No Egyptian costume is complete without the iconic semicircular gold neck collar. Ancient Egyptians wore jewellery, including many types of collars, to assert social status and court the favour of the gods. The semicircular collars were often made of gold and given as a mark of honour. The collar started with a choker, and cylindrical tubes were strung together in stacked layers, creating a thick collar. In addition to the beads, collars sometimes had an outer layer in a triangular or leaf-shaped design. Make your own Egyptian collar in this pattern using common craft supplies.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Pliant cardboard
- Glitter glue
- Gold spray paint
- Metallic paint in various colours
- Paper bowls
- Long tube beads, ziti or penne pasta shapes
- Waxed paper
- Stick-on triangle foam shapes or gems
- Hole punch
Cut a circle with a 15-inch diameter from the cardboard.
Draw a smaller, circle with a 5-inch diameter in the centre of the larger circle. This will be the neck hole.
Remove the neck hole by cutting a straight line from the edge of the large circle in toward the centre circle, and then cut out the centre circle. This straight-line opening allows the collar to be put on and removed.
Spray the entire collar with gold spray paint, and let it dry.
Squeeze dollops of various metallic-coloured paints into paper bowls. Add long tube beads to the bowls, or you can use ziti or penne pasta shapes. Swirl a paintbrush around each bowl so that all the beads or pasta shapes get covered in paint.
Remove the painted beads from the bowl and let them dry on a sheet of waxed paper.
Glue the beads or pasta shapes onto the collar. Position them vertically, and arrange them in circular rows, starting at the inner collar and layering down. Cover most of the collar with beads, leaving a rim at the bottom edge large enough to accommodate the triangular shapes.
Glue the triangular foam shapes or gems to the bottom layer of the collar to complete the traditional Egyptian design.
Let the collar dry. If desired, punch two holes in the back of the collar at either side of the top of the neck opening and string a piece of yarn to ensure the collar stays on when worn.
Tips and warnings
- If the collar doesn't lay flat against the chest, bend it slightly at the shoulders.
- Paint the beads first so that they can dry while you cut out the collar.
- Egyptian jewellery primarily used the colours red, blue, green, yellow, white and black. Use only these colours to give your collars an authentic look.
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