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How to Make a Clay Scarab

Updated February 21, 2017

Many associate the clay scarab with the ancient Egyptians, who often wore the beetle as a magical amulet that represented faith, hope and the revitalisation of the human spirit. The Egyptians would place clay scarab beetles on the hearts of mummies, stamp documents with them, use them as good luck charms and as a deterrent to evil. If you're teaching or learning about the ancient Egyptians, make your own protective scarab beetle amulet.

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  1. Roll a wad of air-drying clay into an egg shape the size you want your beetle to be.

  2. Divide the clay in half lengthwise with a craft knife.

  3. Turn your sliced egg shapes flat side down with the pointier end at the bottom. Using your scarab beetle picture as a reference, carve lines into the top of the clay with the tip of your knife, mimicking the lines of the beetle's shell.

  4. Draw slight curved lines along the bottom of the beetle to represent the legs of the insect. Shape a small half circle with your knife at the top to represent its head.

  5. Allow it to air dry until hard, which should take around three hours. Paint your beetle any colour you like and let it dry overnight. Cover it with a shade of clear finish to give it a glossy appearance.

  6. Tip

    If you want to use this clay beetle as a piece of jewellery, poke a hole into it for stringing thread, wire or a chain.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Knife
  • Picture of scarab beetle

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

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