How to Make a Roman Amulet

Make a Roman Amulet

During the Roman Empire girls and boys alike were given amulets shortly after their birth to protect them until adulthood. Both rich and poor were gifted these but a rich child’s would be made from gold and a poor child’s would be made in leather. Boys had a bulla, which was both protective and symbolic of youth. Once a boy reached adulthood, he would have taken off his bulla. Likewise, girls were given an amulet called a lunula. This was a pendant which had a crescent shaped moon to ward off evil spirits. On the night before her wedding, the young lady would offer up the lunula and her childhood toys, to Venus. In this post I will be showing you how to make a Roman Amulet for both a boy and a girl.

Make a Roman Amulet for a Boy: Bulla

You need to cut out four circles from some thick card, two small and two slightly larger:

Glue the two small circles together and the two larger circles together. Make a small hole at the top of the large circle for the cord to go through at the end:

Stick the small circles under the hole on the large circles and cut enough gold foil to fit over the top and to fold around the back:

Place the foil over the circles with the small circles at the top. Fold over the edges of the foil:

Use the flat edge of a pen to squash and flatten the foil on both sides, being gentle as you push around the small raised circles:

To make the edges more circular, roll the circles with force on a hard surface:

The bulla:

make a Roman Amulet

Make a Roman Amulet for a Girl: Lunula

Cut two circles from thick card and two crescent moon shapes of the same smaller size:

Using Pritt-stick glue the two circles together and make a hole at the top for the cord to go through. Glue the two moon shapes together:

Attach the moon onto the circles with glue and cover with foil using the same process described above:

make a Roman Amulet

So you now have two Roman amulets, a lunula (on the left) and the bulla (on the right):

make a Roman Amulet

Finishing off the Amulets

The front of the amulets should look good at this point, but the backs will be a little messy with some sharp edges:

Cut some circles out of the foil, as shown above. Stick the foil circles onto the back of the amulets using glue such as Pritt-stick:

Squish the foil down firmly (I used the non-nib end of a pen) to ensure there are no sharp edges:

Using some coiled gold cord, uncoil a length of it so that you have a thinner coil to use with the amulets:

make a Roman Amulet

Thread the thin gold cord through the amulets and you have finished!

make a Roman Amulet

The girls made their own:

make a Roman Amulet

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