How to Make an Easy Homemade Egyptian Amulet

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Vulture Amulet
Vulture Amulet (Image: Illustration by Karen Frisch)

The vulture has an honored place in Egyptian mythology. A sacred symbol that always appeared on the front of the pharaoh's crown, the vulture was believed to bring the protection of the divine mother Isis to the dead. As an amulet, it was usually made of gold and worn around the neck. It is often portrayed with outstretched wings, holding in its talons the Ankh, which granted life. You can create a vulture to wear as an Egyptian amulet out of gold paper and cardboard that you can string on anything you like.

Things You'll Need

  • Gold foil or white paper
  • Cardboard
  • Markers or crayons
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A piece of rawhide, ribbon or gimp to tie around the neck

Decide how wide your amulet will be. Egyptian vultures most often are shown with their wings spread. If you're using rawhide to wear yours, you might want a large vulture. For something narrow like ribbon or gimp, you could use a smaller vulture.

Roughly sketch the vulture as in the illustration on shiny gold foil or white paper. If you use gold foil, you can give your vulture an embossed look by using a blunt knife to score (or mark) the body and feathers without actually cutting the paper. If you use white paper, color or paint it gold with crayons, markers or paint. Outline the body and feathers with black marker for emphasis if you like.

Cut out your vulture. To make sure its wings are the same length, fold the paper in half and cut the two wings together. He should be symmetrical except for his head, which can face in either direction.

Lay your vulture on cardboard. Trace it, and cut it out of the cardboard. Glue the paper vulture to the cardboard to give it strength. In the center of the circle above the vulture's head, use a hole punch or small sharp scissors to make a hole so you can wear your homemade amulet.

Measure your rawhide, gimp or ribbon. The vulture amulet traditionally is worn on the neck, so your hanger won't need to be long unless you prefer it that way. Allow extra length to tie it.

Thread the rawhide, gimp, or ribbon through the circle above the vulture's head. If you want to wear it on the neck, you'll need to tie and untie it each time. If you wear it longer, you can knot the back permanently.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also wear your amulet on a chain, preferably gold to match the vulture.
  • If you prefer, make your vulture in colors like blue and red instead of gold.
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