Between its frightening mummies, glamorous royalty and strange gods, ancient Egypt provides plenty of inspiration for costumes at your next costume party or Halloween bash. Egyptian costumes can get quite elaborate, so plan ahead to give papier-mache, paint or glue time to dry.
A mummy is an easy monster costume with an ancient Egyptian flavour. Start off with an inexpensive set of loose clothes such as sweat pants and a sweatshirt. Tear an old white sheet into strips and soak it in cola or tea to give it an aged look, then hang the strips to dry or put them in a clothes dryer. Hot glue the strips to the clothes in a loose wrap, taking care not to accidentally glue the trousers or shirt to itself. Keep adding strips until the shirt and trousers are completely wrapped in the fabric. For the head, hot glue more strips to a ski mask to create a completely wrapped mummy headpiece. Alternately, wrap a skeleton, zombie or rotting corpse mask partially with the cloth to give the appearance of a mummified head peering through the wraps.
The Egyptians worshipped a number of different gods, many of which had animal heads, interesting crowns and other distinctive features. Use costume jewellery and papier-mache to dress up as your favourite Egyptian god or goddess. For example, to make a costume of Isis, the mother goddess and goddess of magic, create a crown with two horns with a golden disk between them. Cut the brim off a baseball cap, or find a brimless hat or helmet. Bend a coat hanger into a "U" shape, and attach it to the hat, facing upwards like horns. Put a layer of papier-mache over the hat, and cover the wire with it to make horns. Wait for the horns to dry and paint them black. Wrap a small frisbee, film canister or other disk-shaped object in gold-coloured foil and mount it between the horns. Wear a white gown, a beaded necklace and heavy black eye make-up to finish the costume.
If you want an Egyptian costume but don't want to have to spend all night wrapped in bulky mummy wrappings or heavy papier-mache, Cleopatra is an easy option. Wrap a white sheet around you to form a toga. Fasten it with safety pins, and wrap a colourful sash around your waist. Put on Egyptian-style eye make-up, fake gold necklaces, bracelets and arm bands and leather sandals to complete the costume. If you have no fake gold jewellery, take Mardi Gras beads, cheap one-piece bracelets and other costume jewellery and paint it with gold paint.