Introduction: Ambulatory Guillotine

My Pickled Head costume inspired me to make a guillotine costume. It comes with a "blade" that could be moved up and down using a drawstring. I had great fun walking around as a victim of my own guillotine.



Tri-Fold Display/Poster Board, 48” W x 36” L, each of the 2 side folds is 12”x36”. This is the front of the guillotine.

48”x24” cardboard for the back of the guillotine.

A 24”x17” cardboard to tape to the top of the tri-fold poster board.

A 28”x 8” cardboard to make the transverse base of the guillotine.

26” long cardboard to make 4 strips of cardboards, each that’s 26” x 1”

A 8”x 6 ¾ “ (approx) for the blade

A cardboard box 18” L x 6” W x 8” H. The transverse base will rest on it.

Cardboard to make the uprights (38” H upright)

Popsicle sticks to create groove for the uprights

8” chopstick or stick

Brown and Grey Spray Paint

Print outs of worms, underground bugs

String to tie to the blade so it can move up and down

2 16” long pipe cleaners or cord for shoulder straps to carry the costume

Shredded paper to simulate grass

Long-sleeve T-shirt for dead body’s arms

Fake hands for dead body’s hands

Duct tape, glue gun, exactor blade, scissors

Step 1: Cut Up the Cardboard Pieces to Size

Cut 3 holes to make the transverse base

Cut a 8”x10” hole in the middle of the 24” x 17” cardboard. This is where the head will protrude.

Tape that 24”x17” cardboard on top of the tri-fold poster board

Tape the box on top of the 24” x 17” cardboard

Tape the transverse base on top of the 18” L x 6” W x 8” H box

Step 2: Make the Uprights and Tracks for the Blade

Cut 4 strips of cardboards 1” x 26 “

Take 2 cardboard strips, and join an edge of each strip with a popsicle stick perpendicularly to the strips. Use a glue gun to glue the popsicle sticks to the strips.

Step 3: Blade

Glue the 8” chopstick to the top of each upright

Tape the uprights 7” apart from each other to the transverse base

Place the blade inside the grooves of the uprights.

Glue a long string to the back of the blade

Hang the string over the chopstick to pull the blade up and down

Step 4: Back of the Guillotine

Cut a vertical rectangular hole to the 48”x24” cardboard in such a way that your torso can pass through that hole. The hole is your “doorway” to the costume.

Tape that cardboard to the back of the tri-fold poster board.

Step 5: Straps to Carry the Guillotine

At the front panel, at the height of where the shoulders will be, one each side, poke 2 holes, one hole on top of the other, approximately 1” apart. So there should be a total 4 holes. Do the same to the back panel.

String a cord (or pipe cleaner) through a top hole and loop through the hole beneath it and make a knot. Extend the string across the 12” width of the costume to the back panel and repeat knotting steps (pass through the holes and make a knot).

Step 6: Final Touches

Spray paint the blade with a metallic silver color.

Spray paint the cardboards brown to simulate soil/underground.

Tape shredded green paper on the 24” x 17” cardboard

Print out some worms, dog bones (whatever can be found underground) and glue them to the front of the cardboard to simulate underground.

Stuff the sleeves of a t-shirt and have the sleeves go through the transverse base side holes to simulate arms hanging over the holes.

Use some material to simulate the cut-off neck and stuff it in the neck of the shirt.

Now put on the costume by entering from the back and place the straps over your shoulders. Voila!

Your friends will have fun operating the mechanism!

Step 7:

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