These weren’t my idea, I came across them on the internet and just had to have a go.
Initially I made them as talk prompts as part of an activity for my next book about display. The whole concept of a severed head is wonderfully gorey, but also the process of the initial making and then the ensuing decay is fascinating. Not to mention the end results. I love them!
They are dead easy to make (excuse the pun)!
- Apples (any sort will do)
- Apple peeler
- Play dough utenstils
- Blunt wooden skewers or sticks
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Water (optional)
My boys loved making them. I obviously don’t condone the drinking of wine whilst working with children (unless they are your own and you are in your own home)!
What to do
- Peel your apples
- Use your dough utensils to dig out eyes, nose and mouth hole.
- The great thing is, that because they shrink down quite considerably, you don’t need to be particularly artistic or accurate. The more random the better.
- If you want your head to have teeth, then stick them in now. You can experiment with the sorts of things that you use. I used black and white rice and dried star anise.
- If you don’t want to risk your apples going mouldy then dip them in a solution of lemon juice and water. I didn’t ‘dip’ as I thought a bit of mould might add to the interest. As it was, mine didn’t go mouldy, but I got some lovely brown ‘ooze’
- Once you have finished sculpting and dipping then stick your shrunken head on a skewer or stick and leave to shrink.
Depending on the temperature, airflow and the size of your apples it can take up to two weeks before they are ready.
TIP: Don’t let your shrunken heads touch while they are shrinking , this encourages more of a mushy head than a shrunken one!
Once they are done, let your imagination run wild!
Have fun shrinking…
i had a little boy last year who’s grandfather worked for the natural history museum. In his grandfathers shed he had a few shrunken heads. They spent many hours talking about how they were made and he would relate the details to us at pre-school with accuracy. He would have loved these…perhaps i’ll forward the post to his new teacher!
I love these, they have turned out very realistic! The parents in our school would flip out if we made them though.