Each Halloween, I convert my front driveway into a cemetery-themed extravaganza, complete with full-size coffins, headstones and the like. This year, I plan on expanding the cemetery theme by having a set of Mummies against my garage door, positioned and designed similar to one of the underground mummy chambers in Italy. One of these mummies will be walking away from its position, arms outstretched and wanting to grab you as you walk to the front door of my “Crypt”.
I’m not one for the half-assed cheesy look; I like authenticity, and short of actually getting a real mummy (I think there’s some sort of law against that!), I realized that I needed to build a mummy that was sturdy enough to withstand the outdoor elements but still looked like a real mummy.
So my quest began, starting with a trip into my storage shed. I found some old wetsuits from my scuba-diving days, which hadn’t seen the water in about 15 years. And the sparks went off! A wetsuit was the perfect base for a mummy!! It’s sturdy, can get wet in case it rained, and was just taking up space in an otherwise cluttered storage shed. So it was decided…
Now I had to figure out how to keep the wetsuit from collapsing on itself. Also inside my storage shed was some old corrugated 4-inch drainage pipe, the kind you dig a trench for and lay rocks on it, which collects water and sends it wherever you point it to go. I had just enough pieces to shove down into the legs of the wetsuit, which fit perfectly! Some leftover chicken wire from some tomato plant cages was also there in the shed, and I thought I could use that for the torso and arms.
My mummy was really starting to take shape in my mind. But how to get it to stay upright and still be able to move it around from storage to display and back kept nagging at me. I found some old “L” shaped angle iron from an old bed frame, and the light bulb went off again! I had a friend who could weld, and I cut the pieces so that I had two feet and two legs. My friend welded them together, and while he was doing that, I found an old small pallet at the local grass-supply place.
You can find pallets all over, and they’re usually free (merchants usually have to pay someone to come and haul them away, so you should be able to have as many as you want if you just ask!)…
The rest, as they say, is history! Read on for my step-by-step instructions on my mummy creation:
Step 1: Materials and Tools
1 small pallet (for base)
2 pieces “L” shaped angle iron (for the legs and feet)
9 feet black corrugated drain pipe (to fill out the wetsuit)
1 old wetsuit
1 roll chicken wire (for the torso and arms)
1 piece of 1”x2”x12” piece of wood
1 pair old gloves (for the mummy hands)
1 milk jug (for the mummy head)
2 feet white pvc pipe (for the mummy neck)
5 old white undershirts (the mummy wrappings)
1 old white sheet (more mummy wrappings)
1 box of teabags (to “age” the mummy wrappings)
1 box of screws
1 utility knife
1 pair of scissors
1 gallon pitcher (to brew tea)
1 can spray adhesive