Since childhood, I’ve struggled to come up with a realistic mummy costume. I’ve tried everything from painted t-shirts to toilet paper, and I’ve even tried letting someone actually wrap me from head to toe in bandages. The first idea looked the worst, but was the most comfortable; the last looked the best but was a nightmare (punny) to get on and off. Finally, I came up with the perfect combination of great looks and ease of wear. You can even re-use this mummy costume for years!
First, this won’t be the cheapest mummy costume you’ve worn, but there are ways to cut some of the costs. You will also need a second person to make your mummy – one of you will be the ‘mannequin’ and the other will be the ‘seamstress’. Yes, your finished mummy costume will fit more than one person, so you can even loan it out. Make a dozen and rent them for some extra cash!
The materials you’ll need for your mummy costume are listed below:
• Long Johns, white – $20
• Elastic Bandage, white, 5 rolls – $25
• Socks, white, large – $2
• Three-hole ski mask, white – $5
• Cotton gloves, white – $2
• Old shoes – Free!
• Spray paint, brown and gray – $5
• Halloween face paint – $5
• Garment Tape (Stitch Witchery) – $2
• Tools – scissors, old sheet or pillow case, drop-cloth (or outdoor area in which to use spray paint)
For about $65, you’ll have everything you need to win your next office costume contest. We’ll start at the feet.
1) Take the old pair of shoes and carefully cut the sole from the rest of the shoe using scissors or shears – do not use a knife or other unsafe blade. You should end up with two rubber soles that fit the bottoms of your feet very well. With the shoe soles under each of your feet, slip on the large white socks to hold them in place. Pull the socks all the way up your calves.
2) Next, put on the long johns and white gloves. Though you may be tempted to try a union suit (the one-piece long johns), you will not be able to get in and out of the union suit once the bandages are applied. Pull the legs of the long johns down over the socks and the sleeves under the wrists of the gloves. Use strips of garment tape to attach the socks to the long john legs and to attach the gloves to the shirt sleeves. Finally, wrap your face in an old sheet scrap or a pillow case before slipping the white ski mask in place. This will protect your eyes and mouth in the next step. You may also wear goggles under the pillow case for additional safety.
3) Now fully dressed, stand on your drop-cloth or in your outdoor painting area and spread your feet shoulder width apart while holding your arms out to the side, fingers spread. Your assistant can now use the brown and gray spray paint to color all of your under garments. Additional colors can be used with a goal of achieving a sickly skin color. This will be the color that shows through any cracks in the bandages on your mummy costume. For additional safety, have your assistant warn you before spraying near your face so that you may hold your breath. You will need to stand upright for at least twenty minutes before the paint dries enough to cleanly sit. Wear the suit for a total of one hour to ensure it is dry enough to continue with your mummy costume. Once the paint dries, you can remove all materials from your head for comfort.
4) The next step is the most time consuming. Your assistant will begin wrapping you in elastic bandages. ACE makes the most popular bandages, but many alternatives are available for a lower cost. The beginning of every strip should be adhered to your under garments with garment tape. Adhesion should also be made about once every third wrap with a final strip of garment tape about six to twelve inches short of the end of the bandage. The final length of bandage will be left dangling for effect.
5) The lower half of your body will be wrapped, including your feet. Around the sides of your feet, use ample garment tape to keep the bandaging in place, even as the bottoms of your feet are worn through from walking. The tattered effect will add to the overall look.
6) The upper half of your body will be wrapped next, including your hands. Keep plenty of loose strips of bandage around the bottom hem of the shirt to help keep the gap between shirt and pants hidden in all positions. Remember the excess bandage ends left dangling in random locations for later use.
7) Your head piece will be completed next. Slip on the ski mask without any face protection needed. Have your assistant wrap your head in the same fashion as the shirt and pants, leaving bandage ends dangling and excess bandage at the neck line to cover the gap between mask and shirt collar. Take care to run the bandages beyond the edges of the three face openings on the mask. This will help hide the mask and look more like the mouth and eyes have worked free rather than having been left open on purpose (real mummies didn’t need to see or eat).
8) With the bandaging complete, your mummy costume needs a few finishing touches. Use scissors to either cut or rip the dangling bandage ends to give them a worn look. For added effect, roll around in the dirt to ‘age’ the bandages, and then add a few blood stains with your Halloween makeup kit. Finish it off with face paint around your eyes and mouth/lips to continue the look of decayed skin.
When the work is complete, you’ll have a professional mummy costume that can be easily taken off and put on in three easy pieces. Due to the elastic nature of the materials in your new mummy costume, you can either let other people of various sizes wear it or at least be certain that it will fit you next year, even if your size changes a bit!