Head in a jar main image

How to make a Head in a jar prank

Do you want something that will really bring out the Halloween spirit this season? Then this head in a jar is the project you’re looking for!

OK — before doing this Halloween project you have to make sure that all your friends and family can take a good scare prank. Make sure no one who has a heart problem will see it! :)

Head in a Jar

Ready to make this for some real fun this Halloween? Don’t forget to share with us how it goes!

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  • Bond Paper
  • Large Jar
  • Food Colouring


  • Digital Camera
  • Photo Editing Software
  • Computer Printer
  • Paper Lamination


How to make a head in a jar

To make the head printout you’ll need 2 pictures of a head, a profile, and a portrait. With the camera at eye level, take a picture straight on and one from the side. Ensure your subject is well-lit. Also, ask them to make a face.

Head in a Jar

Next, we’ll import these images into a photo editing suite. Since the final output will be on a standard A4 / 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper, start by opening your photo editing software and opening a new document set to your printer paper size.

Head in a Jar

Then, import the profile and portrait pictures of your subject onto new layers and resize them to fit your workspace. We’ll resize them again after merging the faces together.

Head in a Jar

Using your photo editor trim away any background so that you are left with just the face.

After trimming, if your two pictures have different lighting adjust the lighting levels (ctrl+L in most applications). Using the eye as a level, align the two images so the features match up from the profile to the portrait (eyes, mouth, and nose all aligned). Almost all photo editors have a ruler function, these help keep things true.

Head in a Jar

To merge the two faces together you’ll need to remove the face portion of the profile image. Make a selection to eye on the profile and delete the face. Then, move the profile picture to one side of the portrait to match the location of the eyes.

Head in a Jar

Select the erase tool and set it to a soft brush. Erase the edge of the profile picture where the two faces meet. Changing the opacity of the eraser you can work the brush to feather away some of the details and blend the two images.

Head in a Jar

With one side completed, make a copy/duplicate of the profile and paste it to a new layer. Flip the copy horizontally and move over to the other side of the portrait picture.

You may need to adjust the levels of the duplicate layer to match the portrait and use the eraser tool again to feather away portions of the duplicate profile to blend into the portrait.

Don’t worry too much about the chin and neck, these will be cropped out of the picture when we’re ready to print. You should have a reasonable version of a flattened head.

Head in a Jar

When you are satisfied with the layer placement, blending, and lighting levels, merge your layers together. Next, resize the image to fit your paper space. You can enlarge your image to crop out the neck and top of the head, or you can work more brush magic in these areas; such as with the clone stamp tool, or prediction tool (depending on your photo editor).

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