Ancient Egyptians considered the scarab, a type of dung beetle, a sacred insect to their sun god Re (Ra). They carved the symbol of the scarab out of different stones, such as lapis lazuli and turquoise, to wear the beetles as jewellery or as protective amulets. Egyptians also made clay seals in the shape of scarabs with their name inscribed on them to identify their personal property. You can mould your own personal Egyptian scarabs out of clay.
Lay a piece of newspaper over your work table.
Mold a chunk of air-dry clay with your hands into a ball shape.
Place the ball of clay on your newspaper and press one of your hands palm down on top of the ball to flatten it out.
Flatten the clay using your hands into an oval shape that measures 1¼ inches tall by ½ inch wide by ¼ inch thick. Use a ruler to measure your clay oval.
Smooth out the top of the clay scarab with your fingers to get rid of any holes or marks on the clay.
Turn your scarab so that it is vertical.
Draw a horizontal line ½ inch from the top of the scarab using a toothpick and a ruler.
Using a toothpick and a ruler, draw a vertical line down the centre of scarab beginning from the centre of the horizontal line.
Draw, using a toothpick and a ruler, another horizontal line ¼ inch above the first horizontal line.
Draw a ¼-inch diameter, half-circle sun shape for the scarab's head using a ruler and a toothpick. Draw the shape above the centre of the horizontal line that is nearest to the top of the scarab. Leave about 1/8 inch between the top of the sun shape and the top of the scarab.
Draw, using a toothpick and a ruler, five or six evenly spaced lines that fan out like sun rays from the top of the sun shape to the top edge of the scarab.
Dry your scarab for two days on clean newspaper in an indoor location away from a heat source or the sun.
Paint your scarab using a paintbrush and blue or green paint when the scarab is done drying.
Make your scarab into a necklace by pressing a pencil through the top end of the clay after you mould your scarab into an oval shape. After it dries, thread a cord through the hole and wear the necklace.
Tips and warnings
- Make your scarab into a necklace by pressing a pencil through the top end of the clay after you mould your scarab into an oval shape. After it dries, thread a cord through the hole and wear the necklace.