Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun Costume for Book Week or Halloween - Crook and Flail Tutorial

My son is obsessed with Ancient Egypt.  King Tut in particular.  He wants to discover the location of Nefertiti's tomb one day.  So for book week this year 'Find your Treasure' inspired my son to come up with a costume based around the greatest treasure ever discovered, the tomb of Tutankhamun.  He had a whole library of books on Ancient Egypt to draw on, and insisted that the details of the costume had to be EXACTLY like Tutankhamun.

There was a great pharaoh costume that I purchased at Costume Box here which made the basis of the costume.  It is a fantastic costume and Costume Box were great with exchanging sizes easily and quickly.  Despite the excellent off the shelf costume, apparently it wasn't exactly like Tutankhamun.  So grandparents were lobbied to make a white linen tunic, and I was begged to help make an authentic Crook and Flail.  What is a Crook and Flail do you ask?  They are a hook and whip, which symbolise the power of the pharaoh.  The aim was to make ones that looked identical to the ones on Tutankhamen's sarcophagus. 

Ancient Egyptian Tutankhamun Costume Materials

2 x 30cm lengths of dowel
Wire and Strong Fabric Tape
(possibly strapping tape)
Gold spray paint
Blue Glitter Ribbon
2m of Fishing Wire
Gold and Blue beads
Closed Screw Eye

Ancient Egyptian Tutankhamun Costume Equipment

Hot Glue Gun
Old Cardboard Box

Ancient Egyptian Tutankhamun Costume Step by Step Process

Step 1 - Create the hook part of the flail.  You can use what you have at home.  To be honest this is bit that I struggled with the most.  In the end I made a hook shape out of wire from a thin wire coat hanger and taped it with thick fabric tape to the dowel.  Once in place tape around the wire several layers like strapping a limb, and shape into the hook.

Step 2 - Spray paint both of the dowel rods (one with the hook attached) with the gold spray paint.  Multiple light coats work best, and spraying in a cardboard box makes it a lot less messy.

Step 3 - Finish off the crook by using a hot glue gun to wrap the glittery blue ribbon around the crook.


In the end this step was really critical for the hook section. The thick fabric tape left some gaping holes, and this was made worse by the gold paint which widened the holes, and also didn't dry nicely over the tape.  So the ribbon was hot glue gunned over the hook section closely together to cover any bits that didn't dry well and give extra support.  Once done the crook is finished.

Step 4 - Now to start work on the flail.  Screw the closed eye screw into the end of the dowel rod.

Step 5 - Tie a bead to the end of a length of fishing wire.  Then decorate with different gold and blue beads.  My son quickly figured out that the longer bugle glass beads fill the space up faster.

Step 6 -  Tie the bead strands to the closed eye screw and trim the excess fishing line. 

Ancient Egyptian Tutankhamun Costume Over all Review

Difficulty - Moderate - the tricky part is the stupid hook bit on the crook.  If you have any better success or better techniques let me know in the comments below. 
Time - 60 mins over a few days to allow the paint to dry.
Cost - $18.00 - The major cost was the gold spray paint which I couldn't find for less than $10 at the time, $4 for the blue glitter ribbon and $4 for the dowel.  Luckily we had the rest already in the craft draws, but if you don't it is probably at least another $10 worth of materials.
Child Involvement - My son created all of the flail beading and loved spray painting the sticks.  Hot glue gun work and the fiddly flail work will probably need to be done by a teen/adult.
End Result - They did the job and got the tick of approval from my son as being authentic enough for an official Tutankhamun costume.


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