How to Make a Clay Mummy

Updated February 21, 2017

Creating a clay mummy is an appropriate activity that kids will enjoy, while it also will exercise their fine motor skills. If your students or children are studying Ancient Egypt, it could be a follow-up activity to the day's lesson. It's a tactile way for children to express one of the details of this culture. Alternatively, if you're decorating the house for Halloween, a large or small clay mummy makes a spooky form of decoration that you can use year after year.

Take a wad of clay the size of your fist. Mold the clay into a small human shape: a head, neck, torso and arms. Don't worry about sculpting the legs; they can remain pressed together and undistinguished.

Press the arms of the mummy into a praying shape and squeeze them in place. Grab a small ball of clay and roll it out into a flat strip.

Press the strip onto the mummy's head, fashioning and moulding it into a headdress. Cut your plaster of Paris bandages into five 1-inch by 8-inch strips.

Dampen one strip and wrap it around the bottom of the mummy. Repeat this process with the remaining strips until you've covered the mummy completely. Smooth out the strips as you work, so that while the strips cover the mummy, they don't conceal the shape of the mummy. Work quickly because the strips will harden fast.

Allow the strips to harden fully for an entire hour. Dip your paintbrush in beige-coloured paint and paint the entire mummy except for the headdress. Wipe off your brush with a paper towel.

Dip your detailed brush in black paint and paint black tick marks all around the headdress, leaving a small space between them. Dip your brush in gold paint and fill in the tick marks with gold, creating an authentic-looking mummy.

Draw simple eyes, nose and a mouth with a pencil. Paint over these details with black paint and your detailed brush.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-hardening clay
  • Scissors
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Beige paint
  • Black and gold paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."