I decided to on a Homemade Headless Vampire Costume. We began my costume by buying a soft foam block at the local craft store. It was rectangular in shape and very squishy foam- such as what would be used for chair padding. Using a knife I cut the basic shape of shoulders/neck and then used my fingers to pull pieces of the foam off to make it look more realistic such as around the collar bone and spine.

Next, I attached the foam to a piece of cardboard that would be the torso. I used pizza boxes (although any cardboard could be used), and made an oval shaped torso. I used tape to attach the foam. I also used sheets of cardboard for the arms. I rolled them up into cylinders, slightly smaller than the size of my actual arms.

I then covered them in bubble wrap to make them appear slightly less “stiff”. I used masking tape to attach the forearm to the upper arm so that it could hinge slightly. I then attached the entire arm piece to the foam shoulders using masking tape.

Next, I purchased “Model Magic”- a soft pliable foam-like clay. It is extremely light-weight so I thought this would be the perfect material since I would be carrying it above me all evening. I rolled the foam clay out with a rolling pin and draped it over the foam “sculpture”. I poked a little hole for the neck and began to press the clay around the foam piece. I had attached foam breasts and covered the upper part of them with clay.

The clay was thin and had a tendency to crack so as soon as it was dry, I covered it in a mixture of wood glue and flour to increase its strength. I then painted the bust a grayish/blue color and added red for blood.

To suspend the ‘bust’ above me, I measured a thin piece of plywood to the height necessary and screwed the cardboard torso onto the plywood. I then used a lightweight hiking backpack to hold the piece of wood. The backpack has a special zippered area for a water reservoir so I removed the water reservoir and put the strip of plywood into the section of the backpack.

I purchased a dress and cut a slit in the waist for my head to fit through. I also cut two arm slits. I went to the local craft store and bought material that matched the red of the dress and made sleeves so that my arms would blend in with the dress, but still be completely functional.

Therefore, I had two sets of arms- my real arms that were functional and blended in and the fake arms that had been attached to the torso of the bust sculpture. I made the sleeves long enough to cover my hands. I did not sew them all the way to the ends- by leaving approximately 5-6 inches of the ‘end’ of the sleeve unsewn, I was able to easily roll them up to use my hands.

I purchased ghoulish hands from a store and painted the hands to match the skin tone of the bust sculpture. I also painted the fingernails. I used an old retainer and glued fangs onto it using epoxy.

I purchased a pair of knee pads to wear on my knees so that I could shuffle around comfortably. I am short to begin with, only 5’2”- but with the torso added on it put me slightly over 6’2”. While kneeling, I looked very equally proportioned. I did not kneel all night, but made sure to do so when first entering a crowd.

Lastly, I finished with make-up and hair color spray.