Introduction: -LOSE YOUR HEAD -Head Coming Off Illusion / MUST SEE IN MOTION Costume Fun

Picture of -LOSE YOUR HEAD -Head Coming Off Illusion / MUST SEE IN MOTION Costume Fun

This a fun and easy costume that gives the illusion of the head coming off. endless Fun. It never gets old. I made this with just a few tool and a few materials. I will do my best to document the critical points that make this illusion function properly. with that said there is plenty of room for change and improvement. take this idea and make it your own. You can do this. You are going to have a blast.



Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

For the outside costume part
1) Coat, long enough to cover the knees.
2) Shirt ,Button down collar .

For the internal structure
1)Roll of duct tape
2)Roll of wire. I used number 8 galvanized steel wire 20 foot long(Minimum)
    a few feet of regular copper electrical wire number 10 or you could use the steel wire if you     have enough.

Step 2: The Outside Costume

Picture of The Outside Costume

The fist thing to do Is to lower the armpit of the jacket down to the elbow. to give room to move down inside of the jacket.  

1)Mark the jacket at the elbow. on the inside of the arm and on the body of the jacket.

2) Cut from the armpit to the elbow on the inside of the jacket arm and the body of the jacket.

3) Now sew together on each side

4) Do the same on the other side

Step 3: Sew the Shirt Onto the Jacket

Picture of Sew the Shirt Onto the Jacket

Take the collar shirt and cut off a 3 or 4 inch wide strip, in one piece, which includes the collar and a few inches on each side of the  buttons. Then sew on the jacket.

This will make it look like you are wearing the shirt but will not restrict the movement in side the jacket.

This is where there can be many different variations of the same thing. so make it you own.  

The Critical functions:
have the outerwear go at least to the knees. To hide where the inside structure is attached to the knees.

use a shirt that your head can go down in ie: v neck or button shirt that you can leave unbuttoned. It would probably even look ok if you just wore the same color shirt as the jacket(black shirt,black jacket) *then you could skip this step all together.

Step 4: The Internal Structure (how It Works)

Picture of The Internal Structure (how It Works)

The internal structure is a wire frame structure  that attaches at the knees holds the stomach forward  and holds the shoulders up. while allowing for room for the head to go down.

This is how I did it.

Critical points:
1) pivots at the knees
2) rigid enough to stand on its own, and hold the weight of the jacket.
3) room for you head to go down
4) held up with a strap in the back that goes around my belt.(picture in the last step)
*this makes this costume more comfortable because it is not really attached to you and adds flexibility. 

 *The structure is going to be made for the size person that is making it so keep that in mind if you are making this for someone else. It is not really adjustable.

Step 5: Get the Wire and Start to Bend It Into Shape

Picture of Get the Wire and Start to Bend It Into Shape

The structure is one wire bent around. then some cross pieces of wire are added

1)unwind the 20foot wire(I wish I had a few more feet)
2)find the half way point  mine was 10feet
3) bend it in a half moon shape, around belt buckle down to the knees.
4)then sharp bend up to the shoulders,do a 180 loop.
5)then bend back  down to the knees
6) make a loop around the knees.
4) this is symmetrical so how you do one side do to the other.

Step 6: Reinforce the Structure

Picture of Reinforce the Structure

After the wire frame is made. we are going to add some rigidity and shape by adding some cross pieces. I used the number 8  electrical copper wire.( the wire is red in the pictures)
(It may help if you added the bracing as you are bending it around)

Dont worry if it feels a little wobbly the duct tape will lock it all together. 

Step 7: Duct Tape the Structure

Picture of Duct Tape the Structure

Now duct tape the structure. make sure it is the shape you want. This will add rigidity and smooth everything out.

Step 8: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

Have Fun

To keep the structure from falling down I had to find a adjustable strap, that had clips on the end, mine was off a duffel bag. I cliped this on the circles around my knees, then went around my belt. this held up the structure and worked perfectly.


DonCenzo (author)2016-08-14

Verry funny! I laughed my head off!

T0BY (author)2016-01-09

Really clever! Nicely done!

AliS75 (author)2015-11-17

Thanks a lot . it was a helpful method for my theater :)

halladare (author)2015-10-13

Thanks so much for posting the instructions! Question: if the "thingie" needs to be attached down to your knees, won't the top part wobble as you walk? If you get it closely fitted, will that prevent this?


KristelS (author)2015-09-01

Superb job!!! I am building one right now.

Question: Once I'm all done and have the costume on and want to do the trick, do I have to push up on the wired frame I built to do the illusion or simply just drop my head down? It looks like you don't need to use your hands at all for it to work?

