Introduction: Shadowhunter's Stele

In Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments universe,

"Steles are the tools used by Shadowhunters to draw runes onto their skin, weapons, and other materials. They are made of adamas and crafted by the Iron Sisters.

Steles look like long, slender twigs, though the length and style
vary and may depend on the owner's preferences. There are many different models of steles, the appearance evolving depending on the times. Steles have a sort of aura to them, a ghostly imprint of their owner's personality.

Since steles are not designed to be used in direct battle against demons, steles do not harm them, though demons tend to recoil when exposed to a stele due to the material it is made of—the heavenly metal adamas."


### Fun fact: There is no biblical reference to adamas (ἀδάμας, meaning "untamable" in ancient greek) yet, Hesiod in Theogony mentions the Gods attaching fiercely the titans and thus beating them with adamas.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You are going to need:

  • Air drying clay
  • Silver acrylic paint
  • Aluminum tape (it is crucial to use aluminum tape so that you imitate the adamas effect)
  • Wires
  • LED light
  • A fake jewel/ crystal in matching color with the LED light
  • Batteries (I've used 2 AA batteries)
  • A drinking straw
  • An empty glue stic tube
  • A syringe (in which your batteries should fit yet not get stuck in there)
  • A PVC/ plastic hollow tube
  • Glue gun & glue sticks
  • Duct tape
  • Liquid glue (just a little bit)
  • Black acrylic paint

Step 2: Making the Core

Bear in mind that

# In this project you should ALWAYS check wether your LED light is working

# You'd better mark its negative and positive side


As we want the upper part of the glue stick ( we want to be able of unscrewing the bottom of the stele to change the batteries), place the batteries in the syringe and then, cut from the glue stick a piece as lengthy as needed to have them secured they way it is depicted in the last image.

Optionally, trim slightly the upper part of the syringe.


STELE: 19 cm

DRINKING STRAW (inside the plastic tube) : 8 cm


CORE: 9,5 cm

Step 3: Do the Wiring (1)

Connect the first battery with the suitable side of the LED as shown above ( ALWAYS leave excess wire DO NOT connect the electric parts of your stele as tightly as shown in the pictures... That was my first mistake and when I wanded to change the batteries for the first time I had to tear my stele apart due to the lack of excess wire)

Step 4: Do the Wiring (2)

Cut the drinking straw and connect the suitable side of the LED with the wire that comes out of it, secure permanently.

Then secure the other wire to the other side of the LED, and your "switch" wire to the bottom of the second wire as shown above.

Hot glue the straw on top of the syringe and with duct tape, keep temporarily in place the wire which you've left outside the straw.

Use the images as guidelines....

Step 5: Cut the Plastic Tube

Cut the plastic tube slightly bigger than your drinking straw

(you may think that the proportions shown in these pictures differ from the measurements I've already mentioned.... You're right... That was my second mistake. Eventually, I cut the tube and the drinking straw shorter But if you follow my measurements (stele 19 cm/ core 9,5 cm/ tube 9,5 cm) your stele will turn out just fine!

Step 6: Put Together the Core Parts

Open a little hole on the glue stick part so that your switch wire sticks out and then hot glue the syringe and the glue stic part together, as shown above.

Step 7: Hot Glue the Fake Jewel on Top of the PVC Tube

The hot glue melts when heated, something you probavly want to avoid the moment you are using your stele, that's the reason why you have to cut shorter the drinking straw than you PVC tube... to prevent the glue melting when overheated by the LED.

Step 8: Secure the PVC Tube

Cut on the tube a small hole, and pass trough it the last wire as depicted above. Then hot glue the tube on the syringe.

Step 9: Make the Ring for the Switch

Connect the one side of an extra piece of wire with the wire peaking out of the PVC tub and the coil it around the core 5 or 6 times till a thick wire ring is formed.

Step 10: SO FAR ..SO GOOOD!

Step 11: Use the Air Drying Clay

Cover the whole stele with air drying clay and use alcohol wipes to smooth out and clean the clay from your fingerprints.

Step 12: Add (awe)some Features With the Clay

Give your stele your personal touch (I made an angelwing design)

Step 13: Paint the Stele

Paint roughly the stele (1 or 2 layers are just fine, remember the whole thing will be covered in aluminum tape)

Step 14: It's Tape's Time

Cover the stele in aluminum tape. Take your time and folllow a pattern so that the result is impressive, as time consuming it was the whole tape sticking thing (I for instance covered my sthele with 1cm*1cm squares overlapping one another and the final result was a scale like pattern... Breathtaking! ;-) )

Once you're finished admire the way light reflects on the aluminum tape covered stele: your DIY looks like it's made of clear adamas...!

Step 15: Cover the Designs With Aluminum Tape & Add Texture

I covered the angelwing design with aluminum tape and scratched a little bit the surface with a pointy tool so that it gives the impression of feathers

Step 16: Admire What You've Done So Far...

Step 17: Making the Runes

Browse on the internet and find the mortl instruments' runes and their meanings (i've downloaded an app called "the gray book" in my smartphone) & decide which ones (6-7) you want featured on your stele.

Cut small circles (diametre around 1.2 cm) out of the aluminum tape and emboss the runes with a pointy tool (in my faceless men tutorial you'll find this part thoroughly explained) {if you want your runes to protrude like anaglyphs rather embossing 'em, follow the very same steps on the back of the tape, tracing the negative of the runes' outline).

Finally glue the circles on the stele (don't use the tape's sticker part, use some plain ol' liquid glue)

Step 18: All Done My Fellow Shadowhuters.....

..... Enjoy your stele doing crazy stuff like.....

Step 19: Highlight the Runes

Using just a little bit of black acrylic paint trace the outline or, paint the entire rune design on your stele...

Step 20: Burn Runes Onto Your Skin!


(When the batteries run out unscrew the lid and replace them)

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