Design Your Own Coat of Arms for Father’s Day


    For Father’s Day this year, I decided to design a personalized, modern Coat of Arms for our family and brand some gear with it for my husband. The idea sparked for me last year after we received a wedding invitation that included the bride and groom’s coat of arms. I thought it was such a sweet idea to combine their interests and backgrounds into one symbol that reflected their new union. 

    I don’t actually know if my husband or I have authentic coats of arms stashed somewhere in our ancestry, and I didn’t really feel like looking into. It was more fun for me to start from scratch, thinking about the two of us and the family we created. 

    Discover Your Authentic Coat of Arms

    If you’d rather use the historical coat of arms for your husband’s surname, check out Heraldy and Crests, where you can search surnames to learn about their history, corresponding coat of arms, and purchase corresponding gifts and keepsakes. Fair warning: not every last name has a corresponding coat of arms.

    Design Your Own from Scratch

    I used Canva, a free graphic design website, to make my own family crest. 

    First, I brainstormed images that would reflect our family and thought about what colors I wanted to use. The Golden Gate Bridge because San Francisco is where we started our life together, a moose because it’s an inside joke going back 11 years, a wine bottle and grapes because Sonoma wine country is our happy place, and a compass rose to represent our love of travel, all of the places we’ve lived independently, and the fact that we withstood the test of a long distance relationship for a while. The blue is for Penn State, where we met, and the black and gold represent the Steelers, our favorite football team. 

    I searched Canva’s library of free images and layered them onto a shield (also a free image from Canva). Designing was so much fun that I made coats of arms for my dad and father-in-law, too.

    Then, I downloaded the files and sent them to my pal Sarah who owns a stationery company, Ted & Kate. Through her, I was able to get my new coats of arms etched onto wall hangings and stemless wine glasses, and printed on coasters, water bottles, and stationery. The order is in progress, and I can’t wait to see the results!

    Design Your Own with Help

    If you don’t want to create your own design from scratch, try My Tribe 101. The website gives you the ability to select traditional components of family crests and coats of arms and combine them into your own design. Every element of a coat of arms has meaning behind it, and the site describes the symbolism of each, allowing you to create a design with significance for your family.

    For a more modern take, let Sarah at Ted & Kate help you with the design. She can work up an original or modify an existing design from her site. 

    We may not have fancy titles or nobility in our blood, but that doesn’t have to stop us from celebrating the modern heritage we’re passing on to our children.



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