Making Your Own Runes | 03-08-16

I won’t go too much into this, but quite some time ago, I decided to make some runes of my own! Traditionally, runes are made from natural material such as rocks or pebbles, but where I live we don’t have any substantialy rivers or canals, so it’s hard to come across smooth stones. I know you can use wood or glass or anything of that ilk, but (again) I don’t really have the resources to obtain such things close to home. I do, however, have quite a large amount of Sculpey (clay) at home! I used this Sculpey for cosplaying (it’s good when you’re casting moulds) and I’m absolutely elated that I have a massive amount left over! 

The runestones and rune-bag I made by hand!

Before I began crafting, I read up quite a lot on runes and rune making as it’s both simple and complex. The simple part is the physical creation of the runestones. 

First, I took the clay and rolled it into small balls and flattened them with the palm of my hand. If you want a super smooth surface, use the bottom of a glass or something similar. The clay needs to be smooth for when you engrave or paint your chosen runic symbols on, especially as you will need to bake/fire the clay. The individual… discs, we shall call them, all need to be around the same size so that when you are using them, you cannot tell one apart from another. After rolling and flattening the rune base, (you’ll need 25 of these, by the way, if you are choosing to use the ‘wyrd’ rune which is basically a blank runestone) I used a clay engraving tool to begin etching the runes into the clay. This was a long and arduous process as I had 24 to do – I omitted the ‘wyrd’ rune. You don’t have to make the etchings perfectly neat but they need to be readable and recognizable, naturally. 

As you create each individual rune, say its name over and over to imbue the rune with the full force of its letter. Familiarize yourself with each rune; with their names and pronunciations – as well as giving each rune the full power of its letter, it will help you understand the energy of each one. 

You will now need to fire or bake your runes until they’re hard. Sculpey can be bunged in the oven at 130ºC. You’ll need to bake it for 15 minutes for every 6mm of thickness. This is the method I used, but you can fire your runes using a kiln if you have the means to, and if you so wish. This is a very traditional route to take. 

It may take quite some time for the runestones to bake depending on their thickness and size. Patience is a virtue, my friends. Once they’re out of the oven/kiln, you are left with a choice: do you want to paint the engravings or not? In keeping with tradition, as it were, you may want to paint the runic engraving. Popular colours are black, red, green and gold. Historically, rune makers would use blood to colour their runestones. Nowadays, the preferred method is permanent marker or paint. 

To make sure your runestones and their paint or marker (if you choose to use it) does not fleck away or become unreadable, you may need to apply a coat or two of enamel or a gloss. Simply cover the runestones in this paint or gloss and leave to dry. You can find the paint you’ll need in any DIY or hardware shop. 

Consecration of the Runestones: consecrating your runestones makes them more personal and thus, more powerful and it can also make them ritual ready. This is sort of like a simple dedication and it adds your power to the runes. Gather all of your runes, a small bowl of water and a white candle. Light the candle and place all of your runes to the left of it then take each runestone and dab a little water on it with your finger as you speak the name of the rune aloud. You must then pass the rune over the candle’s flame and speak its name again. The place the rune to the right of the candle and say the name one last time. Do this for each rune. You are now ready to use them!

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