Introduction: Mummy Makeup and Costume Tutorial

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This mummy makeup and costume tutorial will neither cause you to break into your piggy bank nor require a team of trained professionals to help get you in or out of it. Our mummy costume rocks because it allows the wearer to be transformed into a mummy while still being able to function and do things that non-mummies need to do, like drive, eat, and work.

Tip: Review each step before jumping in. You can prepare a number of the costume elements in advance, saving you both time and energy on the day you need to truly transform.

Note: You may want to create the costume first and put the shirt on before you begin your makeup. If you wear a button down shirt, you'll have no problem applying the makeup first. If you wear a t-shirt with a head opening that is not stretchy, you'll most definitely have a harder time avoiding damage to your makeup.

Pull out some old clothes, a few kitchen items, a little bit of makeup, and some fabric bits and let's get to work!

Hope you enjoy it! I would love to see your transformation photos!

-Wings and Fences

Step 1: What You'll Need: the Ingredients for Mummy Making

Ingredient list for creating a mummy:


* old pants - jeans, sweats, color not important

* old t-shirt - white or a cream color work best, you may want a long-sleeved shirt

* Glue Gun - to adhere the fabric to the clothes

Body & Face

* Fabric- muslin or old white sheets and pillow cases - The amount of materials you will need depends upon a number of factors, including your size (if you are a larger person, whether in height or weight, you'll require more fabric for body coverage), and the extent to wish you want to be covered. We used one layer on all clothing and body parts, but you could have more wraps, more will all depend on your personal preference. But, to get you started, you should invest in at least 3 yards each of muslin and cheesecloth.


* Makeup - Time to raid the cosmetics drawer in your house, or head over to your sister's pad. Eyeshadow, blush, and eyeliners are just a few of the products that you may already have access to, so check them out before heading out to purchase new stuff.

We did use some theatrical cream makeup that can be picked up at party stores, and is especially prominent at nearly every store during the Halloween season. Don't overlook the makeup kits that offer a little package of spirit gum or liquid latex in addition to palettes of color, as these are often enough materials for this costume. The main colors we work with are: brown, green, and a little yellow.

Tip: The products we used all wash off with water and are non-toxic. Water clean-up is a big plus!

* Spirit gum ($3)

* Spirit gum remover ($3)

* Recycled napkins - in addition to earning some green karma, the great brown color works perfectly for the project. ($8 pack of 500)

* Dark brown corn syrup or molasses

* Wheat or White Flour (we use wheat)

* Water

* Facial makeup sponge applicators

* Eyeshadow applicator or cotton swab

* Cold coffee

* Vinegar

* Pot to dye your materials



* cotton inspection gloves ($5)

* liquid latex ($$$ - price really varies with this product, but 1 pint can easily cost $17)

Step 2: Prepare Your Fabric Materials

Tip: You might want to do this step a day or more in advance.

Body and Face Fabrics

Prepare the muslin you will be using for the body and arms by ripping/cutting the fabric into long strips. Working with strips a yard in length works well.

Dye Your Muslin and Cheesecloth - You may want to do this step a day in advance.

Make a large mocha pot of coffee. Ours is a 9 serving pot that makes 1 ½ cups. You can use regular coffee as well. You may not need to add water as this will be weaker than what comes out of a mocha pot.

Add 1 ½ cups water to double the volume. Place the coffee in a large pot. Add fabrics to stain them. Swash them around and let soak a few minutes until you reach the darkness or color you want. If you go too dark, you can rinse with some cold water to lighten again. If too light, put back in the coffee pot.

When the fabrics become just slightly lighter than you need, add 6 cups of water to dilute the solution. Then add ½ to 1 cup vinegar and let soak for 5 minutes. The vinegar is a mordant and sets the color in the fabric.

Dry Your Dyed Fabrics - Throw them in the dryer on the casual setting, or hang them to dry.

Napkins aka "Dead Skin"

* Make strips out of your recycled napkins

* Bunch up the strips to create some wrinkles in the paper

* You can break some of the strips into pieces if you like, as you can use small and large pieces on the face.

Step 3: Apply Foundation Makeup

Note: You may want to create the costume first and put the shirt on before you begin your makeup. If you wear a button down shirt, you'll have no problem applying the makeup first. If you wear a t-shirt with a head opening that is not stretchy, you'll most definitely have a harder time avoiding damage to your makeup. Skip ahead to Step 8 if you want to start on the clothes first!

Brown Foundation

Apply the brown cream makeup with a makeup sponge and dab/pounce it around the eyes, mouth and nose. Using the sponge applicator, begin to fan the makeup away from the eye, starting at the eyebrow, pulling the makeup up and out throughout the face to blend it in. Working in this manner will ensure that the darkest sections will be on areas where you want the most concentration of color, like the brow and the cheekbone. Cover the eyelids too.

