How To Make Armor

Learn how to make armor with this guide

How to make armor, by Arador.How To Make Armor

This guide will teach you how to make armor but I strongly suggest you grab a copy of this fantastic book by Brian Price, it makes a great companion for this guide..

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve had this unexplainable attraction to things medieval since you were a kid. Maybe it was spawned from a childhood toy, a fairy tale, or perhaps a movie. One day you happened upon a demonstration put on by some re-enactors, or perhaps you were just surfing the web, when you made a monumental discovery: “Wow! People still MAKE THIS STUFF!” This is usually closely followed by the thought, “Hey! I want to do this, too!” So in a glorious rush you have searched the Internet high and low, and found an armoring bulletin board, where you feverishly post to your newly discovered world of armorers something to this effect:

“Hi guys! I’m new to making armor, and I want to learn how to do it! Any help would be appreciated.
– Armor Newbie”

To your dismay, a week later there are no responses. “What gives?” you ask. “Doesn’t anyone want to help out?”

Well, the problem is the question. You see, asking “how do I make armor” is about as nebulous a question as asking, “How do I write a book?” or “How do I build an airplane?” A proper answer could fill volumes, which most folks aren’t willing to type up on a bulletin board. Why not? Well, the experienced folks who are capable of answering your question can tell right off, from the way you worded it, that you don’t know much, if anything, about making armor. That’s O.K., of course – all of us started out not knowing anything about making armor. However, before the experienced folks are going to invest the necessary time to compose well researched and cited responses to your questions, they want to know that it’s going to be worth it. In other words, they want to see from your questions that you have done some homework already.

This article about how to make armor was written to help folks like you get started!

The nice thing about most “hobbies” that revolve around an ancient craft, such as making armor, is that if they had the technology 500-1000 years ago to do it, the chances are that it can be done relatively easily today, assuming you have the skill. So the good news is that YES, you too CAN make armor. The bad news is, boy is there is a lot to learn before you can say that you can “make armor”. You see, the skill of “making armor” is actually a whole family of a bunch of other skills. Some are fairly easy, and require few tools. Others are fairly difficult, and take many, and expensive, tools. The armorer is a combination of artist, scientist, toolmaker, metallurgist, chemist, and engineer. A good armorer will have an understanding of mathematics, geometry, metallurgy, woodworking, and leatherworking, just to name a few skills. The modern armorer is also highly skilled at the art of improvisation, for nearly every tool at his disposal started out as something else and was converted to his needs.

Not only is there much to learn, but the prospective armorer should also know that armoring is an extremely expensive hobby. Now you don’t always have to pay with money – sometimes you can pay with time. Either time or money, you can be guaranteed that you are going to invest a considerable amount of both into this hobby, especially if you have dreams of constructing that full suit of gothic armor that we all have buried in our heads.

  • Tim Robinson

    You have some excellent comments here. I really liked the idea of using the poster board for patterns. Wonderful idea and a vast improvement over paper.

  • Rachel

    i really want to get into making hard leather armour im trying to gather all information i can from the basics of tanning to advanced techniques of hard leather while on deployment so i can have a good idea what to really study and practice when i ship back to the states. i get a few hours of internet a day maybe. i know its a lot to ask but if some one could give me a start i know i can get my footing and i really want to learn. what im looking to make is full coverage armour ive read a lil about useing wax method. ive yet to try anything besides tanning small game when i was younger. thank you for listening i hope to hear from you.

  • darion

    good info

  • I’ve compiled a list of articles I’ve found in the past few days since I’ve just started researching leather armor crafting. I can forward it to you if you want. It gives you a good idea on how to get started and even goes into great detail on waxing/boiling different types/ounces leather and their individual results.
    Are you in Afghanistan?

    • Hi Wayne, I’d be happy to receive them thank you. No, I’m not in Afghanistan but I see you are, stay safe and let us know if you try any of the articles out and how it worked out for you. Cheers!

    • Griff

      G’day Wayne,

      I see from the date on your comment that I am responding to your comment over 2 years late… but is there any chance you could send me a copy of those articles on leatherworking? I’m just starting out myself and i’m finding the research for patterns/techniques, etc, takes me all over the net!
      kind regards,


  • rowan

    Do you have a article on greek helms. I really enjoyed your article. Have you tried making tin can lid vanbraces with a ball peined hammer and string .