These spooky shrivelled faces, made from apples, look very sinister dotted around the house at Hallowe’en or even worn like a talisman around the neck when out trick or treating. You can paint them spooky colours too.
As many small apples as you want shrunken heads
A paring knife
Acrylic paints (if using)
Peel the apple (leaving the stalk attached if you later want to hang the head). Then with a paring knife, start carving features in relief so they stand out. Start with the nose: in the middle of one side of the apple, score a U shape with the knife. Cut away the excess apple from the three sides of the U, leaving the nose prominent. Then cut out two chunks of apple for the eyes, and make a slit in them. I the indentation below the nose, score a mouth, and cut away the flesh around, leaving the chin prominently sticking out. Score out and cut away from two ears. You will cut quite a lot of apple off, and be left with a face with prominent nose, cheeks and ears, and sunken eyes and mouth.
Sit your heads on a warm, sunny windowsill and wait for them to dry out – this can take a couple of weeks (and there is a risk of them going mouldy in wet autumn weather). To speed the process up, put them on a greaseproof-paper covered baking tray in the oven at the lowest temperature (about 50 degrees C or lowest Gas Mark). Leave in the oven for about 24 hours or until they are shrivelled and spongy – it may take longer.
When they’re cool, you can paint them with acrylic paints, or add miniature hats and cloaks to make them look even witchier. Dot them around the house as decorations, or to hang one around your neck, attach the stalk to a piece of strong, thin thread.