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The Living Severed Hand!

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A severed hand that twitches and grabs at those who come near! Make a convincingly gruesome addition to your Halloween costume or a tool for the perfect April Fools prank:

Of course, it isn't really severed, it's just an illusion! What you are going to make is a special glove that will make it look like you are holding a living, moving, human arm. In actuality, what people are seeing is your hand, passing straight through a "dummy" glove with an attached fake stump of an arm.

While the project takes a few hours to make (or more, depending on your attention to detail), it is silly-cheap and has a great effect!
 
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Step 1: Material list

Things you are going to need for this project:

Main Components:
*a pair of heavy gloves (I opted for dollar store work gloves)
*shampoo bottle
*fabric (to be your "shirt" on the limb)
*pillow fill
*a sheet of white paper
*some nice squishy foam
*a wire coat hanger
*Velcro
*blood colored paint

Tools:
*some nice sharp scissors
*hot glue gun
*wire cutters
*packing tape

Optional
*"Sculpey" or other clay that you can bake in your oven
*super glue

The gloves that you pick are going to be the most important part of the project. Theoretically, you only need one glove- but the effect is best if you are wearing two matching gloves. You'll want to buy or find some that are thick, sturdy, and have longish cuffs. Having no extra gloves laying around, I bought mine for only a buck and they worked pretty well.

Every item besides the gloves I had around the house already, meaning a total cost of $1. If you already have some gloves that you could use, the project could be practically free!

Total time spent on this project was in excess of 10 hours, over the course of several days. This includes all the trial and error that you will be able to avoid, thanks to this Instructable, however! More than one day will be needed, to allow for the paint to dry. Time that you will require depends on how much attention to detail you take.
This was the one I made last year. It always amazes me that the home-made costumes have more "life" than the store-bought ones. It was hilarious to watch the parents freak out while it didn't faze the kids one bit. I guess that says something about the younger generation!!
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" It always amazes me that the home-made costumes have more "life" than the store-bought ones."

Lol, I see what you did there ◖|◔◡◉|◗
yellowcatt17 days ago

Using a torn or cut shirt sleeve on the stump is a good idea.

You should be able to get that for free or a small donation from a charity/thrift store, just say what you want it for and they will probably let you have something from their rag pile of clothes too substandard to sell.

xallie5 months ago
Had a hard time understanding where to cut and where to put Velcro by looking at the pictures. Think I got i wrong, but manage to make it look somewhat good by using the thumb on the glove to hold up the stump.








xallie xallie5 months ago
Hmm, images does seem to be working. Link to the finished product :) ---> http://postimg.org/gallery/1fsbdju0/
jasonsj5 months ago
I think that using an old shirt sleeve gives a greater effect, since giving the arm the same sking colour of your own hand would be really hard. the sleeve would solve that problem instantly. GREAT JOB!
keitre5 months ago
hey, how about placing a real meat on the other end? chopping a short pork leg then insert it on the other end to look more real..
keitre keitre5 months ago
and it would look more realistic if you chop an end of a long sleeve to cover the severed fake arm.
Raf-ael4 years ago
This living severed hand was created by the Magician Kevin James from Las Vegas. He performed it on America got talent & he gave Marvins magic (UK) tye right to sell it in their magic set "freaky body illusions"
So all the credit goes to him for creating this wonderful illusion!
I have had mine for twenty years...
I had a plastic one of these in 1993.... I think Kevin James copied that one
Arghus5 months ago
that is great
Bettybstt5 months ago
Wow. If I were going Trick-or-Treating, this would be my pick! Great instructable - thanks for doing all the inventing.
this is amazingly awesome i am so impressed! thanks for sharing. Originality? A+++
CompGeekie6 months ago
Awesome! I'm going for a "fake" look! I've seen these rubber fake hands(with sleeves ) in the local Euro Giant, and I was thinking of buying one of them, so it actually looks like I'm holding and incredibly fake hand, but since my hand will be inside the rubber part (like a glove!) I will be able to move my fingers, and I won't have to cut off my tell-tale long nails. Hope that makes sense,lol!
am ii the only one that thinks this is GROSS!!!!!!
This is super cool! The man in the very top instructable is also handsome :) LOL
rjs8994 years ago
This was great. At least a dozen kids were too scared to even take the Halloween candy i was offering.

