The more shabti dolls found in a tomb, the greater the wealth of the one buried there. As on earth, each shabti could only be used once as a replacement and so more dolls were to be desired than less, and this demand created an industry to manufacture them. Most shabti dolls were made of wood, but those for a pharaoh could be made of precious stone or metals.
A priest would recite spells as he used a ceremonial blade to touch the mouth of the corpse (so it could again breathe, eat, and drink) and the arms and legs so it could move about in the tomb. Once the body was laid to rest and the tomb sealed, other spells and prayers, such as The Litany of Osiris (or, in the case of a pharaoh, The Pyramid Texts) were recited and the deceased was then left to begin the journey to the afterlife.