How to Make Mummies' Tombs

Ancient Egyptians practised mummification, preserving and wrapping the dead. Some ancient Egyptian pharaohs ordered pyramids built for their tombs. Mastaba--from the Arabic word for its table shape--served as the final resting place for royal and high-ranking Egyptians. The pyramid complex of the Great Pyramid at Giza includes mastabas for nobles. The young Pharaoh Tutankhamen, referred to as King Tut, was found in a rock-cut tomb. Egyptians cut these tombs into the desert landscape. Hidden entrances, curses and false passages strove to foil tomb robbers. Make your own rock-cut style mummies' tombs.

Draw a plan for the mummies' tombs. Some tombs had more than one burial chamber. Show the layout of the tomb and its burial chambers from a bird's eye-view. Mark the entrance to the tomb and the corridors to the burial chambers.

Remove the lid from the boot box. The boot box forms the main area of the tomb, as seen from above--the same perspective as the plan you drew in Step 1.

Arrange one or more smaller shoe boxes inside the boot box to serve as burial chambers.

Place another small shoebox next to the boot box to serve as a false chamber or dead end for tomb robbers, if you want one for your tomb. Put the boot box lid with its top side down underneath the small box with the boot box lid's edge touching the boot box. Trace around the small box on the inside of the boot box lid to mark the position.

Trace around the small box or boxes inside the boot box to mark their positions. Apply glue to the bottoms of the small boxes and glue them to the inside of the tomb.

Draw rectangles for doors on the small boxes. For example, draw a door on one of the ends of each box. Cut out the doors.

Turn the boot box upside down. Cut the corners of the lid on the side that connects to the box. For example, if the lid holds a secret burial chamber on the long side of the box, cut the edge of the box lid at the corners. Leave the other two corners intact.

Flatten the edge of the lid and tape it to the edge of the box with the inside of the lid facing down, the same as the box. The cut edge of the lid creates a flap to hold it securely to the box. Apply a second piece of tape along the seam between the bottom of the box and the lid.

Draw hieroglyphs and tomb paintings on the walls of the mummies' tombs based on pictures of real tombs.

Paint the outside of the tombs with white glue. Pour sand on all the outside surfaces. Move the box from side to side to spread the sand all over it.

Mix 1/2 cup of white glue with 1 1/2 cup of sand and spread it inside the lid with a paint stick or foam paintbrush. This creates the Egyptian desert.


If the inside of the box is a dark colour, paint it a lighter colour before adding tomb paintings. Glue the mummies' tombs project to a large, strong piece of cardboard from a shipping box to make it sturdier if you plan to move it.

Things You'll Need

  • Detailed tomb pictures
  • Samples of hieroglyphs and Egyptian tomb paintings
  • Boot box with a separate lid
  • Smaller shoe boxes
  • Paint
  • Fine-tip black marking pen
  • Sand
  • White glue
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Bucket
  • Paint stick
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About the Author

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.