Thursday, September 18, 2008

Just in time for Halloween...

How to make Shrunken Heads.

Made from dried apples, these shrunken heads can be used as place cards for a Halloween dinner, suspended over a doorway or skewered on dirty dowel rods in the front yard.

Several Granny Smith apples
Whole cloves
Handful of dry rice
1/2 cup of lemon juice
2 tsp. salt
Snips of wig hair

Small bowl
Large spoon
Small paring knife or potato peeler
Wire rack
Bamboo skewers

In a small bowl prepare a mixture of the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt. Peel apples and coat with mixture to prevent browning. Use the peeler or the knife to carve out eye sockets, a nose, mouth and ears. You'll want to create large facial features as the apple will shrink in size.

To create the eyes, place whole cloves into each eye socket. Insert dry rice into mouth cavity to make teeth. To accelerate the drying process, place the apples in an oven at the lowest temperature for a few hours. Keep an eye on the apples as you don’t want to cook them. Remove apples from the oven and place on a wire rack in a warm, dry place for about 2-3 weeks.

After the apples are dry, add snips of wig hair. Wrap hair around the sharp tip of a bamboo skewer and insert tip into apple. The hair should stay in place, if it appears loose add a drop of glue and allow to dry.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Indian Corn Jewlery

Indian corn Jewelry has the look and feel of high polished stone jewelry and its easy to make. I remembered that I had some corn hanging in the garage from last Halloween/Thanksgiving, so I used it for this project. The corn easily popped off of the cob.

You will need:

1/2 Cup Indian corn kernels
sewing needle
small bowl

1. Pour corn kernels into a small bowl of water.
2. Let the corn kernels soak overnight or until soft.

3.Thread the needle. tying a knot at the end of the thread. I doubled the thread so it would be a little stronger.
4. Have an an adult push the needle through each soft kernel of corn until the necklace or bracelet is as long as you want it to be. Tie both ends of the thread together.

I remember making these in first grade. I was able to thread it by myself at that time but it really depends on the child and their motor skills. If the kernels are not soft enough, it is harder to get the needle through the corn.

Post note: If you do not have access to Indian corn, you can also make the necklaces with regular popcorn. I know you can dye it by soaking it in a mixture of RIT Dye and water. I believe you let the corn sit for two days in the dye before stringing the wet corn. After the necklaces are dry you can also coat them with spray varnish for a glossy look.