Introduction: How to Make the Jigsaw Killers Puppet, Billy, for Virtually Nothing

Picture of How to Make the Jigsaw Killers Puppet, Billy, for Virtually Nothing

This instructable details how to make a mask that looks like the evil puppet from the movie 'Saw'.

Halloween is fast approaching and I wanted to make a great costume for one of our parties. I love the movie 'Saw' and it provided suitable inspiration for a costume. I don't like spending a lot of money on these projects so I have tried to pull this together spending as little as possible. The current cost runs to 99 pence (I'm English) so I feel like I have acheived what I set out to do.

Now some apologies.
1. This instructable is written after I completed the project. Only once it was finished did I realise it actually looked pretty good and I wanted to share it. This means all the images are taken from the leftovers. If there is anything unclear then please ask.
2. My digicam appears to have died, leaving only my webcam to take the photos from. This explains why they are poor quality. When I get a new camera I may update these photos.
3. I'm sure ripping off someone else's idea like this may infringe some copyright agreement or similar, therefore I recomend that you go and see Saw IV this halloween so some money gets back to the right people and you can feel less guilty in yourself (also you'll get to see a good movie)

Step 1: Raw Materials

Picture of Raw Materials

This project uses PVA glue and paper to build and shape a base mask into the required likeness.

Materials you will need:
A base mask to build the shape upon. Almost any mask will do but I chose a full face mask made out of paper which is easy to glue to and leaves me less to build on.
A ping pong ball. This will form the eyes for the mask.
Kitchen roll, this is an easy material to shape and is an easy way to add bulk to the cheeks, chin and nose.
Newspaper, saved from our recyling this is a cheap material for any project.
Plain white paper. This is used for the last layer over the mask, it saves you having to paint the mask pure white.

Tools you will need:
There is nothing special here, just a few things you probably already have around the house.
PVA glue, in quantity. The whole mask is held together by this stuff so you will get through a fair amount.
Red and Black paint. Red for the facial details; lips, eyes and cheek spirals. Black for the eyeballs.
Paint brushes. A thick one for smearing PVA over everything and a finer one for painting the details.
A craft knife. This is used mainly to cut the jaw off but it always find a use somewhere.
A drill to make some holes in the ping pong ball (you want to be able to see dont you?). I used a 8mm drill but the hole was a little larger when I'd cleaned it up with the craft knife.

Step 2: Making the Eye Socket

Picture of Making the Eye Socket

Start by making the eyeballs:
Cut the ping pong ball in half, this will give you two eyes. Drill a hole in the bottom of each half to give you something to look through. I then had to shape the cut of the eyeball to make it fit into the contours of the face (sorry about lack of picture). Once it was sitting on the face correctly I glued it in place.

The next step is to give it that recessed look:
Start by taking a strip of news paper (approx 5cm by 30cm) roll this strip lengthways to create a thick line 7mm thick by 30cm long. This gives the piece some thickness to hold it's shape. Fold the paper round in a loop and glue the ends together to form a fish like shape. This should be large enough to hold the ping pong ball. Cut the tails and stick the shape to the mask.
This gives you an edge which you can glue right up to and make the eye balls look recessed.

Step 3: Padding the Face

Picture of Padding the Face

Now it's time to build up the face, starting with the eye socket and eye brow. This needs to be built large enough to make the previous step look flush with the rest of the face.

Scrunch some kitchen roll into tubes and shapes into bulk. Once you are happy with the position of these shapes then glue them down.

Add some cheeks to the mask, again this is just a scrunched up ball of kitchen roll which is shaped and positioned and finally glued into place.

The nose is more kitchen roll, as an afterthought I would probally use some small hoops on either side of the nose to form the nostril shape (again sorry no picture)

I wish there was more I could say about this step but there isn't. It's very simple. Just add kitchen roll to build up the face in the places you desire it.

Step 4: Covering the Mask

Picture of Covering the Mask

Tear up the newspaper into lots of tiny peices. It is the tearing of the newspaper that exposes the fibres in the paper which enable the paper to stick to each other better.

