Roman Amulet

The Romans believed specialamulets worn by babies and children gave protection until they were adults. Boys wore a circular design called a Bulla, girls wore a crescent called a Lunula. Wealthy families had amulets covered in gold.

Skill Level

Beginner

Time to Make

45 minutes + drying time for clay + drying paint

Adult Supervision Needed

Yes

How to Make

  1. To make a bulla shape, cut off 3 strips from a clay block. Shape the clay into a ball then flatten it into a shallow, domed circle 4-5cm in diameter.
  2. Roll 1½ clay strips into a long thin strand with your fingers, 15cm in length. Coil the strand around the circle then use the end of a thin brush or a pointed modelling tool to make a pattern around the edge. Use a straw to make a pattern on the domed circle.
  3. To make a lunula shape, cut off 3 clay strips, shape into a ball then flatten into a circle. Use the lid of a glue stick or marker pen to cut a small circle from the side then shape it with your fingers into a smooth moon shape. Roll the cut out piece of clay into a long strand then coil it around the edge. Add some decoration with small clay balls and use straw to press a pattern into the surface.
  4. To make the top section for both shapes, roll 2 clay strips to 5mm in depth. Cut out a rectangle with a modelling tool (3cm x 5cm for a larger top, 2cm x 4cm for a smaller top). Cut the sides into diagonals. Carefully lift up the bulla or lunula shape then curl the top section over the top to form a loop, pressing it down on the front and back, leaving a wide hole through the middle.
  5. Bake clay at 110°C for 30 minutes on a baking tray or tile. Leave to cool before handling.
  6. To make the hanging cord, twist 2 pipe cleaners together. Repeat with 2 more pipe cleaners. Twist the ends of the 2 pieces together to make a length of 50-55cm then wrap with masking tape. Brush along the cord with gold paint and leave to dry. Turn the card over and paint the other side. Leave to dry. Twist the cord again to then thread it through the top of the amulet and shape into a circle. Curl over both the ends of the hanging cord so they can be hooked together to wear the amulet.

Top Tip

Before baking the clay, check the hole in the folded over section is wide enough. If it looks too small, open out the top with a pencil or modelling tool to make the hole wider.

What you'll need

AV940

AW365

AF937

Total £0.00

Items you'll also need

  • A modelling tool
  • A baking tray or tile
  • A drinking straw
  • A paintbrush or pointed modelling tool
  • Masking tape