How to Make a Nefertiti Costume

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Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen whose beauty was legendary. Busts and paintings show her wearing a magnificent gold headdress that was surely the height of fashion in her day. The look is distinctly Egyptian and is easy to replicate in a costume. A solid gold collar, armbands and a belt encrusted with precious turquoise complete the royal ensemble. You can achieve the desired effect with more conventional and affordable materials without doing any sewing. Whoever wears this costume will hold her head high and walk like an Egyptian.

Things You'll Need

  • Dark black, brown or navy floor-length, form-fitting dress
  • Gold sandals
  • Plastic one-quart milk bottle
  • 2 yards gold self-adhesive paper
  • 1 foot turquoise self-adhesive paper
  • Cobra picture or clip art, about 3-by-3 inches
  • 2 pieces of 24-inch-by-36-inch poster board
  • Wide belt
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

Headpiece

  • Roll the large poster board horizontally into a cone shape. Staple it together at the wide end and along the seam. Cut off the smaller, pointed end about half-way up to make an opening that is wide enough to fit on your head and rest above your ears. Staple the seam closed.

  • Cut a piece of gold paper that is big enough to wrap around the entire headpiece, with about an inch extra on all sides. Remove the backing from the gold paper and cover the headpiece. Trim along all edges with scissors or wrap the excess around to the other side.

  • Cut the turquoise paper into 2-inch-wide strips and the height of the headpiece from brim to top. Remove the backing paper and lay the strips vertically on the headpiece, spaced about 3 inches apart to look like they are inlaid in gold.

  • Center the cobra picture in front and glue it in place.

Collar

  • Cut a 24-inch circle out of poster board. Cut a hole in the middle, about 1-foot wide or large enough to fit over your head. To make the collar lay flat and rest comfortably on your shoulders, fold it in half, open it and fold it again in the other direction. Make additional folds if necessary until the collar is rounded and fits comfortably.

  • Cut a circle out of the gold paper slightly larger than the collar. Remove the backing from the gold paper and apply to the collar. Cut out the doughnut hole after applying the paper. Trim the edges or wrap them around to the back.

  • Add turquoise paper in the same way you did for the headpiece. Run it perpendicular to the edge and space it equally.

Armbands and Belt

  • Cut the plastic bottle crosswise to make two cylinders, each about 3-to-4-inches long. Cut completely through each circle to make expandable armbands so they will fit easily over the hand and around the arm.

  • Cut a piece of gold paper that's big enough to wrap around the armband, plus an inch on both sides. Remove the backing and wrap around the armband. Trim or wrap around to the back. Cut through the expansion slit. Add the turquoise paper.

  • Cut a piece of gold paper slightly larger than the width and length of the belt. Remove the paper backing and cover the belt. Trim the excess paper along the edge or wrap it around to the back. Leave the buckle exposed. Poke through the holes with a pencil tip to make the belt easier to buckle. Embellish with turquoise paper if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • The dress can be sleeveless or long-sleeved, depending on the weather.
  • When using adhesive-backed paper, it is easier to trim after applying the paper than to try to achieve a perfect fit and match edges with sticky paper.
  • You can also use wrapping paper and glue instead of self-adhesive paper.
  • If the clip art cobra does not stand out on the front of the headdress, outline it in black magic marker, make horizontal stripes on the hood and body, and add eyes and tongue.
  • Glue plastic jewels to the collar, armbands and belt and on the cobra's eyes for added richness.

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References

  • Photo Credit nefertiti statue image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com
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