How to Make Your Own Ancient Cartouche


A cartouche is an oval frame for an ancient Egyptian name tag composed of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Kings and queens wore them around their necks, and when they died a cartouche tablet was put on their tombs. Hieroglyphics are symbols rather than alphabetical characters. The symbols are codes that represent sounds and ideas. There are two ways to make a royal cartouche for your name in hieroglyphics.

Making an Ancient Cartouche From Clay

Step 1

Mold a piece of modeling clay into an oval shape. Flatten it and poke a hole in the top with a drinking straw. Allow to dry overnight.

Step 2

Apply a coat of gold paint. Allow the paint to dry.

Step 3

Visit in the Resources section for a list of symbols and their meanings and sounds. Practice making hieroglyphics on paper before drawing them in a column on the cartouche.

Step 4

Simulate original hieroglyphics by cutting a drinking straw end into a V shape. Dip the cut straw end in black paint and draw your hieroglyphics. In ancient Egypt, hieroglyphics were applied to the gold cartouche with a sharpened reed dipped in soot.

Step 5

Cut yarn or string long enough to make a pendant necklace and put it through the hole in the top of the cartouche. Either tie or tape the string together to complete your cartouche necklace.

Construction Paper Cartouche

Step 1

Cut a piece of gold construction paper in an oval shape and back it with cardboard cut in the same shape. Glue the pieces together.

Step 2

Cut a round hole in the top of the oval for a string to slide through. Either draw the hieroglyphics that represent your name and color or paint as desired, or find templates of hieroglyphic symbols to print or trace.

Step 3

Put the string through the hole to complete your royal necklace or wall hanging.

Things You'll Need

  • Gold construction paper
  • Pen or colored markers
  • Modeling clay
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Heavy string or yarn
  • Drinking straw


  • Ancient Egypt for Kids
  • Cartouche Code Lesson Plans

Who Can Help

  • Kid Zone: Egyptian Hieroglyphics
Keywords: ancient cartouche making, eyptian hierglyphics, making a cartouche oval

About this Author

Allene Reynolds has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years and has written both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in several national magazines, regional publications and major newspapers.

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