What is a Coat of Arms? 


Coat of Arms have been used for centuries as a badge to represent a number of things about a group of people. This can include interests, weather, faith etc. Coats of arms are often associated with geographical regions, influential families, medieval times and historic battles and fictional stories. 

 Coat of arms


How to create your own Coat of Arms


The great thing about this activity is that it can be carried out by almost anyone both old and young. Furthermore, a coat of arms can be made collaboratively between a family at a gathering. It can be a very inclusive activity and intertwine with family history and culture. Coat of arms can be created using a range of material and include sentimental possessions. You may want to use pens, paper, card, locally sourced flowers, clay, music festival tickets, greeting cards, photos etc.


Coat of Arms


Top Tip


Collaborate (brainstorm) together around what elements you would like to include. These may be a ‘family quote’, animals that relate to you or your region etc. Once all the elements and ideas have been agreed, start work on the design.


Inspiration: Henri Matisse


Inspiration can occur from a range of places. You may however want to also take inspiration from artists and popular culture. Inspiration may be vary from Harry Potter and Game of Thrones to 'plastic arts' artists.

Henri Matisse,  Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp are seen the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the 'plastic arts'.


  • Henri Matisse


After receiving surgery and finding movement hard Henri Matisse started to create art by cutting out shapes and composing collages despite often being confined to a wheelchair and his bed. His style and medium may be of interest and inspiration when creating your own coat of arms.


Coat of arms


Matesse' cut-outs collection has taken centre stage at both the Museum of Modern Art in New York and more recently at the Tate Modern in London during 2014.


Cutting Dying Matters

The 'Reclaiming Funerals Collective' funeral workshop at our Dying Matters Awareness Week Pop-up Shop, 2014.


Coat of Arms Conclusion


Once your coat of arms has been created it will instantly become a family heirloom and of huge sentimental value. Those who helped forge it and the wider family may take comfort from the design and the history and thought required to make it.  A coat of arms can also be updated, evolve and change overtime. If you only create one coat of arms make sure that you state who will inherit it after your death in your will.

*If you have have more than one child you may want to make a coat of arms for (or with) each of them using the same design.


Other Legacy & Digital Legacy Tutorials


Below are a number of guides and tutorials that we have written to help YOU have an active influence within your own legacy and digital legacy.


Offline Legacy Guides


Social Media Legacy Guides


Downloading your data and passing it on to your next of kin


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What we can learn from 'A Game of Thrones' when planning our own Funeral 

Game of Thrines  

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