The common term Rune stone is misnomer. Traditionally the Runes were carved or burnt on to wood or bone and the type of medium depended on the use to which the Runes were to be put. Runes used for domestic divination would be carved on to wood from a fruit bearing tree commonly an apple tree. Runes used for healing were sometimes carved on to the bones of an animal or bird which related to the users power animal. After the Runes were carved or burnt they would be coloured or stained in appropriate colours for the type of Rune energy. It was common for shamans to stain the Runes with blood either their own, or of a power animal.
The medium used whilst having a bearing on the way the Runes will react is not the most significant aspect. It is the actual Rune symbol which contains the essence of the true power of the Rune Alphabet, a point missed by many people. What is important is the way in which the symbol is delineated and the ratio of width to height of the letter; in the majority of cases the ratio is three units high to two units wide. Apart from anything else it gives a more aesthetic look to the finished rune,
It is quite common to find modern Rune sets carved on rectangular bases, whilst this is an acceptable method, it will be found that they are much more useful if carved on circular bases. If not too much importance is placed on the power of the medium then one can quite successfully use a length of dowelling or a flat strip of wood batten cut into 24 slices and after a Rune has been inscribed on each piece they can be polished, then waxed or varnished for protection. The same can be achieved using a branch from a tree and it is worth the extra effort, though you will probably need to let the wood dry out and season first.
The symbols can be carved with a small wood chisel or burin, or burnt into the surface with a hot iron. The runes can also be painted onto the surface, but it was common for them to be carved first and then coloured. If using colour the choice of colour is also of great importance, it must represent the nature of the energy.