure that the cuts match up! Once you have gone all the way along, open up the card and make the cuts all the way to the centre section [but not through it]


Now put a piece of double sided tape across the strips on one side but do not remove backing tape at this point.


Put a second piece of tape on the other side along the centre section.


Peel off the centre strip and stick onto the helmet.

It will look odd and stiff.


Then it will start to curl up. At this point, you realise you need to stick a long 3cm wide strip of gaffer tape over the centre strip overlapping at both ends, to keep the card in place!


Now peel off the backing tape [in one long piece] over the strips and then snip through the slits, so each strip is sticky.

Fold up each pair of corresponding strips in turn and press together, and voila, you have your Greek Helmet.

Use some more gaffer tape and coloured paper to cover up the crosses on shield and breastplate.


Under the armour, I am suggesting my young friend wears an adult’s plain black tee-shirt which will come to mid thigh and look like a soldier’s tunic [The belt holding the scabbard will gather it in round his waist] I shall pin a plain scarf from his shoulders like a cape.

Eat your heart out, Richard Burton!



  1. You never cease to amaze me, I only hope to be like you! Oh and that Halo, I never had one in the first place. We are doing lots as a family at the moment, making the most of life

  2. Very creative! Funny how these costumes always seem to be needed by our kids at the last minute, lol!

    Clever you! :)

  3. The outfit looks fantastic :)

  4. You are one amazing woman! and generous to boot. Blessings!

  5. That is just so clever. I used to hate it when my daughter came home from school needing a costume for a 'spot' in the school concert lasting all of 2 minutes. My talents did not extend to such improvisations, Thank you for sharing it with us.

  6. Angela, It seems everyone has your number and knows you will help! You are a smart woman!


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