Picture of Brain in a Jar!
Every mad scientist needs gruesome specimens and demented experiments on display.  Whether actually experimenting with reanimation or just keeping a extra brain on hand for a rainy day, the brain is a classic specimen!

This one is on life support, with blinking LEDs indicating brain activity.  What is he plotting in there, and just what does he really think he can do from inside the jar?  Mine is called Donovan.

Step 1: Vision and Materials

Picture of Vision and Materials
The first thing one needs to know is what the end product should look like.  I decided I wanted a brain on wires, with blinking lights indicating activity.  The brain should be floating in liquid, ideally bubbling liquid, in a jar that looked vaguely Frankensteinian/steampunk.

I ended up using:
A big plastic pretzel jar from CostCo
Plastic wall anchors
A hubcap from a Chevy
Two 99Cent Only Store "light swords"
Wires from an old TV
A fish aquarium aerator with tubing and a pump
Great Stuff
Hot glue
Masking tape, Krylon spray paints, various acrylic paints, sandpaper.
Screwdriver, soldering iron, dremel


What sort of wire and solder did you use to extend the wires?

justjimAZ (author)  Debra Campbell5 months ago
I used some speaker wire, and the solder that came with the soldering iron. A coil of "lead free" solder and no flux.
I hope that is what you are looking for.
Lyman Bruce4 years ago
A well-written instructable with lots of good ideas. I've occasionally thought of building a brain in a jar prop, and you have done an excellent job! Using Great Stuff for the brain matter was a cool idea - plus you told us the mistakes you made to avoid along the way. (BTW, don't use that brain mold for gelatin again!)

I'd like to see your brain-in-a-jar Mk II when you get around to it. Maybe add some pulsation, or eyes.

Anyway, you've got my vote!
justjimAZ (author)  Lyman Bruce4 years ago
Thanks for the comments and the vote! The "original" Donovan's Brain did pulse sometimes - but he did not light up! I hope you put some of your own projects up here too.
aeshem4 years ago
lol wow kool =D
justjimAZ (author)  aeshem4 years ago
Thanks Aeshem.
This is a good Instructable. I like the sand-casting of hotglue.
justjimAZ (author)  The Papier Boy4 years ago
Appreciate that Papier Boy! Hope you find it useful.
bajablue4 years ago
KoOky and very KEWL! 5 Stars for you!!!
justjimAZ (author)  bajablue4 years ago
Thanks Bajablue.
Hisart4 years ago
Very nicely done instructable! I love the process and the project. I am a huge "B" movie fan so I also like the Donavan's Brain connection.

Keep up the inspiring work!
justjimAZ (author)  Hisart4 years ago
Thanks Hisart! I found out there is a Krylon paint contest going on, so I entered that contest. I use Fusion and other Krylon paints a lot. Mine is probably not listed yet, but hopefully it will be, and maybe you can vote for me?
framistan4 years ago
Superb instructable. I could really use an extra brain too for my computer room/Library.... no... my LABORATORY! And you NAMED your brain. Very creative. I must do this also... as i already have several books on the subject... My brain will be superior to yours ( i hope). If anyone is interested in books on the subject of frankenstein, these are ones i recommend: "The Secret Laboratory journals of Dr Victor Frankenstein" by Jeremy Kay. The Diary of Victor Frankenstein by Roscoe Cooper. "The Frankenstein Diaries" by Hubert Venables. and... "The Woman Who Created Frankenstein (a portrait of Mary Shelley) by Janet Harris. Thankyou "justjimaz" for a great instructable.
justjimAZ (author)  framistan4 years ago
Good luck, Doctor Framistan! Your library notwithstanding, I hope your brain DOES come out superior to my little creation. That is, after all, why Instructables exists.

When it is finished, I hope you will post pictures, and maybe even a video! Thanks for the comment and the kind words.