Coats of arms and family crests are important symbols of family heritage and were passed down through generations. Having a family coats of arms was very common in the middle ages and still fascinate many people to this day. Using a free printable coat of arms template to design your own can be a fun activity for your whole family. Ready to dig into your family history?
What is a Coat of Arms?
A coat of arms was a crest or a symbol unique to a family or individual, and it was primarily used to establish identity in battle and heraldic achievement.
Coat of arms symbols are meant to be distinct and often include a shield, helmet, crest, heraldic element, or other designs that stand out. Coats of arms belong to individuals, so just because you have the same last name as someone else, doesn’t mean you will share a coat of arms. Your family’s coat will be different from other families, even if you share a last name.
What is the difference between a coat of arms and a family crest?
The coat of arms itself refers to the actual cape, shield, crest and helmet, whereas the family crest refers only to the small image that lies on the top of the helmet. The family crest is somewhat similar to a logo design, it can be used alone if the coat of arms is to large and/or detailed.
Coats of arms can tell a lot about ancestor’s achievements and status in society. Have you ever wondered if your family has a personal coat of arms? You can search to see if your family has a coats of arms associated with your last name using 4crests, House of Names, or All Family Crests.
What does armorial achievement mean?
Armorial achievement is often also referred to as heraldic achievement and is the full display of heraldry that includes all the heraldic arms components of the coat of arms that the bearer is entitled to.
Elements of Armorial Achievement
Some elements of armorial achievement may include: a crest, helm, motto, badge, mantling, motto, and more. The heraldic design will be unique to and individual person or group of people, such as a family.
Creating Your Own Personal Coat of Arms
If you’d like to create your own personal coat of arms for fun, be sure to print out or free coat of arms template that has a number of things you can use to create your design. Our coat of arms activity sheets are a great way to incorporate hands-on fun while learning about heraldic authority.
Coat of Arms Activities
If you’re studying the medieval times in your homeschool, you can use a free printable coat of arms template to create one that represents your family.
You can involve the whole family in this creative project. Designing a coat of arms together is a great way to allow each family member to incorporate a symbol of meaning into the final design and to implement their unique element of coolness.
What should I put on my coat of arms?
Brainstorm some of the symbols that could represent your family and make a list. You can also search for sample of coats of arms to get ideas. I found a very helpful resource that helps you design your own coat of arms that has a lot of ideas and even has an a way to create what you design.
Think about family stories that have been passed down and how you can incorporate them into your coat of arms design. Researching family trees is a fun way to learn about your family history.
All Family Crests has graphics with names of Irish, German, Scottish, Italian, Spanish, English, Scottish, Welsh, UK, Canada, Australia and America origin. You can use their free family crest maker to design a coat of arms for your family.
Coat of Arms Templates
We found some fun coat of arms templates to share with you, and even created a Free Coat of Arms Unit Study that you can use to incorporate your own design for a personal coat of arms for your family.
Printable Coat of Arms Template – This coat of arms download is free for personal use. It has more of a design element than some that I found online, perfect to use for your crest template.
Simple Coat of Arms Download – If you are looking for a basic template without frills that you can throw down some design elements on, you might score here. There are a few designs, from super simple, to more elaborate designs. You’ll enjoy making your family crest template using a decorative element or two from these designs.
Lesson Planet has a family coat of arms printable that you can download and design.
Blank Knight’s Shield Template – You don’t need to specifically download a printable coat of arms template, you can find a metal shield template to your liking and use that.
If your super fascinated with coat of arms and ancestry, you can read A Complete Guide to Heraldry, by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies. This book breaks down the symbols and what they mean.
If you love your design and you want to order a professional copy of your coat of arms, you can frame it as a family keepsake.
Coat of Arms Instant Downloads
Free Blank Shield Designs – Use these free shield design templates to design your own coat of arms. Included are five different shields in various shapes and sizes.
Free Coat of Arms Unit Study Pack – Teach your kids more about coats of arms using our free unit study. Learn what a coat of arms is, how to design a coat of arms, and use our coat of arms templates to design your very own coat of arms for your family!
Download Coat of Arms Unit Study Pack PDF
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Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She has been homeschooling for over a decade and has successfully graduated her first homeschooler. She has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.