Marvelous Mummy Wood Carving Tutorial


You can make this super easy mummy very quickly using just a knife.

You will love this mummy wood carving tutorial whether you are a beginner carver—or have been carving for a while. It is packed with textured details but is very easy to carve. It should even bring a smile to your face.  

I typically use small wood blocks for my designs, but you can easily increase the size.

Let’s start this carving party! 

mummy wood carving

What you need for your mummy wood carving

For this mummy wood carving tutorial you will need a wood bock (I used basswood) that is 1 x 1 x 3 inches (2.5 x 2.5 x 7.6 cm). You can easily scale the pattern to fit a larger block by simply doubling or tripling all the provided measurements.  

A pencil with an eraser will be needed to sketch the pattern. Or, you can photocopy the pattern to size and glue it to the block, using the pattern  to guide your cuts. You will also need a small ruler (a great addition to your everyday carving kit) if you are following my measurements.  

You can use just one knife for this entire mummy wood carving. Please always use a carving glove for safety. I re-enforce my leather-lined Kevlar glove with vet tape for added protection.  

If you are carving across your legs, a hard piece of wood or a cutting board on your lap should protect the precious femoral arteries in your legs from unintentional slips. It only takes one knife poke-through to cause some serious damage!  Please err on the side of caution when it comes to your safety.  

Mummy wood carving tutorial at-a-glance

Watch this short video to see the key steps for creating your mummy wood carving before you start.  

Starting your mummy wood carving

Before drawing your guidelines, slightly round off the four corners on your wood block with your knife. You will be carving off the corner for this project. This means that your sketch (or pattern) will stretch across two sides of your wood block (photo 1). 

Don’t worry about perfection when measuring or sketching your guidelines for this little whittle. After all, he’s supposed to be a haphazardly bandaged mummy! 

Draw a guideline that is 1.5 inches (1.3 cm) from the bottom of your wood block to mark the bottom of the body (photos 1-4). Each leg is about  1/2-inch (1.3 cm) wide and 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) tall. The shoes are about 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) tall (photos 1-4).  Mark the wood that you will remove to carve the legs (in black in photos 1-4)

The arms start about 1.75 inches (4.4 cm) from the bottom (photo 1). They are about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) wide. Draw mittens for the hands (photo 1).

The wide eye socket is about 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) on each side and about 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) tall at the widest point (photos 1-3). The bottom of the eye socket sits about 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) from the bottom of the wood block (photos 1-3). 

wood carved mummy front guidelines1. Front guidelines are drawn
Wood carved mummy left guidelines3. Marked wood on left side
Wood carved mummy right guidelines2. Marked wood on right side
Wood carved mummy back guidlines4. Back view of marked wood

Make your first cuts on your mummy wood carving

Separate the bottom of the mummy all around using stop cuts (photo 5), removing wood from underneath. 

Use a wide pyramid cut to separate the legs on the front and the back (photo 6). Tip: Make a cut on each side first. Then, make your bottom cut to cleanly remove the wood chip. 

Use stop cuts to separate the tops of the feet all around (completed in photo 7). Then, make a small pyramid cut at the top of the legs to widen the space between them. Tip: Hold off narrowing the legs until you round down the body later, which will give you greater access. It will be challenging to get your knife into the space at this point and you certainly don’t want to break it.  

Turn your mummy wood carving upside down and sketch the bottom of the shoes (photo 8), which you will also carve later.

Making stop cut on wood carved mummy5. Making a stop cut
Making a V-cut on wooden mummy carving6. Making a wide pyramid cut
Narrowing legs on wooden mummy carving7. Making a small pyramid cut
Shoes are drawn for wooden mummy wood carving8. Shoes are drawn

Shape the head on your mummy wood carving

Use your knife to remove wood to round the top of the head (photo 9) until you have the desired shape (completed in photo 10).  

Separate the eye socket all around (photo 10). You can use stop cuts here.  Or, you can hold your knife like a pencil and make your first cut. Then, make a second slicing cut inside the eye socket guideline to remove a sliver of wood. 

Once the eye socket is separated, use your knife to remove wood and flatten the eye socket (photo 11).   

Now, make a wide V-cut on each side (photo 11)—about 1.5 inches (1.3 cm) down from the top of the head—to separate the head from the body (completed in photo 13).  Tip: Do not cut too deeply because the bandages make the neck appear much wider than it would normally be (visible in photo 13).  

Shaping head on wooden mummy carving9. Carving the head
Carving eye socket on wooden mummy carving10. Separating eye socket
Shaping eye socket on wooden mummy carving11. Flattening eye socket
Wide V-cut on wood carved mummy12. Making wide V-cut

Some terrific knives you will love!

