There were five types of royal crown worn in ancient Egypt, all of which were formed in a similar elongated fashion going up and back from the head. The crowns worn most often were the white crown of Upper Egypt, the red crown of Lower Egypt and the double crown, which was a combination of the white and red crowns. Making your own Egyptian royal crown is not difficult, and is a great idea for a dress-up party, or as a school activity to teach kids about ancient Egypt in an interactive manner.
Measure the circumference of the head which the crown will sit on (any young pharaoh will do) and draw a band onto a piece of white poster board that is 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick and as long as the circumference plus 2.5 cm (1 inch). Cut out the band, and staple the ends together, using the 2.5 cm (1 inch) extra length for the overlap at the ends.
Apply glue to the outside of the headband base, then wrap waxed paper all around the headband, with the majority of the paper pointing straight up—it will look somewhat like a chef’s hat at this point.
Apply more glue around the circumference of the crown around 2.5 cm (1 inch) higher than the base. Wrap a second layer of waxed paper, pulling it slightly tighter, so the top of the crown becomes conical. Repeat this another three or four times—the crown will start to be too long, but you will cut it off later—at this point you are trying to make the circumference of the crown 1/4 that of the base, so that it is going up toward a point.
Cut the top of the crown off around 2.5 cm (1 inch) higher than the desired height (it should be at least two head heights tall), then fold the cut sides over into the centre of the crown to form a rounded top. Apply lots of glue to the outside of the crown to smooth it over, make it slightly hard, and keep it all together. Let dry.
Cut a piece of red poster board the size of your pharaoh’s head and wrap it around his head, the seam at the side. Hold the poster board so that the bottom is around 2.5 cm (1 inch) over the top of the ears. Trace a curve that goes over the top of the ears, then down like a sideburn. Make the curve come up, with the "sideburn" around 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide, then draw a straight line across the forehead, which is around 4 cm (1.5 inches) higher than the bottom of the poster board. Repeat on the other ear.
Unfold the poster board, laying it flat with the traced lines facing up. The traced ear and forehead marks should be on one side of the poster board. Draw another line, starting around 7.5 cm (3 inches) above the farthest ear going straight across the forehead line to the other ear mark. At this point draw a large parabola that extends at the point to the top of the poster board, coming back down to finish at the same height it started. Cut around all the traced lines, then wrap the crown around the head and staple the seam at the side.
Curl the end of a red, thin pipe cleaner, then glue the other end of the pipe cleaner to the back of the red crown, so that it extends upwards over the head.
Take the pipe cleaner off the red crown. Sit the white crown on the head, then slide the red crown over the top.
Reattach the red pipe cleaner to the white crown, in the same position as when it was in the red crown. Find a white or golden pipe cleaner, a thick one, and bend it into a Z shape.
Glue the Z-shaped pipe cleaner at the very front of the crown, to represent the snake that sits on the forehead of the double crown.
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Poster board, various colours
- Waxed paper, white
- Craft glue
- Pipe cleaners, various sizes, colours