*Warning: If you give a boy a book on how to build weapons it will lead to building a helmet, a shield, a tunic, a cape…
Really I should title this post, “Boys, Duct-Tape and Weapons.” I usually write my product reviews on items I find and love but this time I was contacted by Gloria Erickson from Warfare by Duct Tape and asked if I would be interested in doing one on The Greco Roman Book. As soon as I clicked on the website to look at the book I knew instantly my boys would love this. Then my next thought…how much money will this set me back?
The biggest cost in these projects is the duck-tape. I found that the dark gray was cheaper at Target for $2.29 a roll. For the silver and colored duck-tape AcMoore price was $3.97. But you can always wait for sales or use 40% coupons. We used about 5 rolls of duck-tape to make 6 swords, 2 helmets, 1 shield, 2 capes and 2 tunics.
To build up the excitement for this project I announced a field trip to Lowes. Be prepared PVC pipe is sold in 10ft sections, that is about the length of my trunk up to the passenger seat. The PVC pipe almost didn’t make it home. Amazingly the 10ft pipe cost $2.28 and the pipe insulation was $1.18, we needed 2 pieces. We were able to make 1 spear, 1 sword, 1 short sword and 1 dagger from this 10ft piece.
The best part…power tools to cut the PVC pipe into sections! This is when Dad and older brother jumped in to help.
I thought after spending the evening making swords my work was done, but the boys were just getting warmed up.
Next I had to print the patterns for the helmets on cardstock and then trace some on cardboard. Before long each boy had a helmet. The patterns were simple and easy to construct.
Then I found myself buying material at the fabric store. I was able to buy 2 yards of gray, 1 yard of blue and 1 yard of red and the cost was around $8. The directions in the book are based on sewing a few straight seams, but I didn’t want to get my sewing machine out so we duck taped our seams together.
Now their outfits are complete…NO…the cry for shields was next. The book does provide directions on building shields out of plywood and other materials. Since I had a broken shield I bought at a yard sale for a $1 we skipped the directions. We found the broken shield and Dad began the repairs.
My Greek Hoplite soldier needed a round shield. I knew cutting a piece of plywood in a circle was beyond my ability. Then Dad gave us an old hubcap and it was the perfect shape and size. We covered the hubcap in duck-tape, backed it with a piece of cardboard and added some rope handles on the back.
The best part about this book…the rules of war. Since the authors of the book have been deemed cool and amazing, my boys were on board with the rules. The best rule…no fighting with girls. I am now the best-protected mother in the neighborhood.
After everything was built, my total spent was around $20. The week building with my boys was the perfect summer boredom buster. The best part, their excitement about their history lessons starting soon.
We were also given the e-book on the Barbarians, which I had planned to make things out of but with the excitement of finishing their Roman and Greek outfits, we ran out of time.
Since my daughter wants the ax out of The Barbarian Book, I might find myself on another field trip to Lowes.