My daughter asked to be a corpse bride for Halloween but I couldn't find a cheap used wedding dress. Then I stumbled upon this site's "headless costumes" and was totally inspired!
Within fifteen minutes I had rigged up an old backpack with cardboard tubes in the side pockets and a wide coat hanger on top, all wrapped in a piece of foam. I put an old t-shirt over the whole torso to stabilize the parts.
Off to our local Goodwill store. The key was finding a beautiful used tux and white shirt for $18! Later that week I bought white gloves, suspenders, a plastic meat cleaver & fake blood at a costume store.
I sculpted "hands" out of coat hangers and stuffed them with tissues inside surgical gloves. The "arms" are also coat hanger forms wrapped in wadded up newspapers, plastic bags and masking tape. The neck stump is a paper-mached takeout container, wrapped in a wide ace bandage. The fake blood made it look really gory!
The biggest challenge was attaching the hands in a natural-looking position to the cleaver, which was our ghoulish serving tray. By some miracle, duct tape is the same color as plastic metal. I ended up sewing thread through the hands in a couple of key places, then duct taping the ends onto the cleaver. The whole thing was hung from the tuxedo neck with black thread. It was tricky getting the height right so I made some adjustments with a straight pin in the back.
Finally I pinned the arms (which were free floating inside the sleeves) to the gloves. Getting the arms & hands right is what made the whole homemade headless Halloween costume so convincing. People did double takes everywhere we went and my daughter was practically mobbed by people taking her picture.
I have never made anything this crafty & couldn't have done it without using ideas from this website. Great resource! Total purchases including makeup were about $50.