World History Crafts for Kids: Medieval Crafts
By making medieval crafts, kids learn history while having fun at the same time. And our craft list here is long, giving you lots of choices for projects on the middle ages.
For Middle Ages reading recommendations, visit our Medieval Reading List for Kids !
Use yarn to “trace” your choice of Celtic Knot from this collection of patterns. You not only make an attractive craft, you also see and understand that Celtic Knots had no beginning and no end. Very simple to do and a good choice for younger kids.
The Celtic influence left us so many intricate designs that Celtic coloring pages are a given. Here’s a collection of about 16, at last count. You can also use these designs to make bookmarks (see below) or other crafts (like the potato putty idea below).
This craft stays completely Irish, using potato putty to make a Celtic design, and the results are impressive. If you’re not into potato putty, try making this with (green) clay for the same effect. It’s a great idea!
There are several bookmark ideas using Celtic designs:
This Celtic bookmark project uses very thin clay, so you would need a pasta roller or something similar to get the clay that thin. If you have it, the results are impressive. If not, just photocopy the design on paper & color. (Note: The link to the design template is a little hard to see. It is centered near the top of the page and is not underlined.)
The second Celtic bookmark option is a pretty simple design to just color and glue (add a tassel if you want). The source here is an archived webpage, so hopefully it will stay up for a while so we can benefit!
These Celtic bookmarks are listed as “table decorations,” but I see bookmarks!! They are already in color, so just print and go. You may want to glue them on something sturdy, like cardstock or colored paper, and then also laminate and/or add a tassel. The same source also offers Celtic Fact Cards, which are in full color and pretty cool. Lastly at the same source are Celtic Wall Hangings, which are full-color, 1/2 page round designs. Use these to decorate walls, or notebooks, or whatever!
Download a free PDF page on the art of making a Medieval border to draw & paint. Use this in your lessons about medieval scribes & illumination.
I used this Celtic bookmark pattern in a unit on scribes & illumination. Although the original project at the link uses very thin clay, I photocopied a copy for each student on white paper, and the kids cut it out, colored it with colored pencils, pasted it on a slightly larger background of decorative scrapbook paper, and then “illuminated” it with gold (& other colored) glitter glue. The design appears to be some sort of bird and is very similar in concept in pictures from the Book of Kells. (Note: The link to the design template is a little hard to see. It is centered near the top of the page and is not underlined.)
This Orthodox Christian Icon Coloring Book provides a great resource for Byzantine religious art projects! Use the designs not only for coloring, but also for projects imitating the mosaics in the Hagia Sophia. Mosaics can be made from dried beans, torn paper, dyed & crushed eggshells…your imagination is the limit. Crafts stores even sell mosaic pieces for kids’ projects. For heavier mosaics (like the dried beans), make sure you are working on a sturdy backing, like cardboard.
Triptychs were a classic form of Medieval art, used primarily in churches. To make your own, print out medieval art on a colored printer and paste it on to a cardboard triptych-shaped base (an empty cereal box makes the perfect cardboard for this!), gluing narrow gold ribbon or other trim around the edges. We make this easy for you! Get complete instructions, patterns, and authentic art to make you own triptych here.
The Church was an integral part of medieval life. With that in mind, make a Bishop’s hat (i.e., a Bishop’s Mitre or Pope hat) out of large squares of paper. It’s an easy folding craft! We decorated ours with a big red cross cut out of construction paper and glued to the center front. These can also be made out of newspaper, but they’re not as attractive. To add even more glitz, use elegant scrapbook paper.
These are fabulous instructions for making a fresco with your students! Copy (& simplify) a sample of artwork from the Byzantine or Renaissance, and follow the instructions to transform it using plaster of paris and paint.
Make egg paint and try to copy Renaissance art!
This Dungeons and Dragons site offers castles and other medieval buildings. All are done in color for the advanced student to print and fold.
You can make this intermediate-level castle out of cereal boxes, cardboard tubes (paper towel/TP), and the printed patterns. And it all fits on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of cardstock.
This paper soldiers site includes a castle, along with knights, weapons, and many other figures. For the castle, print the Doors, Gates 1 & 2, Tower 1 & 2, and Wall 1 & 2.
Better yet, make a castle pop-up card! This site offers another castle pop-up which doesn’t include a pattern, but instructs you on how to make your own.
Build Neuschwanstein Castle out of paper at the Paper Toys site!
Well, we don’t usually post expensive crafts, but this is too good to pass up, especially for a home school. You can buy cardboard castle playhouses to put together and color. Here are several different models: Medieval Castle Playhouse, the Discovery Kids Cardboard Play Castle, the RoseArt 3D Cardboard Enchanted Castle with 12 Markers,
and Easy Playhouse Castle.
