Monday, October 12, 2015

DIY Ancient Egyptian Party Ideas - Thrifty Things to Make

I recently hosted my mothers 70th birthday surprise party. She has always been keen on Ancient Egyptian artifacts so it seemed a good choice. You can go with the really old Egyptian period, or the 1920's style Archeology and digs, or even Indiana Jones style adventures.



To keep costs down, I decided to create as much of the makings for the party as possible. Some worked better than others, but I thought I'd share the ideas and the outcomes to inspire your own attempt to walk like and Egyptian.

I had lots of notice for the party and was able to call on the talents of my dad who is very good at building to create some of the props.  I decided I would like a folding room divider that could be used as a backdrop for the photos as well as a nice keepsake for my mum. This mural would be of hieroglyphs. 
My father built a three panel screen just using lightweight disposal wood and hinges.  The panels are all 180cm tall and 48cm wide and are hinged. To decorate, I stapled calico on the frame.  I then added plaster bandage strips randomly over the surface to add depth like a rock wall.  I painted the whole surface with a couple of coats of flat white house paint, and then started to decorate.
The design was (hopefully) the words, "Mother Happy Birthday" in hieroglyphs - I googled this so it may not be right.  I first sketched and then painted on the images.  After the painting was dry I washed the whole surface with a runny brown paint wash to age it up a bit and then added a bit of pastels to give age to the pictures.  I then sprayed the front with a couple of coats of gloss clear lacquer. The back is just covered with black calico stapled on afterwards.

For the present table, I used the services of Spoonflower to create a couple of custom collages of Ancient Egyptian images and had them printed onto fabric.  I used these as a base for the table and also made a couple of throw pillows to match.

For the rest of the table decorations, I used an old but lovely sari as table clothes, as well as a couple of op-shop runners in ethnic looking colors or blue.

I also got my clever father to whip up a small box to decorate as a sarcophagus, just by adding some cardboard shapes to the outside.  For the details, I found a FIMO press mould of egyptian items and used this with translucent FIMO with gold paint rubbed over for effect.

I used a bunch more cardboard to create a giant sphinx (its about 80cm long and 35cm high).  I covered this in layers of sprayed on Aquadhere and sand.  Its got a nice rocky feel.

I used little wooden bunting from  Kikki K kit to make door and window bunting.

My sister, the cooking genius whipped up and amazing cake in the shape of a packing case containing a mummy.  The case was gingerbread, the inside filled with mud cake and the mummy was marzipan.  She decorated the whole lot with Persian fairy floss packing material.  Amazing!

The day was a wonderful success and my mother has lots of her very own "artifacts" to enjoy into the future.