Construct Your Own Bayeux Tapestry with This Free Online App

A wise woman once quoth that one man’s adult col­or­ing book is another’s Medieval Tapes­try Edit.

If tak­ing crayons to emp­ty out­lines of man­dalas, flo­ral pat­terns, and for­est and ocean scenes has failed to calm your mind, the His­toric Tale Con­struc­tion Kit may cure what ails you.

Pro­gram­mers Leonard Allain-Lau­nay and Math­ieu Thoret­ton and soft­ware engi­neer Maria Cos­mi­na Ete­gan cre­at­ed the online kit as a trib­ute to a late, great, ear­ly 21st-cen­tu­ry appli­ca­tion designed by Acad­e­my of Media Arts Cologne stu­dents Björn Karnebo­gen and Gerd Jung­bluth.

They sep­a­rat­ed out var­i­ous ele­ments of the Bayeux Tapes­try, allow­ing you to freely mess around with 1000-year-old images of war­riors, com­mon­ers, beasts, and build­ings:

Craft thy own Bayeux Tapes­try

Slay mis­chie­vous beasts

Rule the king­dom

Rotate, resize, clone

Choose a back­ground, add some text in your choice of Bayeux or Augus­ta font and you’ll have done your bit to revive the fad­ing art of the Medieval Macro (or meme.)

The orig­i­nal tapes­try used some 224 feet of wool-embroi­dered linen to recount the Bat­tle of Hast­ings and the events lead­ing up to it.

You need not have such lofty aims.

Per­haps test the waters with a Father’s Day greet­ing, resiz­ing and rotat­ing until you feel ready to export as a PNG.

The inter­face is extreme­ly user friend­ly, kind of like a tech-savvy 11th-cen­tu­ry cousin of the online drag-and-drop graph­ic design tool, Can­va.

The His­toric Tale Con­struc­tion Kit’s most impres­sive bells and whis­tles reside in the paint­brush tool in the low­er left cor­ner, which allows you to lay down great swaths of folks, birds, or corpses in a sin­gle sweep.

Your palette will be lim­it­ed to the shades deployed by the Bayeux embroi­der­ers, who obtained their col­ors from plants—dyer’s woadmad­der, and dyer’s rock­et (or weld).

The text, of course, is entire­ly up to you.

It pleased us to go with the emi­nent­ly quotable David Bowie, and only after we groped our way into the three fledg­ling efforts you see above did we dis­cov­er that we’re not the only ones.

Pre­sent­ing Ear­ly Pre-Bowie Ref­er­ences to “Space Odd­i­ty”

Throw on some Bard­core and begin rework­ing the Bayeux Tapes­try with the His­toric Tale Con­struc­tion Kit here.

If you are inter­est­ed in some­thing a bit more tech­ni­cal, the design­ers have put the open­source code on GitHub for your cus­tomiz­ing plea­sure.

The Bayeux Tapes­try has also been recent­ly dig­i­tized. Explore it here: The Bayeux Tapes­try Gets Dig­i­tized: View the Medieval Tapes­try in High Res­o­lu­tion, Down to the Indi­vid­ual Thread

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lis­ten to Medieval Cov­ers of “Creep,” “Pumped Up Kicks,” “Bad Romance” & More by Hilde­gard von Blin­gin’

160,000 Pages of Glo­ri­ous Medieval Man­u­scripts Dig­i­tized: Vis­it the Bib­lio­the­ca Philadel­phien­sis

Why Knights Fought Snails in Illu­mi­nat­ed Medieval Man­u­scripts

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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