How to Make a Bulla!
Updated: May 18
A bulla was a type of amulet worn as a necklace by children in Ancient Rome. The bulla could be made from a variety of materials including cloth, leather, lead or even gold for the very wealthy. The bulla was hollow inside and could have good luck charms, treasures of inscriptions placed inside them. Bulla is Latin for ‘bubble’ which refers to the spherical shape that bullas would have. Boys would be presented with their bulla around nine days after birth and would wear it until they became an adult citizen of Rome. There is some discrepancy as to whether girls wore a bulla or not. It is thought that if girls did not wear a bulla then they would have worn a similar protective charm necklace.
What you need:
· Fabric, preferably a fabric that doesn’t fray such as felt or fleece.
· Something round to draw around.
· A pencil or a pen.
· Ribbon or string.
What to do:
I. Place the round item on the fabric and carefully draw around it.
II. Use the scissors to cut the circle out of the fabric.
III. Make holes at intervals around the edge. The easiest way to do this is to fold the circle in half and cut out two small diamonds.
NOTE: Do not go too close to the edge of the circle as the string could rip through when we add it later.
IV. Take some string or ribbon and thread it in and out of the holes. Pull tight to make a pouch. Make sure that there is roughly the same amount of excess on both ends and then tie the two ends in a knot.
VI. Add something inside your bulla to be your good luck charm. It could be a lucky coin, words that inspire you or any small treasure you like.
Well done! You have made your own bulla! Now you can wear it round your neck to show that you are a Roman Citizen.
Don't forget that you can make your bulla in any colour you like. If you are feeling extra creative you could even try decorating it!