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Coolest DIY Woman Sawed-In-Half Illusion Costume

I’ve always loved the illusion costumes, but I wanted to try something a little different than the Port-a-Potty costume or the Monster Carrying a Body in a Bucket; I decided to do a woman sawed-in-half illusion costume instead. I already had an XXXL Ringmaster costume for previous years, so I figured I could repurpose that. I sketched the design first. Then, it came time to go hunting for items I already had in the house. I found a large enough box leftover from a move, some packing bubbles, a hanger, and some pool noodles. Realizing I needed more items, I headed off to the local thrift store. There, I found a backpack, a mask, and some white gloves. It was time to start.

First I cut the box knowing I would need a place for my legs to come out to match the magician’s legs (by the way- his name became Merv), I also needed a hole for my head. Then, I made what would become his neck and back out of a backpack. I duct taped a piece of the cardboard to multiple packing bubble pillows and put two hangers together to become his shoulder blades and duct taped all of that together. I duct taped a cut pool noodle to become the neck for the base of the head. I also used a lot of zip ties to secure the “body” to the back of the top of the box. I duct taped two cut pool noodles about 24 inches long to each shoulder blade for his arms. I zip tied them to the box to make it look like he was holding the box. I needed to keep the mask filled out, so I found an old plastic helmet for a child to duct tape under the mask. Once that was all done, I began to decorate the box.

For the box, I used some old black chalkboard wall paper and some confetti stars. I then, used some washi tape and stick on fake gems to complete the illusion of the magician’s box. I cut out a fake saw from the leftover cardboard and spray painted it silver and red. I hot glued the saw to the bottom of the box, but it fell off right before a costume contest that Friday before Halloween. (That, and the fact that I lost to a store bought Hippie is what could have cost me first place that night) :(

*I ended up zip tying the saw to the bottom of the box the next day.

For the outfit, I put the gloves on the end of each “arm” and put the Ringmaster jacket on him. It was tough because I didn’t want anything to break off. Of course, no magician is complete without his top hat. I also ( you guessed it-duct taped that to the top of his head). Voila! Merv and I were ready to hit the town. It took me about twelve hours to make and because I had a lot of the items already, I only spent about $12 at the thrift store for the other items.

I received a lot of compliments. I got some silly comments like “Do you know your legs are missing?” I even had random strangers wanting to take pictures with me. It was so much fun wearing this costume, probably my favorite one to make and wear. I only entered two contests, but I wish I had time to enter more. Unfortunately, as I stated earlier I lost the first one to a store purchased Hippie who had tons of friends there to clap for the “applausometer” thingie. I did, however, win the second night’s costume contest at a friend’s house. I received the most votes, and even more fun was that everyone wanted to know how I made it. Telling them was just as fun as winning that night.

When it came to storage between the two parties, my family was constantly getting upset because I had him propped up near the dining room table and everyone kept getting scared of him. I told them there’s nothing to be afraid of because Merv is just your friendly neighborhood magician. I can’t wait to bring out next year!

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