How to Make Your Own Rune Set
Do you want to initiate yourself in divination or are you curious about it? Then rune casting is a great way to start! It can take many years to master them, but you can easily make your own rune set and learn the basics thanks to the many online resources and books available nowadays.
There are many runic alphabets, but the most common one for rune divination is the Elder Futhark, made of 24 letters. Some rune sets include a blank rune called Wyrd rune or Odin’s rune, but this is a more modern addition and there isn’t historical evidence of its existence. In this case, it’s your choice whether to add it to your set or not.
Also, it is important to note that rune reading isn’t used to predict the future, but as a way to access your subconscious mind and get some guidance for a particular issue or question.
Runes can be blunt when giving you answers, so be prepared!
(Transparency Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links from the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an affiliate and Amazon Associate I will earn a small commission from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost for you)
Should you buy a rune set or should you make it yourself?
If you aren’t familiar with the process of rune casting, you might have some questions: can you make your own runes? or should you buy a ready-made set?
Buying a rune set is convenient and there’s nothing wrong with it, so if you find one that speaks to you, don’t be afraid to purchase it! They usually come in different materials that are more difficult to find, such as crystals, metal or glass.
That being said, making your own rune set will make you feel more connected to it as it will have your energy and personal touch. It’s also a budget-friendly way to start, in case you aren’t sure if this divination method is for you.
On either case, you will need to consecrate your rune set, which we’ll cover at the end of this post.
Choosing your materials
Traditionally, rune sets were made with natural materials and the good thing is that most of them are free and easily available!
Here are some ideas you can use for your DIY rune set, choose the one you feel the more comfortable working with:
This is my favourite choice, as trees were a very important element in Norse Mythology, especially the ash tree (it is thought that the Yggdrasil was an ash tree), but feel free to use wood from other species.
The best wood to make your own runes would be a branch from a fruit-bearing living tree, but you can always use other species of wood if this is not possible for you. Ask permission before cutting it and leave a small offering of water before leaving. You can either paint, carve or pyrograph the runes for a longer-lasting option.
And if you can’t go to nature or don’t have access to all the tools right now, you can always buy these blank wood slices, which have the perfect size to create your set or this Basic Wooden Rune Set.
STONES OR PEBBLES
Go to a beach or river near you and select some small and flat stones. If you choose this option, be aware that they will be more difficult to carve. You can also paint them, but it will wear off over time.
This is a more controversial option and it isn’t an easy material to work with. The bones should be from animals that died of natural causes preferably.
A very easy material to work with, although it can also chip pretty quickly with use if you don’t bake it properly. Be sure to seal it, so it lasts a bit longer.
The most important thing to consider is that you will need 24 pieces (or 25 if you decide to include the blank rune) of whichever material you prefer and they all must have a similar size and shape. Also, they should be small enough so all of them fit in the palms of your hands. Have a couple extra pieces on the side, in case a mishap occurs.
Once you have the 24 pieces ready, it’s time to carve or paint the Elder Futhark alphabet (for a full list of the runes, click here to see our Elder Futhark cheat-sheet) – the most traditional way would be to use your own blood, but I’ll leave this choice to you.
Play some nice and relaxing music, focus your intentions and your mind on the task and say the name of each rune out loud as your carve or paint them, so you start getting familiar with them.
Consecrating your runes
To consecrate your rune set, it’s crucial for you to be in a good headspace, so don’t rush things if you had a bad day or are feeling sensitive. This process is very important, as you must feel connected to your rune set before using it for the first time.
As with all magical practices, there are many consecration rituals and some people believe it isn’t necessary at all, so in the end, it’s up to you whether to consecrate your set or not and what ritual to follow.
Here is a simple method, but you can find many consecration rituals by doing a quick search, so pick the one you feel the most comfortable with. Once this is done, you are ready to start with rune divination!
THE CANDLE METHOD
Light a candle and place all your runes on the left side, take a moment to meditate and focus your mind on the task ahead.
Then pick one of the runes and say its name, meditate about its meaning for a moment and pass it over the candle flame. Once you are finished, place it on the right side of the candle and do the same with the rest.
If you haven’t memorized the rune names and their meanings yet, have a little cheat sheet in front of you and if you want to dig deeper in the art of rune reading, have a look at these 5 books perfect for beginners!
