DIY or Buy Costumes of Cursed Egyptian Mummies!
Mummies are people who have been preserved after death to slow down the decay so much that they will keep their form for thousands of years. This creepy idea is therefore perfect for Halloween spooks!
The mummy is one of the classic costume choices and you can either choose to keep it really quick and simple, or you can dedicate lots of time to producing a much more realistic result. On this page I have written an summary of the parts of a mummy costume, plus plenty of tutorials for both the costume aspect, and the makeup aspect.
I hope you find it useful :)
Top-Rated Mummy Costumes to Buy
If you don't want to make your own costume, then there are some great costumes available to buy:
Tips & Information On Making Your Own Costume
Underclothes: You will need long pants and a long-sleeved, high-necked (e.g. turtleneck) top. Clothing I have seen people use for this base layer includes: a set of thermal underwear, a homemade loose top and pants set made out of muslin, and a white top teamed with sweatpants (turned inside out if necessary to be white in color). Just make sure this clothing layer is white or skin-color, in case it shows through the bandages.
Feet: Try to wear white shoes before covering them in the same fabric you are using for the mummy wrap. Flip flops are easy to use for this because you can buy a very cheap pair and glue the fabric directly to them. Otherwise, the best idea I've seen is to cover your shoes in a pair of white socks, with slits cut in the bottoms to expose the soles of your shoes. You can then attach the mummy wrap straight to the socks and not damage your shoes at all.
Hands: Fingerless white gloves would be ideal because you can then attach bandage/fabric wrap to the gloves to hold them in place. If you want a more realistic look for your hands, you can add makeup to them to make them look grubby, and you can paint your fingernails black, white or a horrible shade of yellow.
Head: Balaclavas and headbands are a useful base for attaching your head wrap to in order to keep it stable and help it remain in position. Otherwise, just wrap the fabric/bandages around your head and fix in place with knots or maybe a small safety pin or two.
How to create the mummy wrapping: The usual materials used for the wrap are white gauze bandages and strips of muslin fabric. If you are using muslin, rip it into the strips rather than cutting it with scissors because this gives a better effect. Other materials you can use include cheesecloth, white bed sheets and calico.
The more layers of wrapping, the better quality the costume looks, so don't scrimp too much! You can also make it look more original by using strips of different types of fabrics and textures, such as a mix of tulle, cheesecloth and linen. I've even seen lace layers used for a girly outfit.
The strips are generally a few inches wide, and the total length is dependent on your size. To work out how much you require, wrap toilet paper around yourself until you are completely covered, plus a bit extra. Take this length as your estimate.
If you don't want to sacrifice any underclothes for this outfit, you will have to attach the wrapping with just knots and safety pins (or by just using toilet paper for a very temporary costume), whereas if you want to make a permanent outfit the best option is to sew the bandages onto your clothes. If you are doing this, and you will be sewing non-stretchy fabric strips onto stretchy clothes, do regular fittings to make sure you aren't sewing too tight - you want to be able to get into the costume after all! If you can't sew, try using a fabric glue/hot glue.
With regards to making the bandages/fabric layers more realistic, you can dye them with tea, coffee and/or paint to create a dirty and aged look. You will need a large container such as a bucket to do the dyeing in, because you want to dye everything at the same time to get the same shade for everything. The more tea bags you use, i.e. the blacker the tea, the darker you will dye the fabric, and if you leave the fabric in the dye overnight it will go much darker than if you only soak them for half an hour.
After dyeing you should leave them to dry naturally. You can put tea in a spray bottle if you wish to add a more random effect to the fabric strips - by concentrating the tea solution in certain patches. You could also brush on paint to add different colors like yellow, gray, brown, black or green depending on the effect you want. The good thing about paint is that it will give a crusty and cracked kind of look when it has dried, which is ideal for a decaying mummy.
TIP: Always consider how you're going to be able to go to the toilet in your costume - you don'y want to have to unwrap your hard work if you need to go! It's best therefore to have a separate top and pants outfit rather than having everything connected together :)
On top of your DIY costume, you could also add:
- Fake spiders: glue little plastic spiders onto your bandages
- Fake cobwebs: a fun extra texture to making you look like you've been in a tomb for a long time!
- Baby powder/face powder (makeup)/talcum powder: Disperse the powder onto your costume using a big brush to make you look very dusty - and if someone pats you on the back, dust will fly off you!
- Extra strips hanging off your costume, especially on the arms, to give a more bedraggled look.
The look most suited to mummies is a crusty white face and a very dark eye area, perhaps with a tinge of green or yellow too.
With regard to makeup design, there are a few options:
- You use face paints, in gray, black and white colors
- You can use regular makeup, such as black eyeshadows and liners, face powders and either a brown or very pale foundation
- Use a paste of flour, water and corn syrup, or use a latex base layer, before adding paper and bandage material on top to make a real-looking effect. Special effects require more effort but you will get an awesome result that will certainly turn heads!
Muslin Fabric & Gauze Bandages
Ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus
DIY Costume Instructions & Ideas
- Paint and Coffee Dyed Muslin
A different way to color the muslin, with thermal underwear as the base layer.
- Tulle, Lace & Cotton Layers
I love the original and quality look of these girls & boys costumes.
- How To Make a Mummy Costume
Use white sheets and dye them with tea for a dirty, aged look.
- Mummy Fancy Dress From Scratch
Includes tips on making your own base layer of clothing, and using socks over shoes.
- Recycled White T-Shirts
Made from strips of t-shirt jersey knotted together.
- Baby & Toddler Costumes
Budget version of a toddler costume.
- Cute Baby Onesie
Quick and simple onesie outfit with googly eyes.
- Egyptian Pharoah Costumes
Add more of an Egyptian theme with home made masks.
- Women's Mummy Dress
A girly version of the classic, complete with a masquerade mask.
- DIY Boy's Halloween Outfit
Impressive costume which was hand sewn.
Mummy Costume How-Tos & Inspiration
Thermal Underclothes Layer
Egyptian Hat & Scary Masks
If you don't want to apply makeup or face paint, a mask is an easy solution and there is quite a variety available ranging from cute to gory!
If you want to add more of an Ancient Egyptian theme, there are also eye-catching headpieces you could purchase.
Mummy Fancy Dress
Mummy Makeup Techniques
- Realistic Make Up & Costume Tutorial
Water, flour and corn syrup make a brilliant makeup base, with napkins and cheesecloth on top.
- Realistic Ancient Skin Recipe
How to make a special effects paste for your skin.
- Mummy Face Painting
This bandage design example looks great!
- Ghoulish Makeup
Step-by-step for applying white and green make up.
Face Paints & Make Up
Whether you just want a plain white face or you want to create a much more detailed and realistic effect, you will find what you need here: