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.
*YOU HAVE TO SEE IT IN MOTION TO GET THE FULL EFFECT SO CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW.
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Step 1: 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
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
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)
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.
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
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
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
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
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.