Learn More about The Elder Futhark Runes
Do you want to learn about the Elder Futhark runes and their meanings? Then be sure to join our Clan for your monthly rune special and start building your Book of Shadows! Click here
can you make runes as a gift for a friend and if so what would you do?
Of course, you can! Not sure what you mean exactly with the second part of your question, but you can make a rune set in wood (or some air drying clay, if that’s easier to find), for example, and add a personal design on the back of each rune, for an extra detail! or make a cotton bag for storage and add some instructions on how to consecrate the rune set. I hope that answered your question!
Do the stones have to be the same type ( all amethyst) or can I use different types of the same size stone. I am wanting heart stones.
Your rune set can be as unique as you want! 🙂 Since every rune has a specific meaning, I would suggest to pair it with a crystal that fits that meaning, just to make it extra-special. It might be a bit difficult in some cases, depending on how much access you have to different crystals, that’s just an idea I thought would be cool! 🙂
They can be different as every rune is unique.
What if I wanted to use wood that isn’t attached to the tree anymore? I’m homeless, but I have my camp close to the South Platte River, in Colorado. I love the trees that grow up and down the bank. I’m pretty sure the majority are cottonwoods. I also hand carve, sand, polish, and inlay stones into branches that become canes and walking staffs. I don’t want to take any live branches if I can help it.
Hi Misty! You can use any kind of wood or material that you are attracted to 🙂 Traditionally, it is said that the energy from fallen branches isn’t good to make runes, but if cutting a live branch doesn’t feel right to you, then don’t do it! Simply take a walk, see if you can find a branch that catches your attention and take the time to create something very special for you. The way I see it (although this is my personal point of view and some people might not agree…) is that a rune set is a tool, the same as a tarot deck or a pendulum. In the end, YOU are the one that will channel the messages. I’ve even seen people using good old paper to create a rune deck!
Also, don’t be afraid to test new things! If a rune set doesn’t resonate with you after some time, you can always make a new one with a different material or try another divination method 🙂
I friend/lover many years ago, gifted me his own rune set. I’ve always wondered if this was as big deal as I thought it was. Is there anything wrong with gifting someone your own runes?
Hi Sheona! It all depends on how attached to the rune set he/she was, if it was his/her favourite, it was a very special gift indeed and there is nothing wrong with that 🙂
Can the material be resin? I would love to carve mine but I dont have time to find the right wood right now so I was going ng to use resin, plus this is my first time trying to make runes
Hi Eric! Honestly, it all depends on how accurate to the tradition you want to be… In my personal opinion and as I mentioned in another comment, the runes are a divination tool, but the one channelling the messages is you. The only way to tell is to try and see how connected you feel to them, you can always make more sets using different materials in the future and compare how they feel!
When making your own set, do you mark both sides of the rune or just the one side? Thanks
Hi Nigel! Rune sets have the runes marked on one side only.
can runes make you taller? also, i have never made a rune set before, so will it work for me?
Hi Aishni! Unfortunately, the runes don’t work like that! While I love everything related to spirituality, I also love science and what determines your height is a mix of different things (genetics, diet…)
Regarding your second question, of course! You can make your own rune set as a beginner. You might not get the most accurate or detailed readings at the beginning, but you will get better with practice.
I’m thinking of making my friend a rune set as a gift. If I make them from wood, would it go against any rule or guideline to finish the runes with a gloss or sealant of some sort when I’m done?? If I make her a set, I want to make sure the process is done properly…
As I mentioned in other replies, it all depends on how accurate you want to be to the tradition… Runes are just a tool, but you are the one channelling the messages in the end. If you want to be sure, I would go for a natural option and seal them using vegetable finishing oils for wood, such as linseed oil (for example, this one: https://amzn.to/2XokRo7) or beeswax (like this: https://amzn.to/3fX6mhy)
Can the runes be made with pumpkin seeds? The thought crossed my mind as a was gathering them after they dried.
My brother is into Viking Paganism and has a set of amethyst runes that he bought. I want to make some for him that will help him in his journey. I do not want him to know so trying to pick the right kind of stone is hard. Do you have any suggestions on what I should use? I do want to make it from stone to last longer because he is kind of hard on stuff.