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A cartouche is an oval shape with a rope depicted around the outside. The rope is believed to have the power to protect the writing inside the oval. Cartouches most often protected the name and title of a royal individual but could also hold a prayer for the deceased.


  • 2 cardboard paper towel tubes

  • Glue

  • 2 straws

  • Brown paper bag

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Rubber bands

  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers

  • Cartouche pattern (or create your own) and hieroglyphic alphabet chart, which can be found HERE

INSTRUCTIONS: (see illustrated instructions below!)

  1. Cut both cardboard tubes horizontally down the middle.

  2. Apply glue inside both tubes and roll them as tightly as possible, then place each one around a straw.

  3. Wrap both straws with rubber bands to keep them tightly wound and allow them to dry.

  4. While your straws are drying, draw and then color your hieroglyphic message on your cartouche. Ms. Marion chose to use the second Hieroglyphic Alphabet Chart at because she likes all of the colorful symbols. Remember: Hieroglyphs are word pictures that represent the SOUNDS of the Ancient Egyptian language, so you will not need a symbol for every "letter" in your name or message. Do choose a symbol for every basic "sound" in your name or message. Optional: For younger artists, tape the Hieroglyphic Alphabet Chart underneath your cartouche and on top of a window. The light coming through the window will make it easy to trace your symbols! Cut out your cartouche when you finish your artwork.

  5. Cut out a large strip of brown paper from your paper bag to make the scroll. The scroll in the photo example is the same length as LASM Educator Ms. Marion's cat, Shelby!

  6. Now that your covered straws have had time to dry, take the rubber bands off and tape your straws to either side of your brown paper.

  7. Glue your cartouche onto the center of your brown paper scroll and roll it up. Show your scroll to a family member and see if they can crack the code! Can you guess Ms. Marion's secret message?

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