Do-It-Yourself Mummy Halloween Costume

Dressing as a Mummy is perfect for any Halloween party because you are dressing as one of the classic monsters of the season – and it’s a really cheap Halloween costume, too!

Items you will need:

Two white sheets (old or new in natural fibers)
White pair of gloves OR skeleton gloves
Tea bags (generic brands are fine – eight is more than enough)
Hot water
Containers to hold the tea bath
Black eye makeup
Velcro tabs
An old pair of shoes
Dark shirt and pants

Lay each sheet out and cut into short strips (not along the length of the whole sheet, but along the width, which is of course shorter). Now your sheet is on the way to looking like strips of gauze. Don’t worry about making even cuts, and strands that hang are even better as you are going for the aged, gauzy look. Once you have cut both sheets into strips, you are going to apply a tea dying treatment to them to give them an aged look. After all, mummies have typically been dead — or undead — for thousands of centuries.

Tea dyeing is an easy way give your strips an older, antiqued look. The tea stains the fibers and gives a semi-permanent dull brown “dirty” tone to the whole piece. Note that you have a few options for your hands. You can either tea dye a pair of white gloves to match the rest of your costume, or, for added creepy effect, you can buy Halloween gloves that make your hands look skeletal. Very creepy! Your choice.

WARNING – tea dying works on natural fibers only so, no polyester.

Begin by boiling 4 cups of water for every yard of fabric. When the water has come to a boil, add two tea bags for every 8 ounces of water. Let the tea steep for about 5 minutes. You should have a really dark brown liquid. Squeeze out the teabags if you wish. It doesn’t hurt to leave them in, though, except that they might get soggy and break. Soak the fabric in the bucket of tea. Swish it around every so often if you want a smooth textured finish. Leave it without moving it much for a mottled finish. You can make samples with a small portion of tea and strips of fabric. Put all the strips in at the same time and pull one out every five minutes. When the fabric has soaked enough pull it out and rinse it under cool water. You will lose a lot of the color doing this, so if it isn’t dark enough to suit you, soak it some more. Be aware — the fabric dries a bit lighter than it will appear when wet.

Typically the medium light tan color you want for your mummy can be achieved in one hour. A richer tan can be achieved with an overnight soaking. When you are satisfied with the color, place the strips in the dryer on a high heat setting and let the strips tumble dry.

If for any reason you are not satisfied with the results, you can use bleach to return to the strips to their original white and start over. You will need help putting your Mummy self together. Now that you have your dry strips, you have the “gauze” that will comprise your Mummy costume. We recommend wearing dark clothing (shirt and pants). Begin wrapping yourself in the “gauze.” Cover your entire body, including your head, but leave your hands free as you should have gloves for those. Use the velcro tabs in critical places such as near your wrists so that you won’t come unravelled. Make sure you allow yourself an easy way to undo your lower section should you need to use the restroom. Nothing spoils the Halloween fun more than a soiled Mummy! Allow yourself enough open space in the face to breathe, and leave your eyes uncovered. Apply the black makeup to the area around your eyes to give yourself that nice, mummified look. Now, with your gloves and gauze in place, you are ready to roll as a first-rate Halloween Mummy.

Frightening Fact:
The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a collection of prayers and instructions read to you after you die. It offers directions and guidance as you venture into the afterlife.