By Emma Grace Fairchild:
It’s already October! For those who love Halloween, the countdown begins for everything spooky and creepy, from costumes to decorations and parties. I came across this fun idea for creating homemade decorations, using apples to make shrunken heads. They can be skewered on a stick and placed in pots around the house or in a Halloween table display, or strung on a cord to make hanging wall decorations. The process itself is quite simple and the end result is really cute. It is a fun craft to make with kids of all ages, as little ones can help peel the apples and draw faces, and older children (and adults) can carve the faces.
You will need …
- Apples (big ones will likely be easier, but smaller will dry more quickly)
- Lemon Juice
- Marker or pencil
- Sticks/ Skewers
- Small knife
To make your shrunken heads …
- Peel your apples.
- With a pencil or marker, draw or scratch the outline of a nose, ears, eyes, mouth, and other features you want so it looks like a skull.
- Using a paring knife or other small knife, carefully cut out features along the stencil.
- Soak the carved apples in a mixture of lemon juice and salt for a minute or two. The stronger the solution, the less oxidation will take place on the apples. It also helps prevent mold during the drying process.
- With a stick, skewer the apples through the core.
- Leave to dry in a dry, warm place. If the air is damp or there isn’t good airflow, the apples could turn moldy — while that can be scary, it won’t have the intended effect. If Halloween is just a few days away and you still want to attempt this, try putting them in a dehydrator or in the oven at a low temperature!
If you need some more inspiration, check out a video of Martha Stewart making them from scratch and her presentation ideas as well here.
Don’t toss away the peels and leftover apple pieces! The scraps easily can be used in lots of ways. If you have a juicer, make a super tasty green juice using the apple leftovers, a cucumber, a few ribs of celery, and a chunk of lemon or ginger. Try making apple peel chips with cinnamon sugar, made crispy in an oven. Additionally, you can freeze both the peels and chunks of extra apple flesh from carving the shrunken heads and add a handful to your morning smoothie for extra vitamins, fiber, sweetness and extra savings as well. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, try your hand at making your own apple vinegar.
Happy shrinking! Let us know how it works out.