I love severed heads. Not real ones, of course. I love the fake kind, and I experience quite the thrill when I finally get to check out the selection at Spirit Halloween and Halloween Express each year. I usually buy one myself, and then my mother-in-law gets me one for Christmas. It’s a tradition that I’m pretty fond of and one that makes my MIL one of the best in history. Does your mother-in-law get you severed heads for Christmas? I didn’t think so.
Anyway, I love getting a “commercial” creepy head, but there’s a certain charm in the homemade stuff. A few years ago, we moved from an apartment to our house, and with the added space came a new-found love of making props. So even though I already had a pretty decent head collection at that time, I thought I’d try my hand at making one myself.
So this is how I made my very first DIY severed head.
I started with a foam head from Hobby Lobby that I bought using one of their 40% off coupons. Aside from being a horror fan, I’m also a big proponent of getting the best deal, so I try to buy as many of my supplies on sale or clearance as possible. Hobby Lobby has a few varieties of heads to choose from – female, male, and faceless – so you can choose whichever fits your project best. Although the faceless ones are creepy on their own, I wanted mine to be pretty big, so I went with a male head.
As you can see from the pic above, my first step was to draw out the features I wanted for my severed head. I wanted it to be gross, and keeping both eyes weren’t an option. I used a craft knife and some metal sculpting tools to pick and carve out one of the eyes, part of the scalp, and the base of the head to make it look actually severed. We want realism wherever possible, people, and a clean-cut head just won’t – well – cut it.
I also carved out some of the area around the side of the mouth and jaw and used some fake zombie teeth that I bought (again, with a coupon) at Spirit Halloween. The teeth were rubber and very easy to cut. They were ridged on the back to make them easy to wear, so I sliced off the back to make them lay flat and fit my head. I then used a hot glue gun to secure them in place. You can see in the pic below that my guy was already looking pretty handsome at this stage.
After the glue dried, it was time to make it PRETTY!!! Pretty to me, at least. I already had a lot of paint on hand so I mixed some random colors together to get a sickly, partially-decomposed skin color. Like I said – pretty. I also mixed some red, black, and brown to get a realistic bloody color. I slapped my paint mixtures on until I got the look I wanted and – VOILA! – severed head!
Isn’t he beautiful?
My zombie head has served me quite well these past few Halloweens. Another benefit from these foam heads is that you can stick them on pvc pipe or dowel rods to make a full-body prop, a head-on-a-stake, or something else equally cool. I turned my severed head into full-body prop the first year. You can see by the shirt in the pic above that he was quite stylish.
If you want a great creepy project, I recommend you try making yourself a severed head of your own. You could make one for a Halloween prop.
Or it could be especially therapeutic if you make one to look like an enemy. No judgment. We’ve all been there.
You do you, man.