How to Make a Harry Houdini Costume

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 empty toilet paper tubes

  • 4 large medicine bottle lids

  • Hot glue

  • Glue gun

  • Measuring tape

  • Ruler

  • Gray duct tape

  • Scissors

  • 10 x 10-inch white cotton fabric

  • Stop-fraying spray

  • Iron

  • Ironing board

  • Needle

  • White thread

  • 1 bow tie clip

Harry Houdini remains a fascination today.
Image Credit: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Leave friends and family in awe when -- like magic -- you embody master escapist Harry Houdini. To achieve the look of this world-class entertainer -- who had a great sense of style -- scrounge up an old set of black trousers and tuxedo jacket, and wear these items with a white button-up shirt and a handmade white bow tie to complete your Houdini costume. Go on to confound the crowds as you escape from your own duct tape handcuffs.


Harry Houdini Handcuffs

Glue Lids and Tubes

Hot glue one large medicine bottle lid to the end of each toilet paper tube to create the back sections of the handcuffs. Fill one lid with hot glue and stand the empty paper tube in the center of it. Allow the glue to dry and then glue the lid to the other end. Repeat the process on the other toilet paper tube.


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Measure your Hand for Your Houdini Costume

Measure the width of your hand to determine the size of the handcuffs.

Cut the Duct Tape

Cut two strips of duct tape that measure slightly larger than the width of your hand. These pieces will be used to create the round-style handcuffs Houdini wore.


Construct a Duct Tape Rope

Fold the duct tape in half. Roll the duct tape to create a rope-like piece. Cut more strips of duct tape the same length as your existing rope piece and layer them onto the original piece of duct tape. You will add layers of duct tape onto the rope until it is 1 inch in diameter.


Make the Cuffs

Add the cuff section to the toilet paper tubes. Place a small square of tape onto one end of the duct tape rope. Affix the square to the center back of the pill bottle lid. Tape the other end of the rope to the opposite end. Repeat to create the other handcuff.

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Finish the Handcuffs

Cover the completed handcuff sections with duct tape for a finished look.

Cut five 3-inch sections of duct tape to create the chain links between the handcuffs.


Make Some More Ropes

Fold the sections in half and roll the pieces to create five individual rope-like pieces. Place another layer of duct tape around the chains to keep their shape.

Build the Chains

Make a chain with the duct tape sections. Fold the ends of one small rope section together and tape it in place. Insert a rope section through the center of the chain and tape the ends of the rope together. You should now have two links of chain. Continue this process until you have all five links of chain completed.



Join the Cuffs and Chains

Tape each end link to the center of each round, roped section of the handcuffs for your Houdini costume.

Harry Houdini Bow Tie

Cut the Fabric for the Bow Tie

Cut the white fabric so that it measures 9 x 4 1/2 inches. This will be the bow tie for your Houdini costume.


Snip Fabric for the Center

Cut another piece of fabric that measures 1 1/4 x 2 1/5 inches. This piece will be used for the center section of the bow tie.

Spray and Dry

Spray the edges of the fabric with the stop-fraying spray and let the fabric dry.

Fold and Press

Fold the bow tie fabric in half lengthwise and iron the fabric flat.

Iron the Bow Tie

Fold the center section of the bow tie in half lengthwise and iron.

Sew the Bow Tie

Place the center of the bow tie fabric between your thumb and forefinger and press down. Wrap the small center section fabric around this area. Sew the fabric in place on the back of the bow tie.

Secure the Tie to the Clip

Sew the bow tie clip to the back of the bow tie.


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