Craft ideas from the Last Man on Earth…


By Shawn Robare




I’ve been meaning to post this ad for the Vincent Price Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture kit for awhile, but I kept putting it off.





I guess I wanted to try and make a shrunken head of my own, but I’ve been lazy on the crafts front this month. Last night I decided to run out to the store before it was too late (and it might already be) and start my own little shrunken apple head. Though I don’t have one of the awesome looking Vincent Price certified sets (which you can still find on eBay), I found a set of instructions on the interweb (via Make Magazine.)


All you need is one decent sized apple…





…some lemon juice (1/2 cup), some salt (2 teaspoons)…





…a knife (or potato peeler), and a small bowl.





Start by mixing half a cup of lemon juice with two teaspoons of salt to make one heck of a noxious anti-browning mixture. I broke down and bought the lemon juice from concentrate, though I’m sure fresh squeezed is probably better. Then peel the apple. I’ve always been envious of the folks who can peel their apple in one go, resulting in one long springy piece of apple skin. I guess as long as the job gets done though…





Next, place the apple in the salty lemon juice, making sure to coat all of the peeled areas.





Now using a potato peeler or knife, carve out your shrunken head’s face. Concentrate on the larger features (eyes, nose, and mouth) as smaller details will probably wilt in the drying process. The site where I found the instructions suggested some possible accoutrements, like sticking a couple whole cloves in the eye sockets, and using large whole grains of rice for teeth, but I think I’m going to go strictly natural for my first go round.





Now that you have your apple peeled, semi-preserved, and carved, it’s time to find a nice dry and warm place to let your shrunken head develop. I chose my cupboard as it’s the only free place where my pets won’t be able to get at it. I propped mine up on an up turned plastic storage container, though the site suggest a wire rack. This morning I found my head in a small pool of lemony apple juice, so I suggest trying the rack method as well (making sure to place some paper towels or something underneath to catch any liquids.) Let the apple head dry for two weeks, checking it every once in awhile and making any adjustments to the face that seem necessary.




As an alternative to the two week drying process, the site also suggests placing the apple head in the oven on the lowest setting for two days.  I’ll check back on it with more pictures as it progresses…

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  • Savage

    Neat idea. I wonder what it will look like. Let’s hope it doesn’t attract vermin.

  • Steven Finch

    For some reason I was actually researching this process a month or two ago. No idea why, but I didn’t end up committing to the project. Some day!

  • ReggaeXX

    I made an apple shrunken head about 20 years ago and it hung from the rear view mirror over the course of 3 cars until one day my girlfriend at the time couldn’t stand looking at it anymore and I put it in the garage where it promptly got lost and sadly I never saw it again. You’ve inspired me to make another one and I’m gonna get going on that tomorrow!