How to Make a Pyramid Project

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Kukulkán Pyramid, Chichén Itzá 9
Kukulkán Pyramid, Chichén Itzá 9 (Image: Benjamin Earwicker)

There are pyramids in several places around the world. The first part of this project is deciding what type of pyramid you want to make. Probably the most famous pyramids are in Egypt, but a close runner-up would be the Mayan Indian pyramid in Yucatan, Mexico. They are very different, yet have many similarities. Look to spend at least 5 hours on your pyramid.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Craft knife
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Spray-on glue
  • Sand
  • Grass
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • 3-by-5 inch index cards
  • Decoration

Decide what type of pyramid you would like to make. Learn about the history of the pyramid and what is going on with it now. If this is a school project, you may want to write down the important facts on 3-by-5 inch cards.

Great Pyramid at Giza by Andrea De Stefani
Great Pyramid at Giza by Andrea De Stefani

Make the Egyptian pyramid shell by cutting cardboard to form the pyramid. Measure out the bottom of the pyramid square 9 1/8 inches on all sides. From the bottom lines measure the triangles for the walls. Find the center of the line, and measure straight up 7 1/2 inches. Then from each corner to the center, the triangle sides should be 8 3/4 inches. Leaving the triangles attached to the bottom, cut out in one piece.

Make the Mexican pyramid shell by using the same measurements except the tops of the triangle will need to be cut off 2 3/4 inches from the point. Then measure around the opening at the top and make a 2-inch-deep square to form the top. Then cut another square to put a roof on the top. Close up the opening.

Tape the pieces together to form your shell. For the Egyptian pyramid, score the inside edges of the square with a craft knife so the triangles will bend up into place easier.

Cover the shell in a gray clay. Put a little on at a time, and press into place. You can wet your finger to smooth new pieces into the sections that are already on the shell. Cover the entire shell.

Use a craft knife to cut out the detail. The Mexican pyramid has far more detail with all of the blocks and steps. There are doors at the top to enter the temple. The Egyptian pyramid still has a layer of blocks on the top that is not on the rest of the pyramid. It looks like a snow capped mountain.

Spray on the glue to the Egyptian pyramid, and put sand on the glue. Cover the entire pyramid in sand. This may take more than one coat. Paint highlights of the steps and blocks with a small paintbrush, and black and white paint for the Mexican pyramid. You can put in as much or as little detail as you need for your project.

Set up a large box lid that has a small lip. Place the Egyptian pyramid in the box and cover the bottom with sand. You can put in some plastic palm trees, camels and even use some tin foil for an oasis. Just place a piece of foil under the sand and push it away from the center.

Decorate the box for the Mexican pyramid with grass around it and large trees behind it. Put in some small, plastic Mayan Indian people. Make your project as realistic as you can.

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