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Is there any official source that describes how one would animate objects so that they are similar to those listed in the MM on page 19/20?

There's the Animate Object spell, but that's concentration and it only lasts one minute. Awaken, which was my next guess, doesn't work on objects.

I'm guessing that, if there is a way, it would probably have to be very difficult and/or costly, as it could be used to turn any sword more or less into a Dancing Sword (DMG, p. 161).

This question does not quite answer the question, it just says that the DM can create such an ability - but that's not really an answer, or you could otherwise answer pretty much any mechanics-related question in a similar way.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I have an answer for "how can I permanently have constructs under my control?", but not for "how can I gain a permanent effect of Animate Objects?" Do you want that? \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Mar 17 '18 at 20:05
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True Polymorph, sort of

Although this wouldn't give you permanent control

Object into Creature: You can turn an object into any kind of creature, as long as the creature's size is no larger than the object's size and the creature's challenge rating is 9 or lower. The creature is friendly to you and your companions. It acts on each of your turns. You decide what action it takes and how it moves. The DM has the creature's statistics and resolves all of its actions and movement.

If the spell becomes permanent, you no longer control the creature. It might remain friendly to you, depending on how you have treated it.

This usage of the spell would allow you to create a creature that is in the same form of the object that would become permanent if you maintained concentration for 1 hour. Unfortunately, there are not many animated objects officially released (a rug, a sword, a suit of armor, and a table are all we have so far) so as a DM, I would probably find a creature similar to the target animated object and simply modify the stat block to account for the intended use.

(credit to Voromir Kadien for his comment)

Maybe Wish

If you truly wanted permanent control as is indicated for the constructs in the Monster Manual, the only option is to use wish. This would also be the only option if you want a challenge rating above 9. Unfortunately, this is entirely DM discretion and does come with a 33% chance that wish is lost to you forever.

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    \$\begingroup\$ True polymorph IS the answer it can become permanent if you concentrate on it for 1 hour. \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien Mar 17 '18 at 20:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VoromirKadien True Polymorph creates a creature. He wants an animated object. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 17 '18 at 20:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ True Polymorph could turn a suit of armor into an Animated Armor (constructs are creatures)? \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien Mar 17 '18 at 20:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VoromirKadien You are right, Animet Objects also creates creatures. I'll revise. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 17 '18 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch It does for the first hour but I mentioned it \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 17 '18 at 21:05

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