April 5, 2013

How to: Make a Stele

Initially I wasn’t going to make a stele because I didn’t know how but after reading a few tutorials I decided I was going to make one after all. A site (edit: can't find the link anymore) suggests using knitting needles and liquid metal to paint it. Knitting needles seemed like a good idea because they have a ‘sharp’ end and are often made out of wood so it’s easy to paint.

Making the stele

• Step 1: saw the wood, or in my case bamboo. The length of your to-be-stele is up to you. I didn’t make it too long so it would fit into my pocket.
• Step 2: paint it. The colors or the type of paint is again, up to you. I chose acrylic paint because it’s easy to find in stores. I painted my stele completely white. It needed 2-3 layers to be opaque.

• Step 3: let it dry completely. If you are in a hurry or just impatient like I am, you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.
• Step 4: add designs. I mixed white and black paint and created different shades of grey (only 3, not 50). Using a fine brush or a dotting tool, paint the designs on the stele. I made some swirly lines, some dots and of course: runes. They didn’t end up perfect but I’m happy with how it turned out and that’s all that matters. I didn't have much to go on. There are no close-ups of the stele's on Google images so I kinda winged it.
• Step 5: let it dry completely.
• Step 6: apply a varnish. I chose to do this just to make it look more fancy. It also won’t get dirty as fast. On the bottle it says to apply layers with 2 hours in between each of them, so that’s what I did.

After applying varnish, your stele is pretty much done. I think steles are unnecessary if you’re going to dress up as a Shadowhunter unless you know an original way to carry it around. Mine was in my bag the entire day because I didn’t know where else to put it and because it doesn’t really have a purpose. On the other hand: you’re not a Shadowhunter unless you have a stele so it’s really up to you if you want make one.

Other related tutorialsHow to dress like a ShadowhunterHow to make a seraph bladeHow to apply runes to skin

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