Thanks, Jedbd :)


moosesausage (author)2011-10-23

Neat. Where did you find 20+ feet of 8 gauge wire? I can't find it at Home Depot or Lowes. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

I would suggest someplace that sells chain link fence, it's used as a bottom stinger sometimes...

dragon74 (author)2013-09-28

Fantastic instructable, great work. My only stumbling block was realizing that the shoulder supports are not 3D in the same way as the knee circles are, but rather flat, much like a breastplate kind of thing.

gogglecrab (author)2013-04-06

I have been looking for a how-to on this illusion for ages! Thanks a ton, great work!

sclocher (author)2010-12-29

so simple, but yet i never thought about using things like just 8G wire, lol. Very well explained to, great job

foobear (author)2010-11-26

So awesome

moGuyver (author)2010-11-10

Thanks for sharing your design - I've been looking for a frame design ever since I saw Cyril Takayama perform this illusion.

nick011894 (author)2010-10-30

Heey, how long does this approximately take to make?

brandomization (author)2010-10-26


aabsteach (author)2010-10-24

did you make two frames or foam to make it so thick??

jedbd (author)aabsteach2010-10-25

It is not thick. There is only one frame and It is made of only the wire and duct tape. It is curved which is probably what is making it look thick.

omegasupreem (author)2010-10-22

Love it ! Too Kool ! Im gonna give it a go this Halloween. Great for work.

scarabdrowner (author)2010-10-22

I'd put more of the shirt under the collar, so you don't see just the collar and a narrow strip of shirt when your head "falls". basically just keep the back of the shirt attached to the collar when you attach it to the jacket.

Just a quick question; can you sit while wearing this harness, and if you can how comfortable would this be?

no you can not sit. .at least i dont think so and it would not be that comfortable in the sitting position.
In general the harness is pretty comfortable and easy to take on and off.
I think maybe if the back of the jacket had a split all the way up the back you maybe able to sit. I did not have a split so im not sure. it worth a shot
If you were going to want to be able to sit im not sure how you would have to make it to be better. let me know if you figure it out.

D00M99 (author)2010-10-21

Here's a funny video of this in effect;
And a few notes:
1. The old man is not me
2. I am not sure if he uses the same frame as this
3. Enjoy the video!
(someone posted it on Facebook)

hjostrander (author)2010-10-19

I don't get it...

jedbd (author)hjostrander2010-10-19

what don't you get. Did you watch the video?

Broom (author)2010-10-09

Downvoted for the annoying "MUST SEE" marketing-inspired title.

jafrance (author)Broom2010-10-10

Oh come on. He thought he put together a good Instructable and he wants people to see it. Must not be too bad or it wouldn't be featured.

Broom (author)jafrance2010-10-15

We all want people to see our own 'ibles, jafrance. That's a pretty lame defense.

muscleflex (author)Broom2010-10-15

he's put - MUST SEE IN MOTION... not just MUST SEE on its own. but i agree - i hate tags with 'must see' on them - so selfish.. but this one is different i think and is not the same.

Broom (author)muscleflex2010-10-15

Ah, thanks, muscleflex! Upgraded my rating. The "MUST SEE IN MOTION" doesn't really add much to the title, though.

thepelton (author)2010-10-11

This is kind of like one I had in mind except I thought it would look good if the costume arm wrapped around the head like it was holding it up. Something that just occurred to me... Nearly Headless Nick!

1up (author)2010-10-10

Very nice! It's also fun have your head "fall off" and catch it with your hands, then throw it back up onto your shoulders. ;)

OnCrowsWings (author)2010-10-10

This reminds me of the Headless Bride that is also on this site. I don't remember the creator's name. (shame on me)... Very similar.

blueninja33 (author)2010-10-10

Been looking around for an instructable on this for a while. Thanks for posting!

RedBinary (author)2010-10-10

Sweet! I saw a vidya on the youtubes a few years ago && had been wondering exactly how that was done! THANK YOU!

~Aeronous~ (author)2010-10-09


SeMi_AuToMaTic (author)2010-10-09

another good effect to this costume would be to hold your head in your hands, and have a stump at the top with blood squirting out.

gabloo (author)2010-10-09

yah all you need now is something that looks like the organs and blood cut in half so you place it on top of your head so people would believe it more

hackmattr (author)2010-10-08

First time I saw this illusion was on Room 401 on MTV.

zascecs (author)2010-10-08

Cool, neat effect

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More by jedbd:Bicycle Air-Horn / Fire Extinguisher Air-HornTV Book Shelf-LOSE YOUR HEAD -Head coming off illusion / MUST SEE IN MOTION costume fun
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