Make Your Own Coat of Arms

You don’t need to have a family history stretching back to the Domesday Book to have a coat of arms. Take a look at the heraldic symbols and images in books or on the internet before you decide on your own design. There are several basic shield shapes that you can use for the outline, and it is better to draw these out on paper and plan the whole design before you peek up needle and thread.

As with traditional coat of arms, it is lovely if your design reflects your intended recipient’s name or occupation. Divide the shield into quarters and fill each section with little trinkets or scraps that suit the knight you have in mind. old badges, beads, buttons and braids, anything that have metallic thread, monograms, name tapes or old jewels all look great.


Use an embroidery hoop to keep the background fabric taut while you embellish it, and securely sew on each piece using embroidery silks. When you have finished you can make your design into a cushion or stretch it over a canvas.

Material You Need

Paper for template


Paper scissors

Ribbons, lace and fabric scraps

Beads, badges, broken jewellery  and buttons

Monograms, name tapes or school badges

Digital camera

Thick blanket or woolen fabrics

Tailor’s chalk

Silk embroidery thread

Embroidery hoop


How to Make It

1 Draw out the shield on paper and cut it out to make your template. lay out all the pieces that you want to add onto it. Arrange and move pieces until you are happy with the plan. take a digital photo as a reminder of what goes where.


2 Draw out the shield shape directly onto the right side of the fabric using tailor’s chalk. later you can brush marks away. Define the outline of the shield and the quarters in running stitch or by sewing on beads or ribbons or quarters of different woolen fabric cut using the template. You can use a sewing machine to put these background pieces in place if you wish. Then put the shield into an embroidery hoop to make the rest of the process easier.

embroidery stitches

3 Sew on all the other pieces that you have collected until the whole of the shield is bristling with reclaimed bits and bobs. Use embroidery silks and simple stitches to add detail in any blank areas or to sew initials, names, dates or mottoes in your design.

4 You can cut out the finished shield and hand stitch it to a cushion cover or staple the finished fabric into a suitable frame for hanging.


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