For the bone piece, I used a 1" rawhide bone dog chew. The coloring and texture was perfect, and i made it stick out about 2" from the fake arm. A little blood on the bone made it very realistic.

Thanks!
Oh this is perfect. I was wondering what to use for the bone piece. Thank you for the tip!
rjs899 rjs8994 years ago
I meant to say that the rawhide was 1" thick, and about 8" long.
dlcain2 years ago
I made one of these the other day, and my daughter wore it to her halloeen choir concert. She got a lot of comments about it, and it was funny to see her up there wearing it. She had a short solo part, and she used the "severed hand" to hold the mic. I heard a couple of laughs from the audience. GREAT IDEA!
HVahead2 years ago
you could also use some 1 inch thick sticks and break them so they splinter, then paint them white...
gplett2 years ago
Great idea. If I end up doing this, I think I'll grab a plaid flannel shirt from the thrift store and cut a sleeve from it for the stump. But totally a classic costume!
Couldn't you keep using the hand, as long as no one's looking?
wkortum3 years ago
Nice!
kayla93 years ago
Best instructable ever! I tell everyone i found it in the parking and they're like let me see then i wiggle my fingers and they alost wet themselves! Thanks
mark2u3 years ago
I keep my hand still and when people ask me how I made such a realistic hand, I tell them I made a cast of my real hand. I suggest they touch it to see how real it feels and when they do... I wiggle my fingers. Don't do this if the person you are doing it to has a heart condition... because the reaction is sure to make them wet themselves! Great fun.
mberg3 years ago
sweet instructable man. my severed hand is awsome. the only trouble i had is the velcro because I didn't really understand how you did. the problem i have NOW is the glove swivelling around my wrist(its not that big of a deal).
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Dreex1233 years ago
that's great, it's a good idea for halloween ! , This is the best instructable of Halloween.

Greetings from Chile
Thanks! This was a hit at our party last night.

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Thankyou for this Instructable, it's a pretty neat idea.

Might I just add for anybody following this Instructable, that the hot glue gun makes a LOT of difference. I used PVA glue (applied liberally and secured tightly whilst drying), and I can't get my severed arm to sit at the right angle for the maximum illusion effect.
Might have something to do with using a too-short piece of plastic from a plastic severed arm thing...

I used black ribbon instead of velcro (like the back of a corset), it looks pretty good if the edges of your glove don't quite reach.


I was going to make my version an edible one, but ran out of time to do much with it. You could use almond (royal) icing and dye it for flesh if you're thinking about it, but most foods might be a bit too heavy for this costume and your arm.

It's definitely a project I will attempt again though, when I have access to the right tools and a semi-appropriate occasion :D
dodo913 years ago
heres some photos! i had to do a little testing with the velcro to see where it goes. thats the only part i think u could explaing better. very good quality. using it while typing right now! I LOVE IT!
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clicklord13 years ago
i tried but dident have sum of the supplies and i cant get my hand in and it looks bad :/ but i love the idea :)
if you buy correctly, the total can come less to $10.

work gloves -$1
pillow for filling -$1
paints -$1
bones - free - used broken tree branches
cloth - had mine already, but not a lot more than $2 for small amount
carboard - free
foam - cant say. we already had ours
dodo913 years ago
mine turned out great! only took about 2 hours to make. thanks for making an instructable on this!
dodo913 years ago
AWESOME! i got my mom to let me make this, of course, ill make it myself, but my awesome mom is buying me the stuff we dont already have! GOOD IDEA!
NOW I know what I'm going to dress up with for work on the 29th. And I know exactly which co-workers will scream when I shove this in their faces. :D Thanks!!
kayla93 years ago
This is my favorite Halloween instructable yet!!!!
I love this Instructable, thankyou.

I'm thinking of making this, but with at least part of it edible for the shock factor of me having a little nibble. Even if just the bone tips are edible.

If I do manage to do this, I'll be sure to post my results :)
captain_ham5 years ago
This is incredible! I have to work in a restaurant on Halloween, this will be the perfect minimal impact costume - effective and cool, yet easily removeable if need be. I'd consider actually cutting up an old shirt for the 'fake' arm. Having the shirt cuff around your own wrist (i.e. so the shirt is on both sides of where the glove is gripping) would add to the effect. If that makes sense... I'm making this sometime this week! Pictures to follow! Awesome instructable!
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