The knives pictured below are easy to use and hold an edge extremely well. They are also very sturdy, which is awesome for beginner wood carvers. The FC001 is a great all-around carving knife. The FC016 is my go-to for making clean pyramid cuts with ease.  I use the FC015 when I need to remove a lot of wood without too much effort. Lots of great wood carvers on Instagram use them. They are also readily available, which is a plus these days. Check ‘em out! Every purchase you make via these affiliate links helps support this website. Thank you! 😀

Add some details to your wooden mummy carving

Sketch the bandages that will wrap around the head and the body of your mummy wood carving (photos 13-16). You want some of the bandages to wrap under other bandages (photos 14,15), which is more visible after carving them (see photos 24-26).  

Tip: Do not draw your bandages uniformly or straight across. Adding some curves will make them look like they are loosely wrapped.  

Details drawn on front of wood carved mummy13. Front details are added
Details drawn on right side of wood carved mummy14. Right view of drawn details
Details drawn on left side of wooden mummy carving15. Left view of drawn details
Details drawn on back of wood carved mummy16. Back view of drawn details

Carve the details on your mummy wood carving

Use your knife to round the bottom of the body down (photo 17) all around, which will give you greater access to narrow the legs.  

Now, separate the bandages. Use stop cuts, removing wood from under your cuts (photo 18). Take your time and clean up your cuts as you go.  Tip: Separate and shape the arms using stop cuts before you carve the bandage on each arm (photo 19). It is easy to miss the arms!

After the bandages are carved, narrow the legs and shape the shoes. You may also need to reduce the height of the shoes (photo 20).  Be very careful here. Angle your cuts against the mummy’s legs whenever possible to minimize risk of cracking the wood or slicing the foot off! Once you have the desired shape of the shoes, mark where you will make small V-cuts (on each side) to carve the heels (photos 21,22).

Narrowing legs on wood carved mummy17. Narrowing the legs
Carving bandages on wood carved mummy18. Making a stop cut
Cutting arm on wood carved mummy19. Separating the bottom of the arm
Narrowing shoes on wood carved mummy20. Reducing height of the shoes
Heel drawn on right side of wood carved mummy21. Left heel is drawn
Heel drawn on left side of wood carved mummy22. Right heel is drawn

Refine your mummy wood carving

Prior to painting, clean up any wood fuzzies and deepen your cuts to help add shadow (photos 23-26). This is very important for your mummy wood carving because the bandages are primarily off-white. 

Wood carved mummy before painting23. Front view of unpainted mummy wood carving
Right view of wood carved mummy before painting24. Right view of mummy wood carving
Left view of wood carved mummy before painting25. Left view of mummy wood carving
Back view of unpainted wood carved mummy26. Back view of mummy wood carving

Paint your mummy wood carving

Your mummy wood carving will require several layers of watered down paint to add shadow and to make the bandages pop as much as possible. You can use whatever acrylic paints you want.  

To get this exact look, here are the paint colors (and brands) that were used. Unless otherwise noted, create a wash with your paints. I use an eye dropper filled with water and add the water to the paint until the paint is a milky consistency.

  • Bandages: Apply two coats of CraftSmart ivory wash. Allow to dry completely and dry brush some bandages with Artist’s Loft titanium white.
  • Eye socket: 100% Ceramcoat black. 
  • Eye pupils: 100% Ceramcoat bright yellow applied with a painting dot tool (you can also use a toothpick or the end of a pencil). 
  • Shading under bandages: Very diluted Ceramcoat black wash applied just under the bandage cuts.  Blend well with a clean, wet brush.
  • Finish: Use your sealer of choice. I used a Mod Podge Matte-Mat-Mate spray (spray outdoors due to strong odor). 
Front view of painted wood carved mummy27. Painted front of mummy wood carving
Right view of painted wood carved mummy28. Right view of painted mummy wood carving
Left view of painted wood carved mummy29. Left view of painted mummy wood carving
Back view of painted wood carved mummy20. Back view of painted mummy wood carving

Free mummy wood carving pattern

If you prefer to carve your mummy from a pattern, photocopy this to size to fit your wood block.

Free pattern to carve a mummy from wood

Summary of mummy wood carving tutorial 

  • This little mummy wood carving tutorial is super easy and tons of fun to carve, making it a great project for beginners.
  • Be sure your bandages are not all even—or run straight across—to give the illusion that they are sagging.
  • Use an ivory base color (not bright white) to avoid harsh lines and to help the bandages pop.  
  • Try varying up the color of the pupils if you make more than one mummy wood carving. 


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