Make a viking brooch

brooched

Viking loved brooches, and many have been found in Viking graves. Women usually wore a pair or brooches which were pinned to the front of their pinafore. Sometimes there were strings of beads also attached to them. The brooches were typically oval in shape and beautifully decorated, though plenty round ones have also been found; have  a look at these ones found in Viking York.

Here is how you can make your very own brooches to keep your viking pinafore up!

You will need:

  • Some air drying clay  (for large or thick brooches a light air drying modelling dough is best as it won’t pull down the fabric when you wear it. Normal air drying clay is fine for flat or small brooches.)
  • Circles to use as templates – we used some bottle tops and glasses.
  • Modelling tools – plastic knives, tops of felt tips or anything else you can find which will imprint patterns onto your clay.
  • Some brooch findings which you can find online or in craft shops. A safety pin would also work fine although it might be trickier to stick on.
  • Glue.
  • Metallic paint. Acrylic works really well as would spray paint if you have some handy.

First mould your clay into your preferred shape – for flat brooches roll it flat just like pastry and then cut round your template. Oval brooches were often rounded outwards so you can shape it with your hands.

brooch1

Next smooth the surface using some water and your fingers. Now you can start decorating. Have a look at some designs on original brooches for inspiration or just make up your own. We found it was fun to make up our own designs using stamps made out of felt tip lids.

brooch3

 

We also had some fun writing our initials on the back using this cool rune translator.

brooch4

 

Once the clay is completely dry you can paint them.

roundbrooches

Glue the brooch findings onto the back.

Wear them for your next viking feast!

Here is our hoard of viking treasure:

hoard

 

What do you think?

 

Vikings! At the National Museum of Scotland

We had a fantastic day out at the National Museum of Scotland  last weekend. As part of their Viking Exhibition (which was great but really for adults) they had a weekend of activities for children. We had a guided tour around the viking exhibits, went to a show, got given our viking names and made viking helmets.

axeweb

The tour around the gallery was great. Our personal guide  knew lots about the exhibits and was great with the kids. They got to hold real viking artifacts and a huge replica sword which had been found in the grave of an eleven year old boy

Nikiweb

Sadly the exhibition has moved back to Sweden now, but there are still plenty amazing Viking exhibits in the permanent gallery in Edinburgh which are worth a look.

We also found this brilliant viking game on the NMS website which we all had a go at! http://www.nms.ac.uk/kids/games_and_adventures/vikings_training_school.aspx

We are now looking forward to Royal Rumblings as part of the museums next exhibition on Mary Queen of Scots in July.