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How to make a 3-D Egyptian artifact

Updated April 17, 2017

Stone tablets, remnants of the walls and tombs of ancient pyramids and temples, are among the many artefacts found by archaeologists in Egypt. Engraved with hieroglyphic symbols or pictures, they tell the history of their civilisation as written by scribes. Many hieroglyphs represent the daily activities of Egyptian life. Make an Egyptian stone tablet with hieroglyphs for a decorative display piece while learning some of the history of this ancient civilisation. Carve your name in hieroglyphs for a personalised artefact.

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  1. Knead the self-hardening clay with your hands, pressing into it and folding it a few times until it is soft and pliable. Use clay in a natural or light beige colour for an authentic look.

  2. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hands into an unevenly shaped piece. Make the piece as large as you want, cutting with a plastic knife. Create a rectangular shape, with uneven edges to look like a piece of broken stone. Alternatively, roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) thick.

  3. Research hieroglyphs to find out what some of the symbols and pictures mean, or locate an online hieroglyph translator that will turn modern-day letters into ancient symbols. Then, draw some hieroglyphs that represent your name or a message. Dig the symbols into the clay with the knife or the end of a spoon. Alternatively, use carving tools to carve the hieroglyphs.

  4. Allow the stone tablet to air dry, turning it after two or three hours to let both sides dry thoroughly. Refer to package directions for drying time.

  5. Paint a thin layer of découpage medium over the surface to seal it, using a sponge brush, and allow drying according to package directions.

  6. Tip

    Instead of clay, make sand dough for a rough textured stone tablet. Spray the finished tablet with clear acrylic sealer, in a well-ventilated area, instead of painting on découpage medium. When drawing the hieroglyphs, make a few partial impressions of the images along the edges to make the tablet really look like it broke off a larger piece. If natural tanbeige air-drying clay is not available, paint the hardened clay stone with acrylic paint, using a sponge brush.

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Things You'll Need

  • Self-hardening clay
  • Plastic knife
  • Découpage medium
  • Sponge paintbrush

About the Author

Erika Marie started writing in 1996 and has covered a variety of topics, including arts, crafts, and home and garden. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art from Rowan University.

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