Festive Finds Activity

Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to get those festive decorations up! If you’ve ever wanted your decorations to have an archaeological flavour then we might have just the thing for you. Use the instructions below to create your very own Anglo-Saxon Christmas bauble inspired by the beautiful gold and garnet disc brooches crafted during the early medieval period.

You can use our templates below or design something yourself. There is plenty of inspiration to be found on the database here. Fun for children and early medievalists alike! You can also share your creations with us by tagging @findsorguk on Twitter or Instagram. We’d love to see them!


For this activity you will need:

  • Scissors and glue
  • A hole punch
  • Gold card
  • Ribbon or string
  • Colouring pens or pencils

Step 1: Cut out a circle of gold card to your desired size. A 9cm diameter makes a good sized ornament, but you can go as big or small as you like.

Step 2: Complete your brooch-inspired design! You can colour in one of our templates or, if you are feeling very artistic, you can have a go at drawing your own design.

Step 3: Once you have finished your design, use the glue to stick it onto the front of your gold card circle.

Step 4: You can add some jewels and other finishing touches to really make it sparkle!

Step 5: Once you are happy with your design, use the hole punch to make a hole at the top of your decoration. Thread some brightly coloured ribbon through the hole and tie at the top. Your Anglo-Saxon inspired Christmas decoration is now ready to hang on your tree. Beautiful!

Don’t forget to share your creations with us! Tag @findsorguk on Twitter or Instagram.

Agents of Shield – The Return Of Half-term Heraldry

We were recently invited to repeat our heraldry-themed PAS activity at the University of Nottingham Museum of Archaeology. So, during the May half-term we packed up our craft supplies and headed to beautiful surroundings of the Lakeside Arts Centre for some heraldic half-term fun.

Image of a volunteer named Jasmine standing to the left of a long table. A variety of coloured shield shapes are laid out on the table top ready for use in a craft activity.
PASt Explorers volunteer Jasmine ready to go at the University of Nottingham Museum of Archaeology at the Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham. Copyright: Portable Antiquities Scheme, License: CC-BY.

Armed with brightly coloured paper (in the seven heraldic colours), glue and a whole menagerie of heraldic beasties, our participants set about creating their very own Coat of Arms. Here are the results!

Eight brightly coloured paper shields arranged in two rows of four, one above the other. Each shield has the image of a plant or animal on it.

As well as the opportunity to get creative, this activity also introduces participants to the language of heraldry and concepts around identity and how people represented themselves in the past. 

For more information about this activity, please contact info@finds.org.uk. Why not have a go at creating your own shield? Share it with us on Twitter or Instagram (@findsorguk on both platforms).