Mix up some PVA glue and water, there are lots of recipes for ratios but I prefer 2 parts glue to 1 part water. This is to be used to hold the paper to the mask.

This process is long and dull but worth doing well. Cover the whole mask in the newspaper pieces, ensuring you use plenties of glue. This will need several layers to give the mask some extra strength.

Once you are happy with the covering of newspaper to the right thickness and evenness, cut the jaw peice out of the bottom of the mask (see second photo). Give the whole thing one more layer with the plain white paper, but this time wrap the paper around the edges along the cut you just made. This will hide the layers of paper you just exposed.

Step 5: Painting the Details

Picture of Painting the Details

All that remains is to paint the details onto the mask. The eyballs should be black and the pupils red. The cheeks should have red spirals and the lips red.

Thats it. Having written this down it feels like my instructions are very simple. It turns out they are. This was a very simple project anybody could do it and make it look good. I hope this inspires someone else to give it a go for a great halloween costume.

There will be an update to this project. I still have a wig to add to the back of the mask and there will be some full photos of me dressed in my suit with matching red bow tie so check back to see the full effect. I'm also making a similar themed costume for my fiance so I'll detail that one too.

Step 6: Bringing It All Together

Picture of Bringing It All Together

This final step was a long time coming, I promised and I promised to add pictures but now I've finally got round to doing it.

I glued a black wig to the top of the mask using some hot glue, this has the added effect of holding the mask to my face. The chin was glued to my own using copydex (spirit gum or some other latex based glue could also be used)

The costume is completed by wearing a suit, shoes, white gloves and a red bow tie. It was received very well at the party, although it had the downside of forcing me to drink through a straw all night, thankfully I stuffed my pocket full of straws before we left so I always had one handy.

If you look closely at the third picture you'll se a preview of the second mask I made for that party, the instructable (all bit it a small and brief one) will be available this weekend.


kiss army soldierj (author)2015-02-12

can you please make the doll

kiss army soldierj (author)2015-02-12

can you show how to make the doll

garglehurricane (author)2015-02-10

Absolutely wicked! Hey, could the head be put on a doll or something to make a puupet prop to go along with a Jigsaw costume?

isandgren (author)2011-04-26

Thank you for posting this, it was really helpful :)

Now, I'm ready to hit the town with my tricycle and my Billy the Puppet mask lol

neozelandes (author)2011-02-03

you probably shouldav made it wider at the jaw

neozelandes (author)2011-02-03

could you do a tutorial on how to make the base mask even though u bawt it

Keith-Kid (author)2009-07-24


zascecs (author)Keith-Kid2010-05-03



Art Maniac (author)2009-10-31

 wait i mean amanda

Art Maniac (author)2009-10-31

 i think its that bear trap looking mask that sarah wheres in SAW, im not sure wich number though.

sambeano (author)2009-10-26


asencion (author)2009-10-20

i know that it's kinda last minute but i have a party this saturday and really want to make this mask. how did u construct the base mask? i know u used cardboard but how did u get it to mold to your likeness and what kind of cardboard did you use?

msraynsford (author)asencion2009-10-20

I didnt build the base mask I bought it from a local store

arhodes18 (author)2009-10-13

 can you make a v for vendetta one :-D

zeroriku (author)2009-10-04

i'm a bit confused here...>< do you glue the newspaper to the mask or around the ping pong ball?

msraynsford (author)zeroriku2009-10-04

I glued it to the mask, so it was about 2mm off of the ping pong ball on all sides.

i can go supersonic (author)2009-08-10

the saw robot scares me to death so when i saw this a jumped a mile

Sick.Mate (author)2009-07-15

pleassseee help mee :(

Sick.Mate (author)2009-07-15

hi the tut is really good but 1 trouble i cant find a mask how do u make it...... i mean the mask without anything on it no detail.. lol PLEASE HELP btw ur good at tuts

monique loipez (author)2009-03-05

I don't understand the 4th step. and how do you put the chin piece back on?

