The classic Egyptian mummy, celebrated in horror movies and museum exhibits, provides a creepy subject for a homemade costume. The ancient Egyptians preserved the dead by mummification--the art of removing the organs, preserving the remains with salts and wrapping them in linen bandages. This practice resulted in mummies lasting for centuries. The key to creating an effective mummy costume involves ageing the bandages and wrapping them so the costume works for walking and other necessary activities. Follow a few pointers to wrap a convincing mummy costume that will be comfortable to wear.
Brew black tea with at least nine tea bags in a large cooking pot of boiled water.
Stir the bandages--or 4-inch wide strips of sheet or cheese cloth--into the tea and leave them to soak for an hour. Leave the strips in the tea overnight for darker bandages for a dirty, ancient mummy costume effect.
Hang the bandages outside to drip dry.
Dress in the thermal underwear or long-sleeved top and tights--or have the person the costume is for get dressed in them. Get help from an assistant if you're going to wear the costume. Tape one end of a bandage at the back of the neck and start winding the bandages around the top of the torso.
Continue wrapping the bandage to the waist, and tape the end under a layer of bandage you already wrapped. It's important to interrupt the bandages at the bottom of the top item of clothing for convenience in using the rest room.
Start winding the next bandage at the top of the bottoms. Tape the end at the back of the waist on the thermal underwear bottoms or tights. Wind the bandages down the hips, overlapping the bandages. Wrap each leg separately. Wrap the knees loosely enough to allow the knees to bend.
Wrap the arms one at a time starting at the shoulder. Tape the bandage and spiral around the arm, leaving the bandage loose enough to bend the elbow.
Wrap bandages around the head. Wrap the face, leaving an opening for the eyes and at the bottom of the nose and across the mouth. Alternatively, wrap only the top of the head and tape the bandages leaving the ends hanging loose a few inches down the back of the head. Apply pancake make-up thickly so it will crack when it dries to create an ancient face. Draw thick eye liner for Egyptian eyes.
Tape bandages to the shoes, if desired. Apply thick pancake make-up to the backs of the hands for the ageing effect. Bring the pancake make-up and sponge along to reapply as needed.
Avoid obstructing peripheral vision or hearing. It's important for safety to be able to see and hear traffic or other potential hazards. Don't use safety pins on the mummy costume--they could become unpinned and cause injury.
Tips and warnings
- Tape bandages to the shoes, if desired. Apply thick pancake make-up to the backs of the hands for the ageing effect. Bring the pancake make-up and sponge along to reapply as needed.
- Avoid obstructing peripheral vision or hearing. It's important for safety to be able to see and hear traffic or other potential hazards. Don't use safety pins on the mummy costume--they could become unpinned and cause injury.
Things you need
- Long bandages (rolls of gauze or ace bandages) or strips of sheets or cheese cloth
- Black tea
- First aid tape
- Thermal underwear (tops and bottoms) or leotard and tights in cream or tan
- Assistant, if needed
- Old tan shoes or dirty white sneakers
- Tan pancake make-up
- Make-up sponge
- Scarab pendant or other Egyptian style jewellery (optional)