Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How to Make your own Heraldry

Heraldry is a popular form of decoration used to identify knights and was often painted on shields and embroidered on banners.  Many characters in The Silmarillion have their own heraldry:

In this post I'm going to demonstrate how you can make your own heraldry which can display your own traits and let people know a little bit about you.

As you're putting together your heraldric design, keep in mind the colors and symbols which are associated with certain traits and characteristics:
  • Gold -associated with understanding, respect, virtue, majesty and generosity.  If the aforementioned describe you, include it in your heraldry!
  • Silver -represents cleanliness, wisdom, innocence, sincerity, peace and joy
  • Red -means a warrior, a patriot who is ready to defend their country
  • Blue -steadfastness, strength, truth, and loyalty
  • Black- grief and resistance
  • Green- freedom, beauty, joy, health and hope, loyalty in love
  • Purple- majesty, justice, sovereignty
  • Maroon- victorious, persevering in the battle
Those are just some of the colors that are important when making heraldry.  Shapes and symbols are also extremely important.  Some examples can be found at, where the above colors were also listed (thank you!).

Now that you've studied up on the colors and symbols that are integral in your design, it's time to actually put together your heraldry.  I'm going to be recreating Idril Celebrindal's heraldry.

You will need:
  • a pencil
  • a Sharpie or other dark colored marker (for coloring in darker, to be used with tracing)
  • a white piece of paper (standard printer works fine)
  • scissors
  • colored pencils, markers, crayons, etc. (of the appropriate color)
  • scratch paper (depending on size of paper you may have enough scrap paper to use without getting a separate piece of paper)
  • a shape to trace (again, depends on chosen heraldry; for Idril's, you will need a circular pattern)

The first step is to get your paper into a square shape.

Next, fold the paper into six sections; once with the top meeting the bottom, then from side to side, and one final matching of the corners.  Depending on which heraldric design you choose, you may have different requirements for the number of sections.  You can see that Idril's heraldry has six rotationally symmetric patterns.  You can draw out one of the sections onto a scratch piece of paper.  Trace that design into each section in order to keep your sections completely symmetrical.  Cut the heraldry into the right shape: this could mean pengagons, hexagons, even triangles.  For Idril's, it is a circle.

When you are done, color in the sections with the appropriate hues.  Make sure to use the same colors in each section--I recommend doing it color by color rather than section by section so similar colors are not mistakenly mixed.

Finally, mount your beautiful heraldry on a piece of construction paper or tag board, and hang for all to enjoy.

Questions or suggestions?  Leave them in the comments!

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This photo was taken from a Deviantart account owned by Arcalme.  My teacher has asked to keep my drawing of Idril's heraldry for a display, so I was unable to post it here.  Arcalme's rendering looks very similar, so this is a good example of what yours might look like when you are finished.  All copyright to the above image again belong to Arcalme on


  1. I think, for making my own heraldry, I would use Gold, Silver, Green, and Black, with the shape of a cross worked in like a Celtic Knot. I should try doing one! Thanks for the idea!

    1. Sounds beautiful! Let me know how it turns out :)