snopkin (author)2009-03-02

the newspapers absorbs the color ! :|
i used alot of paint and it still aint enough....guess i'll beed another layer of white color.

by the why... to the give the eyes the "poping up" look ,you put them from behind the mask and then glued them or you just put them on the mask ?

thank you =]

snopkin (author)2009-03-01

how much time it should take to dry ? i've let it a day to dry and it's not dry yet... :\

msraynsford (author)snopkin2009-03-01

It should only take 24 hours, is it possible that you made quite a weak mix of PVA and water?

laroca (author)2008-10-16

So a couple things I am confused on: The 1/2 ping pong ball gets glued on the inside of the eye socket with the concave part facing inside, correct? I don't understand how the chin is constructed and kept in place.

msraynsford (author)laroca2008-10-16

The ping pong ball thing sounds right. The chin was constructed as part of the mask, it was then cut out when the mask was thick enough and finished seperately (paper mache to hide the edges etc). It was glued to my own chin for the night using a latex based glue.

pistolpete3521 (author)2008-10-11

I am in the process of making one but with a plastic blank mask and a few different parts. Hopefully I will be able to post pics soon.

rihen (author)2008-09-02

Where did you get the base mask from?

rihen (author)2008-09-02


rihen (author)2008-09-02

This is awesome Thanks

tenacoronado (author)2008-06-13

manu guys love SAW dnt u ppl

Dungeonbrownies (author)2008-04-25

the other mask, phantom of the opera?

no it's the basic cardboard mask

slimguy379 (author)2008-05-26

this is an awesome idea (and it great that its cheap!!!) thanks for posting!!

BriarLakeTrustNoOne (author)2008-03-29

1 last question, do you add definitiion to the jaw b4 you cut it out or after, what do you suggest?

I added mine after. It makes it easier to see where the edges lie exactly. Also you'll need to wrap around the edges once it is cut so you might as well do it all at once.

BriarLakeTrustNoOne (author)2008-03-29

what do you mean by making it look flush before you add more padding? id be most appreciative for a reply thank you

Adding the fish shape piece of paper around the eye socket leaves a big dent around the eye area. You need to fill this dent before you paper over it.

BriarLakeTrustNoOne (author)2008-03-29

i wont make a costume but i will make the whole puppet, with the whole head formed and the whole body, when im done ill send you the pics, thank you so much!

ps I'm making the original billy from the saw short film, with the green hat shoes and all

BriarLakeTrustNoOne (author)2008-03-29

what is your second mask?

sglider12 (author)2008-03-08

now that's a neat one ..but doesn't the puppet have black hair too?

yeh he said hed add a black wig

Darkshot (author)2007-11-11

cool! but get a better camra shal we?

msraynsford (author)Darkshot2007-11-12

Indeed I would love to get a new one, my old digital camera died, and all my other funds are being channeled into a wedding. I did already appologise for the poor quality though.

Darkshot (author)msraynsford2007-11-12

oh...sorry didnt see the appologie didnt realy read the whole thing .

Steven V Taylor (author)2007-11-02

you know how you said to cut the jaw out peice out of the bottom of the mask ? well if you cut it out how is it going to stay there when you have it on? (and what do you mean kitchen roll?)

I stuck the jaw to my own chin with double sided sticky tape. It worked very well and didnt come loose all evening. I should be updating this shortly with the final photos of me in my suit. Kitchen roll is the absorbant paper towel you use to clean up mess in the kitchen. Paper towels would also do the same, in fact anything that glues with PVA and provides shape will do. I used towels because they are easy to make into any shape you want.

RiddleOfSphinx (author)2007-10-28

Cool, I never thought I'd like these movies when the first one came out, but it's the plots that gets ya ;). And I seen Saw IV on release night, man that movie is But, then again, they all are :P I also seen Dead Silence, not too bad, those Saw creators sure know how to mess with your mind Too bad Halloween is so close, or I'd probably make this. Good idea ;)

ahah that movie was disgusting! ahah two was good, but IV was just gross... -_-

Clayton H. (author)2007-10-28

I saw one for like $20 in a costume shop

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