DIY High Shoulders/No Neck?
September 10, 2017 10:12 PM   Subscribe

How to create high shoulders/no neck for a Babadook costume?

I decided to be the Babadook for Halloween. I've got some good make up tutorials to reference, have an idea for the claws, and already got a wool coat. However, I'm stuck on how to make a sort of high shoulders/no neck thing.

For reference, here is a drawing from the movie. Here is a really awesome cosplay that really pulls off the look.

So: how can I achieve this and/or what search terms would I use? (The only word I can think of is "hunchback", which is problematic and not even accurate for my needs)

My reputation at work is riding on this.
posted by too bad you're not me to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
When I needed to do something similar, I tried making a light armature out of coat hangers and duct tape, but couldn't make it work in the limited time I had. In the end, I simply wore a snug t-shirt, and got a friend to help me duct-tape rolled pillows to each shoulder, and then a much larger black t-shirt got pulled over the top. It worked okay - not exactly comfortable for an extended period of time, but it cost me approximately a dollar.

If you have time and budget, then two large blocks of foam rubber, trimmed to shape and some elastic would probably be a great improvement.
posted by ninazer0 at 10:27 PM on September 10, 2017

Shoulder pads, a carved block of foam rubber, a couple of shoeboxes...just make sure your upper arms hang down most of the time so you don't have a kink on the sides of your shoulders.
posted by rhizome at 10:56 PM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Rob Cockerham at has made a number of spectacular Halloween costumes and often starts out using a backpack as the basis. Although he now usually bends PVC piping to make a harness - that's more technical and can create toxic fumes, unlike buying a thrift shop backpack for two bucks. That's what I would start with; a cheap backpack, then use something like coroplast (that corrugated plastic often used for roadside signs of dubious legality) to build a shoulder structure, then foam rubber to shape the shoulders (trim it with a serrated bread knife), then a coat on top.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:57 PM on September 10, 2017

Are you locked into the idea of using the characters eyes to see out of? From the drawing, you might build a big head and look out the mouth. Start with football shoulder pads and build up from them. If only you had a holocaust cloak...

It seems like the hands would be harder, it looks like those claws would catch on everything, and you couldn't hold anything. Maybe make the claws like Wolverine, mounted on top of your knuckles.
posted by Marky at 2:19 AM on September 11, 2017

Thanks for the suggestions so far! A couple of notes:

1) I am willing to spend some time/money if it will result in a better look
2) I want to use my own face, not build a separate head
posted by too bad you're not me at 7:09 AM on September 11, 2017

Oh, one more thing: for those suggesting foam rubber, etc - anybody have any specific links (or again, search terms) they can share?

Looking up "foam rubber shoulder costume" or other types of searches give me results for armor and whatnot. I do much better with visual examples and I'm having a tough time knowing how to search for one here.
posted by too bad you're not me at 7:24 AM on September 11, 2017

I'd suggest starting with football shoulder pads or something like them - that gives you a framework to build on. After that, it's probably just blocks of foam or small pillows. Costume Shoulder Pads img link at Google shows several options. (Just ignore the results that show epaulets. Nothing we can do about people calling those "shoulder pads.")

Depending on how high the shoulders get pushed up, you may need to slash the underarm seams in the coat and add a bit of fabric to keep them from cutting your underarms.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:12 PM on September 11, 2017

« Older circular despair   |   i never thought i would post a question like this. Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments