How to Make a Shield in Minecraft

You'll need six Wood Planks and an Iron Ingot

This article explains how to craft a shield in Minecraft (any version) as well as how to gather the supplies, decorate your shield, and create a banner.

What You Need to Make a Shield

In Minecraft, a shield is a defensive item that you can craft and equip to help protect you from attacks. The materials are extremely basic, which makes it pretty easy to craft yourself up some protection when you first start playing. These shields are basic rectangles in design, but you can customize them with unique patterns and even enchant them in some versions of Minecraft.

You will need:

  • A crafting table.
  • Six wood planks.
  • One iron ingot.

The recipe and process are the same regardless of the version of Minecraft that you're using, and it's available in the vanilla version of the game, so you don't need any mods to execute this craft.

These instructions are valid for Minecraft Java Edition and PS4 1.9+, Pocket Edition, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows 10 1.10.0+, and Education Edition 1.12.0+.

How to Craft the Shield

Here's the recipe to craft your own shield:

  1. Obtain six wood planks.

    A screenshot of six wooden planks in Minecraft.
  2. Obtain one iron ingot.

    A screenshot of one iron ore in Minecraftt.
  3. Open your crafting table.

    A screenshot of thee crafting table menu in Minecaft.
  4. Arrange your planks and iron ingot in the crafting table. Put the iron ingot in the middle of the top row. Put planks on the left and right in the top row, all three spaces in the middle row, and the middle of the bottom row.

    A screenshot of the shield recipe in Minecraft.
  5. Drag the shield from the upper right box to your inventory.

    A screenshot of a shield in Minecraft inventory.
  6. Your shield is now ready to use.

How to Obtain the Components to Make a Shield

To make your shield, you need wood planks and iron ore. The wood planks can be made from any type of wood, which you obtain by punching or chopping trees, while iron ore can be found anywhere from the bedrock to a little bit above sea level.

How to get wood planks:

  1. Punch or chop trees until you have some wood logs.

    A screenshot of punching trees in Minecraft.

    You only need two logs to make enough planks to make a shield.

  2. Open your crafting menu or crafting table, and place your logs in the center.

    A screenshot of making planks in Minecraft.
  3. Move planks from the upper right box into your inventory.

    A screenshot of planks in Minecraft inventory.

    Planks are created in stacks of four, so you will quickly generate a lot of planks.

How to Locate Iron Ore and Make Iron Bars

Iron ore is the most common type of ore in Minecraft, so you'll find it all over the place. Look underground from just above sea level all the way down to bedrock. If you can find a natural cave system or a deep ravine, you'll often see exposed veins of iron ore ready to mine. You can also find iron bars in chests if you happen across a village, stronghold, mine shaft, tower, or sunken ship.

Here's how to get iron ore and make an iron bar for your shield:

  1. Locate and mine some iron ore.

    A screenshot of mining iron ore in Minecraft.
  2. Open your furnace.

    A screenshot of the furnace menu in Minecraft.
  3. Place iron ore and a fuel source like coal, charcoal, or wood into your furnace.

    A screenshot of smelting iron ore in Minecraft.
  4. Wait for the iron ingot to smelt.

    Smelting iron ore in Minecraft.
  5. Drag the iron ingot into your inventory.

    Iron ore in Minecraft.

How to Decorate a Shield in Minecraft

Once you've built your shield, you can immediately equip and start using it like any other equipment. You can also decorate your shield to customize it visually. This is also referred to as making a custom shield, and it requires a shield and a banner.

These instructions are only valid for Minecraft Java Edition 1.9+. Other versions of Minecraft do not support shield customization.

Here's how to create a custom shield:

  1. Open your crafting menu.

    A screenshot of the crafting menu in Minecraft.
  2. Place a banner and a shield on the crafting table in this pattern.

    A screenshot of customizing a shield in Minecraft.
  3. Drag the custom shield from the upper right box into your inventory.

    A custom shield in Minecraft.

How to Make a Banner in Minecraft

If you don't already have a custom banner, then you'll need to make one before you can customize your shield. This is a pretty easy process that requires a stick and six wool to make the banner, and then a loom, a banner, and some dye to customize the banner.

These instructions are valid for every version of Minecraft, but you can only use your banner to customize your shield in the Java Edition of Minecraft.

Here's how to make your custom banner in Minecraft:

  1. Open your crafting table menu.

    A screenshot of the Minecraft crafting menu.
  2. Place six wool and one stick in this pattern.

    All the wool used must be the same color.

    A screenshot of the Minecraft banner recipe.
  3. Move the banner from the upper right box into your inventory.

    A screenshot of a banner in Minecraft.
  4. Open your loom.

    A screenshot of the loom menu in Minecraft.
  5. In the loom interface, place your banner, your dye, and then select a pattern from the list.

    The third box (under the banner and the dye on the left side of the loom interface) is for an optional 'banner pattern' item. These can be crafted with paper and an item. For example, a Wither Skeleton Skull + Paper will craft into a Skull pattern. If this is used, it will add a skull and crossbones to the banner.

    A screenshot of dying a banner in Minecraft.
  6. Verify that you want that pattern, and move the custom banner into your inventory.

    A screenshot of a customized banner in Minecraft.

    If you want, you can dye the custom banner again using this same method to create more complex patterns.

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