Reverse Bear Trap from SAW Foam Build (Finished)


New Member
I have a tendency to skip shooting for the stars and instead aim for the next galaxy over. This is especially true when the Saw 10th anniversary was around the corner (ten days away, exactly) and I decided to build the arguably most iconic trap from the franchise...the Reverse Bear Trap (RBT for short).

1.gif 1.png

Who cares that I'd never worked with foam, or dodn't know how to paint a rusty, weathered appearance, or only had about $40 to spend on materials, or even the fact that I had ten days to build this from scratch!? I wanted to make it...and that's exactly what I did. :)

I didn't have time to draw up templates (and, even if I did, my ADHD would've made template designing near-impossible), and there aren't many unique picture references out there (aside from the first/seventh movie and one particular cosplayer that built imho a really good trap), so I put the Saw films on repeat and drew/cut the 'frame' by hand. I used two layers of foam core board that was eventually reinforced with jewelry wire for support. I wanted the trap to fit very snugly on my head while wearing the wig so it wouldn't shift around while wearing it (essentially the top of my head, back of my head, and chin would hold the trap in place). I also wanted the back bar to open up and lock, because yay screen accuracy. Lastly, I'd noticed that 98% of cosplay RBTs make the 'mouth' one solid piece. In the films, the mouth is not only comprised of two separate pieces, but there's also a visible gap between the two. Screen accuracy bunnies were already rampant in my head, so I made sure to include a gap in the mouth. Said gap also made breathing extremely easy while wearing the trap.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
(Yes, that's a periodic table of elements shower curtain. This is what happens when you have a masters in inorganic chemistry. At least...that's what happened to me.)

Next up was building up the mouth. Using a combination of foam core board and 5mm foamies I built each lip. I also unconsciously started working on my scared/confused/weird look when taking each picture, it seems. Look back, I should've been smoothing the edges on the foam core...those holey pockets bug me to this day. I blame it on a) the fact that this was a rush job, and b) I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Another error I've seen people make is the making the wrong number of spaces in each lip...there are five pockets in the upper lip, and only four on the bottom.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

Next up was the fun part (and most girl's favorite nerdy activity)...cosplay accessorizing! *eye roll goes here* The gears, clamps, bars, and a few other parts were made out of the 5mm foamies. I had to get creative for some of the other pieces, however. the bolts that go through the mouth were a combination of plastic nuts, metal acorn nuts (for the dome shape on the end of each bolt) and part of a dowel rod. The Philips and flathead screw heads are actually plastic scrapbooking brads you can find for dirt cheap at your local hobby store (I'm reusing these brads in my current armor build, but that's a different story for a later thread...). I bought a Master lock that I eventually painted gold for screen accuracy. You don't want to know how many copies of that key I've made since buying that lock. Once the RBT is locked onto my head, there are two ways of getting it off: remove the lock, or rip the prop apart. I prefer the former option.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

For the left-side pipe and over-arcing hose, I used a dowel rod, pipe elbow joint, split cable (that you use to keep computer/power cords organized and together) and jewelry wire (so the hose keeps its shape). For the 'power source, I used a combination of hair curlers, bottlecaps, small cardboard gift boxes, split cable, brads, foamies, beads, and jewelry wire. The pink tubing you see all over the place is actually taken from a cat toy (the kind that dangle and object in front of a cat for them to play with. The beads also came from these toys). The stopwatch and housing is made of an actual stopwatch (I couldn't find a black-faced watch that was accurate and less than the $1.50 I spent on this broken white-faced watch from eBay), housed in two gift boxes put together. Extra details were added with foamies and the outer face ring from the stopwatch itself.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
(This is the part where I mention that this whole prop is held together by enough high-temp hot glue to cover Rhode Island. Maybe Connecticut.)

Before painting, I did a quick test fit with the wig on to make sure it fit snugly and that it wouldn't shift whether I was standing or bending over. It passed!
1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

Paint time! I first sealed the foam with clear, spray Plasti-Dip, then used two coats of Rustoleum Metallic Paint + Primer in Hammered Bronze. After that, I grabbed some acrylic browns and blacks, as well as paper towels and water, and dulled/weathered the trap. I'd give a more detailed explanation...but saying that I was 'winging it' on the painting is the understatement of the day. I should also mention that I added some flecks of red to make it bloody. It is from Saw, after all.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

And with that...the Reverse Bear Trap was complete!! There was much rejoicing (yay......). But first, let me take a selfie.


The rest of the cosplay was put together from two separate Goodwill shopping sprees. The tank top was hand-dyed purple, and the sleeves were from an old long-sleeved shirt also hand-dyed purple. Red armbands (not pictured due to being added later) were made of elastic strapping dyed red. And the blood is basic fake blood from those obligatory Halloween superstores.

2.jpg 3.jpg

Wrap-up and other goodies coming soon! :D