Kids Craft Corner – Shrunken Heads

Have you ever gone to a haunted house and stuck your hand into an bowl of eye balls?  Come across a table of shrunken heads, a plate of brains, specimen jars?  I have wondered how to make shrunken heads and now have found directions on how to.  They seemed really fun and not too hard.  We went to the grocery and picked out our Granny Smith apples – as we were doing so, Stella asked if they were organic and I said no and she said I didn’t think so they didn’t look organic.  I am not sure why – maybe because they were so shiny and “perfect” looking.

This was a really fun project and the best part of the fun is waiting to see how our “faces” are going to shrink!

Shrunken Heads

Items Needed

Firm, unbruised apples – Granny Smith’s work great – pick round ones
Knife (for an adult to use)
Marker or pencil – we found that markers did not work well
1 cup lemon juice
1 Tbl salt
Stick, branch or skewers

1. Mix the lemon juice and salt in a glass bowl and set aside.

2. Core and peel the apples. (best done by an adult)

3. Using a pencil draw your face.  We used a mechanical pencil and it really did not leave marks – but cut into the apple and left an outline.  Make the face features large, so that when they shrink you can still see them.

4. Carve out the drawn face, best done by an adult.

5. Place the apples in the lemon juice, turning so that each part of the apple is getting covered by lemon juice for about 30 seconds per section.  Pat dry.

6. Set the apples in a warm, dry spot.  We put them on skewers inside a mason jar and set them on the table in front of a window.

7. Watch your apples change over the course of several days. The apples will gradually shrink and distort.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

8. How you display is up to you.  You could place them on a plate with some grass/straw, place on a stick or branch and place in a vase or plant – use your imagination.

They took about a week to shrink!  One of them is already starting to mold inside, so we are not sure how long these “keep” – will get back to you on that one.  I am thinking we will get maybe one more week.

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2 Responses to Kids Craft Corner – Shrunken Heads

  1. Candace Coffin says:

    What a fun kid’s project. Very creative indeed!! : )

  2. Jo says:

    that is so very cool Greetings from Munchen!

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