How to make a King Tut costume

Written by contributing writer | 13/05/2017
How to make a King Tut costume
Bust of King Tutankhamun (kivandam/iStock/Getty Images)

Make a grand entrance at the next costume party you attend by appearing as King Tut. Creating your own costume isn't that hard, and you can make it as elaborate as you like following these easy directions.

If you're making your own kilt, first turn under about 6 mm (1/4 inch) of fabric all the way around the edge of the piece of material and hem it with a sewing machine. You don't need to worry about struggling with putting on a waistband. Now, if you have the time, pleat it; if not, your plain kilt will still look good with the elaborate collar you'll be making in the next steps. Use a strip of the hook and loop tape on the inside of the kilt to fasten the material closed once you've overlapped it. You can wear either white swim trunks, white Bermuda shorts or short white pajama trousers underneath.

Spread out the round fabric collar flat on a tabletop that's protected with newspaper or an old sheet. Following the curve of the collar, pencil in several more circles inside the collar's edge, like a target. Next, use the ruler and mark lots of lines from the centre of the collar to the outside edge. Leave enough room at the back of the collar to fasten it, using another strip of the hook and loop tape. Make this closure like a sandwich, with the decorated edge of the collar on top, the hook and loop strip next, and a plain (no paint or jewels, just the flat material) 25 mm (1 inch) wide strip of collar underneath. Now take the various colours of fabric paint and colour in those drawn sections with a small paint brush in a regular pattern. The ancient Egyptians loved bright colours, so use ruby red paint, sapphire blue paint, emerald green paint and so on, all around the circles. Skip a couple of sections, let the paint dry, and then go back and use the fabric craft glue to attach fake jewels to the collar as well. Your elaborate collar will need to dry at least overnight. Your pharaoh's finery (this collar is called a "usekh") won't be matched by any other at the party.

Next, make the blue battle crown. Take the piece of blue cardboard and cut it in half. Use the pencil to lightly sketch a Gothic-style arch--you know, like an upside-down-U, but with a point at the top of the U. Make this arch at least 200 mm (8 inches) tall. Now measure around your head, add two inches for a closure, and draw the bottom straight edge of the crown. Cut out the crown, staple the bottom sides together, and try it on to be sure it fits. If it's loose, just staple it again, going inside the first line of staples to take up the slack. Now paint on gold decorations all along the edge of your crown to cover the staples and make the crown much more elegant. Let it dry overnight. You might want to tell people at the party that Pharaohs wore a red crown to represent lower Egypt, a white crown for upper Egypt, both colours together to represent the joined countries, and a blue crown to go into battle in their chariots.

Simple sandals will be more in keeping with the actual footwear of the time. Warriors and pharaohs liked to put the images of their enemies and Egypt's enemies on the inside sole of their sandals, so they could figuratively step on their enemies every time they went walking. Also, beards were considered sacred and every pharaoh wore several styles of fake ones that were attached by being hooked behind their ears. If you want to purchase a fake, inexpensive beard and make it look like the ones in the hieroglyphics, plait the beard like a braid, spray it with some of the fabric starch, and point the end of it up and away from your chest. Hook it on over your ears, and you'll really begin to look like King Tut.

You need just a few more details. You'll need a bit of practice, but you must remember to outline your eyes with the black pencil eyeliner. All Egyptians wore make-up, and King Tut was no exception. Don't forget to pick out lots of gold rings, bracelets, necklaces, and even ankle chains to wear to the party.


For your kilt, figure the yardage this way: if your waist is 76 cm (30 inches), buy 120 cm (48 inches) of material, or a 1 1/3 yards. Have fun at the party by standing in that flat-against-the-wall style that the Egyptians always used in drawing their heiroglyphics.


To be really authentic, you need to have your kilt pleated. You can buy one that's pleated, or you can do it yourself if you have the time. Use spray-on starch, dampen the fabric with the starch, fold it into a vertical pleat, press with a hot iron along the fold, and continue until all the pleats are in. This will take you several hours' worth of folding and ironing, so don't wait until an hour before the costume party to try and put the pleats in.

Tips and warnings

  • For your kilt, figure the yardage this way: if your waist is 76 cm (30 inches), buy 120 cm (48 inches) of material, or a 1 1/3 yards.
  • Have fun at the party by standing in that flat-against-the-wall style that the Egyptians always used in drawing their heiroglyphics.

Things you need

  • Black eyeliner pencil
  • Knee-length white kilt
  • Sewing machine
  • White hook and loop tape that adheres to fabric
  • Cardboard crown
  • Gold acrylic paint
  • Small paint brushes
  • Various jewel colours of fabric paint (ruby, turquoise, sapphire, emerald, amethyst)
  • White collar made of fabric
  • Soft lead pencil and a ruler
  • Fake jewels
  • Fabric craft glue
  • Simple sandals
  • Lots of gold rings, bracelets, necklaces and chains

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