Turn Barbie into a faux mummy just for fun, or to teach kids more about ancient Egyptian mummification. Gauze or strips torn from old sheets or pillowcases can be used as the mummy-making fabric.
Wrapping a Mummy
Make the Mummy-Wrapping Strips
Cut or tear the gauze into strips approximately 1/4-inch wide. Depending on how thick you wish to wrap the Barbie, it may take more than three feet of torn material. The longer the strips, the less time you'll have to spend tucking in new strips to complete the mummy.
Start Wrapping the Barbie
Wrap the Barbie, starting the end of a fabric strip near the ankles. Wrap the strips around each ankle at first to help secure the fabric, then wrap the legs together. Cover the feet and work your way up the legs.
Tuck Material Around the Torso
Slide the fabric between Barbie's arms and torso to help secure the material when nearing the end of one piece or starting a fresh piece. Wrap the fabric completely around her arms and torso afterwards so the arms can no longer move. Continue wrapping upwards, covering the head, then working the fabric back downwards. Tuck the end of the material into a previous layer of fabric, using a toothpick to help push the material in.
Securing the Wrap
Knot the end of the material by tying it to a previous layer of the wrapping once you've tucked the end through the layer. If this proves difficult, apply a dab of school glue or craft glue, pinning the fabric temporarily in place with a straight pin.
Aging the Fabric
To make the mummy wrapping look old or ancient, first soak the strips in a pot of strong black tea. Boil two to three cups of water in a pot along with three tea bags. Allow the water to boil until the tea looks dark and some of the water evaporates. Place the fabric in the tea and allow it to soak for 15 minutes, lifting the fabric out with a wooden spoon to check the color. Leave the fabric to soak longer for a darker color if desired. Dry the strips over a clothesline or atop an old folded towel before using them to mummify Barbie.
Optional Mummy Ideas
- To make Barbie's mummification more permanent, dip the fabric strips in a bowl of decoupage medium, equal parts school glue and water or even wallpaper paste before wrapping the figure. Remove excess liquid from each strip by running it between your finger and thumb while wearing rubber gloves.
- Create a coffin or sarcophagus for Mummy Barbie out of a narrow rectangular box such as a water-cracker package. Leave the box in its original shape for a simple project, or allow older children to slice and reshape the box more like a traditional sarcophagus before painting it or covering it with construction paper to decorate it.
- If the mummy has a coffin or sarcophagus, place her inside it along with a few of her "important" belongings. Explain how ancient Egyptians often removed internal organs from the deceased before mummifying the bodies, placing the organs in canopic jars that are kept with the mummy.