Create a Stained Glass Window out of melted crayons using the same technique described at this link! Click here for a template for a stained glass window to cut out .
Carol Henderson demonstrates how to make a Stained Glass window out of colored paper and tissue paper here. Watch the video, and get the cathedral window pattern for stained glass to make your own. All instructions and patterns are free.
Click here for more stained glass window ideas. “Shrinky Dinks” (or “Shrink Art”) from your local craft store is also great for Stained Glass projects—simply draw/trace and bake!
Make an authentic medieval shield or coat of arms with instructions from Owl & Mouse. The same site gives a printable shield pattern PLUS clipart figures to print out (scroll in the box at the top of the page). Hint: Use cardstock or poster board for shield base–it’s easier than cardboard!
This site gives you patterns for a shield/coat-of-arms plus clipart to decorate it with. Scroll down this page to see the dragon, bear, unicorn, etc., and then click on the link below that for more clipart figures! Hint: Use cardstock or poster board for shield base–it’s easier than cardboard!
Here’s one of our own original Medieval Crafts: Watch a video demonstrating How to Make a Coat of Arms Shield for kids by Carol Henderson.
Find instructions for chain mail at the History For Kids site.
This technique for making realistic, flexible armor out of craft foam is amazing! The instructions do not include a pattern, but just the process. Be sure to look at the author’s finished product (for fictional “Helm’s Deep” armor)!
Protect your castle with a catapult made out of Popsicle Sticks!
This site is loaded with ideas for crafts, games, and activities to create an entire event with a Knights theme. Start at the crafts page, and follow the links at the bottom of the page for more ideas!
Make a chess set out of paper thanks to Canon Papercraft!
Print & Put Together: A READY-TO-GO MIDDLE AGES LAPBOOK
Read & learn, then create mini-books of various shapes & sizes to make a lapbook.
Find out more!
Print out this set of Medieval Life Flashcards, and then use to play “Go Fish” or another card game! Or use some of the illustrations to decorate another project or a Lapbook.
A good activity for the Black Plague is to make the Bird Masks that the doctor’s wore during that time as a preventative. They would stuff the beak with herbs. Yes, it was difficult to breathe, but they felt that that was a good thing and kept them from the “bad air.” Download a bird mask pattern here (for a minimal fee…and no, I am not an affiliate!). Just copy these on white cardstock, cut, fold, and you’re done.
Want another Hands-On History activity when studying the Black Plague? Well, aside from playing Ring Around the Rosy (read this nursery rhyme’s history here), my students enjoyed planting herbs…i.e., the “pocket full of posies.” I tell them the uses of common herbs in the Middle Ages as they plant. Great herb choices are parsley, basil, dill, lavender, or whatever else you’d like, and let the kids choose what seeds they want to plant. Get self-contained pellet pots and disposable plastic bowls for transporting them home to make this project really easy.
The Victoria & Albert Museum offers instructions & explanations to create a medieval book. Make your own quill pen and practice writing with washable ink!
This crown by First Palette is a more authentic Medieval crown than most. All you need are sturdy paper strips (cardstock), red crepe paper, fasteners, and misc. decorations. Suitable for the older child, this one gets our two thumbs up!
For the younger students, here is a fun and simple king’s crown or queen’s crown to color, cut, and paste together. It’s wearable when you finish!
Make the medieval siege weapon, the trebuchet. This is an advanced craft. Or try one out of Lego blocks! Here is another Lego design. This trebuchet is no longer on its original website, but still available on the Way Back Machine!
Make a jester’s hat out of craft foam. And then learn how to juggle!
This paper soldiers site includes figures for Normans, Saxons, Hospitalers, Mongols, and more, as well as siege weapons, a battering ram, and a castle.
Play Professor Noggin’s Medieval Times Card Game for a fun learning adventure!
Make Robin Hood’s green cap! Watch this video demonstrating How to Make a Robin Hood Cap by Carol Henderson.
This site lists lots of fun and games with a Robin Hood theme!
Since true archery is out of the question for the classroom, have your students make this felt target with Velcro balls instead, and compete for the bull’s eye!
The Vikings (Crafts from the Past) by Gillian Chapman.
Make a Viking ship out of paper!
Build your own Norman ship!
Make a Norman solider’s helmet.
This excellent worksheet challenges the kids to put the events of the Bayeux Tapestry in order, and to help them with that, have them look at this explanation of the Bayeux tapestry, which tells its story scene-by-scene. Or use this worksheet , which is from the same source as the first, and ask the student to figure out what the Bayeux Tapestry tells about William the Conqueror.
Please e-mail us with any links to add to this collection!