Continue working in the manner until all the dabs are softened onto the face.

We use the brown makeup as a foundation for the other makeup because it helps to give the grease pencils and other color products something to hold onto. Some theatrical makeup can be greasy and difficult to keep in place on the face over a period of time.

Green, Black, Yellow Highlights

You'll perform the same actions with the green, black, and yellow colors. Our green has a slight sheen to it, and we really like it, so we applied more of that color. Use the black to darken the areas around the eye, especially below the eye.

Careful, don't poke the eye or get the makeup in the eye.

You can always continue to layer the colors as needed to attain the color and depth that you desire.

Step 4: Make Skin Glue

This natural recipe works great - we've used it in applications that were worn for 10+ hours, and it held up wonderfully, never "melting" or running down the face, and it didn't cause an allergic reaction. I can't guarantee how this glue will hold up if you are someone who has a lot of face perspiration. This syrup glue is a great alternative that is inexpensive, and it is easier for those who may have an allergy to liquid latex or spirit gum adhesives.

Skin Glue Recipe

Mix 2 tablespoons wheat or white flour with 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup or molasses with 3 teaspoons of water.

Tip: You may find this recipe too thick for your liking; just add more water, stirring as you add. Careful, too much water and it won't maintain the "stick" that the recipe requires. A little more syrup and flour can help you catch up. Experiment and see what feels right for your application.

We apply the skin glue with a silicone pastry brush.

Step 5: Apply Dead Skin Layer

Syrup Mixture + Recycled Napkins = Dead Skin

Working in small areas at a time, apply the syrup mixture to the skin with the silicone pastry brush. Apply your napkin strips and pieces over the face, using the pastry brush to help create folds, wrinkles, and apply more "glue" as needed. I begin above the brow, but feel free to start where you'd like.

Be sure to cover the ears as well! Careful of those eyes, no one wants a paper cut!

Continue working to cover the entire face. There is no need to cover the neck, as your cheesecloth will cover this area.

Step 6: Cheesecloth Application - Wrap the Head of the Mummy

Cheesecloth Application - Time to Wrap the Mummy

1. Drape a large piece of dyed cheesecloth over your head (approx 1.5 - 2 yards, depending on wrap) and begin wrapping it around your neck. Don't get too involved with it at this point, as you need to apply the cheesecloth to the face as well.

2. In addition to the larger section of cheesecloth, I cut some into smaller pieces to use for both the clothing and the body.

3. Apply the cheesecloth to the face by applying small dots of spirit gum (or liquid latex) to the cheesecloth head wrap (if it is close enough to be worked into the design), and to pieces of the "dead skin" napkins. You don't need much spirit gum, as it quickly adheres these surfaces together.

4. Work your way all around the face until you are happy with the finished product. The textured "dead skin" beneath the surface of the cheesecloth really adds a depth to the face that wouldn't be possible otherwise.

5. Once your face is covered, continue to wrap your neck and head with the remainder of the long piece of cheesecloth you initially wrapped around your head. Tuck in any loose fabric into your shirt, or feel free to use the extensions as a continuation on the shirt, using the spirit gum for adhesive.

Tip: Spirit gum is easily removed with spirit gum remover.

Step 7: Completed Mummy Head

Congrats! You've finished the transformation of your mummy face and head.

Step 8: Dressing the Mummy - Clothes Construction

Tip:  Make the Clothes Ahead of Time

What this costume lacks in expense, it makes up for in energy and time consumption. You'd be wise to prepare your clothes a day or two in advance of the day you need to transform into a mummy.

* Assuming you've already prepared your muslin and cheesecloth fabrics (see step 2), you are ready to begin construction of the mummy body, or clothes.

You'll need your glue gun for this step.

Creating the Clothes

For both the shirt and pants (and shoes if you desire), you'll haphazardly glue the dyed muslin strips and cheesecloth bits all over the exterior surfaces. There is no pattern to follow, just overlap the fabrics and continue to build the costume by adding some cheesecloth here and a torn piece of muslin there. Relax... you can't make a mistake.

Careful with that glue gun! The glue and the tips of the gun get hot, so it helps to have a bowl of cold water nearby should you need to cool off a finger.

Step 9: Completed Mummy - Head to Toe

Finishing touches:

Shoes - Apply cheesecloth to the shoes using the same method used to apply the dyed muslin to the clothes.

Dye - If you aren't happy with how your muslin/cheesecloth looks, feel free to fill a spray bottle with some of the cold coffee mixture and spritz it over the fabrics.

Hope you've enjoyed the tutorial and are ready to tackle recreating the look for yourself.

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