How to Make Roman Jewelry

Roman jewellery consists of men's seal rings or signet rings; clothing brooches known as fibula; boy's amulets; and women's necklaces, bracelets and rings, according to The signet ring and the fibula are the two main types of jewellery associated with the Romans. The fibula is a clothing brooch used to hold together Roman tunics, togas, stolas, cloaks, wraps and tunics. Make a representational fibula/brooch using tooling foil and a large safety pin. This design is only a facsimile--tooling foil is thin and will not withstand the weight of clasping clothing together to wear.

Draw the round, oval or rectangular design of the fibula brooch on a piece of paper. Make the fibula design no smaller than 1 inch by 2 inches, and no larger than 3 inches by 3 inches. Draw Roman symbolism, such as a chariots, ornate lettering, mythical gods and war shields, inside the design shape.

Draw two 1/2-inch square tabs on the outside of the design directly across from one another. Cut out the fibula and the tabs. Do not cut the tabs off the design.

Cut a piece of tooling foil a 1/2 inch larger than the fibula design.

Brush rubber cement over the back of the paper fibula design and glue it to the tooling foil. Let the rubber cement dry for three minutes.

Cut the fibula shape from the tooling foil using scissors.

Place the tooling foil on an old magazine. Use a tooling tool with a tip that looks like a pencil. Exert medium pressure and trace over the drawn Roman symbols on the paper pattern. Pick up the fibula and look at the back to see if all the lines are traced. Retrace any lines, if necessary.

Peel the paper pattern from the fibula. Lightly pull any leftover rubber cement from the surface with a rubber cement eraser.

Use the tooling tool with the domed tip to push and stretch the tooling foil into the desired design. Rub the tool on front flat areas to push them back. Turn the fibula over, and rub the tool on the back flat areas to push the areas forward.

Lay the fibula on the magazine so the front is facing up. Center the awl on one tab and push downward to make a hole. Repeat with the other tab.

Fold both tabs to the back of the fibula at a 90-degree angle.

Insert a safety pin through the holes in the tabs.


Antique the front of the fibula using a soft cloth and indigo ink.

Things You'll Need

  • Tooling metal
  • Modelling tools
  • Old magazine
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Rubber cement
  • Rubber cement eraser
  • Awl
  • Safety pin
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."