Knight of Round Table - Coat of Arms Craft
Michelle in Denver, North Carolina, USA
My son is obsessed with swords, so I figured I had two party ideas to choose from: pirates or knights. He chose a knight party. I began reading him the children's picture book version of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He fell in love with the whole idea.
Invitations: I bought brown craft paper and typed: By now you have heard of the infamous sword in the stone that reads, Whoso Pulleth Out This Sword from This Stone and Anvil is Rightwise King." We wish to celebrate this momentous occasion with a tournament held on Knight Connor's birthday. "I hearby proclaim that on Connor's Birthday March 10th all those who consider themselves worthy of attempting to pull this sword from the stone and anvil wll be given the opportunity. He who wins the sword thereby wins his kingdom." I burned the edges of the paper to give it more of an antique look. Next I rolled it up and tied twine around it. I then adhered it with red candle wax.
Decorations: I got plenty of washer and refrigerator boxes ahead of time and made a castle sort of entrance outside my front door. I took a couple of light weiht chains made out of plastic and made a drawbridge. I had a friend stand outside and announce when guest knights would arrive and drop the drawbrige. We attached it with a hook at the top so we had to be careful not to let it drop too fast. I placed two topiaries in front of the drawbridge that a brought from the backyard. I painted faux stone on the box and made stained glass windows by cutting out windows in the box and placing sheets of wax paper that had tisuue paper stuck to them. It looked really neat with the sun shining through the sheets. We placed a couple of flags on the top of the front entrance as well.
Once the guests arrived in the hallway I had fabric draped from one side of the ceiling to other. I found very inexpensive fabric at a discount fabric store. This gave the hallway a tunnel effect. I borrowed a knight from a friend and had him standing in the hallway. The hallway led to a round table that was covered in plain red fabric. I spray painted a coat of arms that my son and I picked out. I used some cardboard and carefully copied a lion running. Then I cut it out with an exacto knife and placed it over the table cloth and spray painted the area silver.
I covered each chair with some plastic in case anyone spilled anything and then some red tulle. I tied the tulle back with black and silver ribbon. I had some leftover fabric as well as some sheets draping across the walls to give it more of an oppulent rich dark castle feel. I also had my son and daughter place tissue paper on wax paper and placed it over all the windows for a stained glass look in the house. I borrowed as many candlesticks as I could. I had a lot of lit candles but I made sure they were up and away from the kids. A couple of candlelabras just had candles that were not lit because they were in a questionable place. I also used white christmas lighting here and there for more of an effect. I had music playing that reminded of the riverdance music that my friend loaned me.
Costume: As each knight arrived they received armor which really was an apron spray painted silver.
Actvity: As the knights arrived they were sent to an activity table on my back porch where they would make their coat of arms. I bought canvas fabric and had each one paint a coat of arms with acrylic paint because it dries quickly. I also had them paint on little tote canvas bags that I bought at the dollar store.
Next while we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive and for the coats of armor to dry we played music with some drums and tambourines since music was such a big part of festivities then. Once the canvas was dried we stapled it onto a big dowel rod. It was now time for the festivities. The first one consisted on fireballs and dragons. I drew and painted a dragon onto a large refrigerator box and cut out holes on the dragon. Each knight received three fireballs which were spongy type balls that lit up and flickered with light when you squeezed them. The goal was to try to get the balls through the holes and slay the dragon. They really got a kick out of this!!
Next was jousting. I bought 2 stick horses and gave each knight a foam sword. We hung a pinata down from a tree and had each knight coming from opposite directions running on their stick horse toward the pinata to hit it with the sword. We introduced each knight according to their coat of arms and raised their coat of arms in the air as they ran. I should also mention that we painted a line on the ground and each knight had to stay on his side of the line. They really liked this one! Of course the foam swords didn't break the pinata so we had the kids pull on the strings to break the candy out of the pinata. ( We just used a plain happy birthday pinata since we could not find anything knight related.) They filled their canvas bags with the treats.
Next we went to pull the sword out of the stone. We really just took a wooden sword and I decorated it with silver and red paint. I wrapped the handle up with book binding tape and even emossed a fleur de lis on the blade. My husband stuck the sword really deep into the ground and packed more dirt and rock around it. Of course after a few pulls each child was able to pull it out. We named them king of their home. I had each knight sign the sword with a sharpie as a momento for my son. It was now time to celebrate. Lunch: I just used silver paper plates and plastic goblets that I found discounted at a linen store. I served a large loaf of banana nut bread fruit veggies chicken nuggets corn-on-the-cob and yogurt. I tried to make it all finger type foods. I had a specialty cake place make a castle cake. All the kids loved it. They all ate around the round table.
Gift bags: I found velvet wine bags on sale from Christmas and bought them. It seemed to be the perfect thing to use as a gift bag. Each guest rec'd a knight figurine which I had bought over time at Target a plastic dagger a fireball and chocolate gold coins. They were also able to take home their little canvase bags and coat of arms. "