How to Make the Jigsaw Killers Headtrap for Next to Nothing




This is my second build themed around the 'Saw' movies for our halloween party. It details the construction of a replica head trap as worn by Amanda in the first saw movie. This costume is for my fiance who puts up with my weirdness but also goes to the same parties. It should probably be pointed out about now that this wont actually rip her head off if she doesnt escape it in time.

The first costume was the Billy puppet also from the saw movies. It can be found here:

This build is again designed to be very cheap and is also made from cardboard and newspaper and PVA. The details will be written as completely as possible but it is worth noting that this is only one design. I would never be able to copy this exactly as I have used several of my unique bits in this one. The basics would be the same but the devil is in the details.

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Step 1: Raw Materials

This project uses PVA glue and paper to smooth over a cardboard base, hopefull making it look metallic and a bit more substantial than just cardboard.

Materials you will need:
Newspaper, saved from our recyling this is a cheap material for any project.
Cardboard, Corrugated and normal, we recently gained a vast quantity of corrugated thanks to a trip
to Ikea.
The following materials are things I own in quantity and could be considered stock items. The exact details are impossible to define, these create the details of the mask so can be added to the makers own tastes.
Plastic tubing, Balsa wood, Soda bottle lids, plastic gears,

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.
Masking tape and double sided tape. Tape is always good to allow you to put stuff on and take it off again until you're happy with it.

A craft knife. This is used mainly to cut the card into the desired shapes

Step 2: The Jaw Pieces

The jaw is the central part of this device. It has to look solid enough to perform it's purpose.
I started with two strips of corrugated card (approx 7cm x 55cm).

The two pieces should be folded into U shapes, remember to make one smaller than the other so the two can sit inside each other.

This is now the only important measurement. The two jaw pieces should be sat one on top of the other, held against the face and you should mark on the peices where the strip cross over your ears (see photo). The gap between the two strips should sit just over your mouth (if you try you should be able to kiss it) and your finger should be right in the middle of your ear.

Measure the distance from the front of the mask to that point, mark the middle of the strip and draw a circle around it, draw a tangent line from this circle to the top and bottom of the jaw front.

Two more strips of cardboard need to be fitted to hold the mask in place. One goes round the back of the head and one goes over the top. These will hold the jaw in place.

Step 3: Painting the Jaw

The key feature for the jaw are the lips and metal re-enforcements. I think that once you get these in place you can have whatever details you want on the rest of the mask.

The lips are yet more cardboard, cut into shapes and glued onto the front of the jaw piece. I tried to mimic the photos I had of the movie prop but in the end I just added these things where they looked best. Each vertical bar is square and cut to line up with the top of the jaw. The re-enforcements on the bottom jaw are all tapered down to a point, the lower Jaw was also cut into a wave shape to add some more features.

This basic framework for the jaw trap was then covered with PVA glue and newspaper (apologies for the lack of these photos but If you're that desperate you can check out my other instructables for photos of how it might look) I dyed my glue a dark grey colour using poster paint. This made it easier to get a good solid colour across the mask.

To give it the metallic effect I used a metallic poster paint and a dry brushing technique. There are many better guides on how to dry brush, here is mine should you decide you dont want to look elsewhere for on.
Dip the brush in the metallic paint. Wipe the brush on a tissue or peice of cloth until most of the paint is gone. Then brush the object lightly with the brush. The metallic paint sticks on the raised parts of the object making them look like worn patches on a metal object.

This is the basic mask, from there you can add details.

Step 4: Adding Detail to the Mask

The next step is to add detail to that base mask. I hate to say 'just glue junk to the mask until it looks right' but that is essentially it. The more I do these things the more I realise that bits can come from anywhere. Just hold the piece up to the mask to see if it looks right, if it does then glue it down.

I started by adding the pipe of the top of the mask. I added a box the the left of the mask for the pipe to come out of. This was painted and dry brushed to tie it in to the rest of the mask. The pipe needed to meet something on the other side of the mask so I added a piece of balsa wood, with a plumbing fitting on the top. This resembles the original mask.

On the back of the mask I added some gears to make it feel a bit more mechanical. These were mounted on some wood to make it more sturdy, also I didnt want them to fall off every time the mask flexed. This is the weakest part of the mask, it almost doesnt need this attachement.

I added two large cogs to either side of the head trap. This gives the impression that the whole jaw hinges open in a head splitting fashion, just as the trap is intended to. One of these fell off during the evening which is why you dont see it in these photos.

The right hand side originally only had a single loop but the night before the party I realised what it was missing, a padlock. The padlock was made from more corrugated card, covered in paper and glue and then painted. The top of the padlock was painted silver to make it stand out.

Step 5: Bringing It All Together

Once the mask is completed I left it to my lovely wife to finish her outfit.
She did a smashing job of making her jaw look bruised and sore from where the trap was installed, she also darkened her eyes and put on a top that was similar to the one Amanda wears in the movies.

I think you'll agree that this mask looks pretty good and is rather well modelled by her. We were an instant hit at the halloween party.

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    88 Discussions

    The boyfriend went as jigsaw & Amanda this past Halloween of the movies 10 year anniversary. Making the mask was time consuming but we had fun with it and it turned out great! A lot better than some I've seen. We won 1st place in the costume contest we entered.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You inspired me to make my own. Thanks for the help! Here is my masks.


    My friend has started watching saw and he never stops talking about a thing called the reverse bare trap have you heard of it? it like blows of there heads if they don't answer the riddle in time or something very gorry not fun


    Sick!! That is just epic!! I want to build one but its a bit difficult for meh!! And can you open the jaws? NICEEE


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    First I measued my head so It could fit and make sure its not to tight then I made the skeleton of the whole thing with cardboard next I duct tape all the pieces (some separate some together) to make it a little bulky then I super glued all the pieces together waited overnight and added the deatils.

    It took about 2 large boxes, 2 rolls of duct tape, 1 large tube of super glue, paint and misc. wires and bolts.

    also make a timer out of an old stopwatch, made a key out of black clay and lock out of paper.

    Just to make sure that the top head strap is secure because it will get heavy.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    if i gave you my email could you send some pics of urs and a list of stuff you used to make it...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks and thank you for making a tutorial, it really helped me on getting started! I would of never thought of making it out of cardboard. I think this build cost me like $15, much cheaper than a $35 costume at the store.


    7 years ago on Step 3

    Thanks alot! I am now doing my own step by step instructions of how to make a Reverse Bear trap, NICEEE


    7 years ago on Introduction

    esta bacan esa idea lo voy a hacer bye


    8 years ago on Introduction

    looks amazing .. I also makes one like it, I am a great fan of the series saw, I have to saw billy doll made ​​by me, hope I can do the reverse bear trap, as well I came Billy.
    who are interested in the doll billy of saw them pass my youtube upload the tutorial soon on how to do .. if I do, surely I'll upload them to this page and link step.
    thank you all, bye!

    1 reply