Introduction: Jack in the Box Head

Picture of Jack in the Box Head
A Jack In The box head that I made for Halloween this year. Took a long time to make....but was worth it in the end!!! This costume was not very expensive, around $30.

Have fun!

Step 1: The Items You Will Need...

Picture of The Items You Will Need...


metal bowl: to put the paper mache mix in

something to hold the ball up while paper mache is drying (a stand).

big ball--you want to find one that is plastic and that is a little bigger than your head... also, for a kid, you might want to deflate the ball a little, so find a ball that you can deflate.

flour and water--paper mache mix.

acrylic paints--blue, yellow, and black.

white spray paint--to paint the head white.

flat circular foam shape--bottom of the little hat on his head.

foam cone--for the top of his little hat.

plastic baseball batter's helmet--for inside the head.

foam sealant for houses (not today!)--to keep the plastic helmet in place.

glue gun--to glue stuff

extra glue sticks--well, let's just say that one glue stick isn't enough.

LOTS of newspaper--paper mache stips

Detatchable needle--like the ones they use on balls (look @ pic #3)

Drill & very small drill bit--to drill two small holes later on

Some salt--for part of the paper mache mix

dremel and circular blade attachment--to cut the mouth out

Cheesecloth--for the mouth

Red food dye--to color the cheesecloth red (duh)

Step 2: What You'll Be Doing

what you'll be doing and in what order you'll be doing it

1.Get all the supplies
2.Paper mache (very messy)
3.Sizing the head
4.Checking (and if you have to) correcting some of the sizes
5.Gluing your batter's helmet into the mold
6.Spraying the head white (of course, with spray paint)
7.Cuting the mouth
8.Some more painting
9.Making your I-Can-See-but-You-Can't mouth
10.Final painting and details

Step 3: Start Your Head!

Picture of Start Your Head!

You will start by doing a lot of layers of paper mache.

here is the way I made my paper mache mix:

1 part flour to 5 parts water...add a little salt to the mache so that it doesn't mold...boil about 3 minutes and let cool.

You will need lots of newspaper strips!

When you start adding paper mache to your ball you will want the ball on some sort of a stand so that it doesn't start rolling around.

Start at the top of the ball and move down.
It doesn't matter if you do a couple layers at a time.
Make the newspaper nice and goopy with paper mache mix...It's not the paper that makes whatever you're covering thick, it's the paper mache goop that makes it thick.

Once you get to the bottom leave a part of the bottom not covered, look at the picture in this step.

Once you have done a layer then let dry.

If the ball is squeezing out of the neck hole (look at the pic on this step) once the layer of paper mache dries, deflate the ball just a little.

You will want to do 9-10 more layers... Do not try to rush this, or else it won't turn out good!

Once you are done with paper mache and it is all dry, you might have a few rough spots where a little piece of paper is uneven or something like that...The answer: Just sand it down a little with sandpaper!

Step 4: Deflating and Shaping

There you have it, you are done with the messy stuff!

Once you have done the paper mache layers, deflate the ball.

To do this you will simply, from the neck hole cut a large gash in the ball.

Let the ball deflate and pull out the deflated the ball through the neck hole.

Be very careful when pulling out the ball... There is a very low possibility that the mache mold will cave in, but that will only happen if you didn't follow my directions so far!

The mold could be a little delicate once you pull out the ball, so don't start throwing it around.

Step 5: Making the Sizes Right!

Picture of Making the Sizes Right!

Once you have the mold, have whoever is going to wear the headput their head in the mold with the helmet on backwards (I will tell you why later on).

What you will do is try to have the person indicate where their eyes are by having their fingers(on the outside) point to where they think their eyes are.
(look at picture #1 on this page)
Once they point out where thier eyes are mark those two spots lightly with a pencil.
You will want their eyes to be right around where the mouth will be. (see pic #2 on this page)

If (when they put the mold on and they point to where their eyes are) is above where the mouth will be, hold the ball up a little (while it's still on their head) and have the person point to where their eyes are again.
If they still are pointing to their eyes and it's not in the mouth area, keep on holding the ball up a little higher until it is.
Once you get a good position of where their eyes are right where the mouth is going to be, mark that spot.

Step 6: Confirming Sizes

Picture of Confirming Sizes

The next step is quite simple.

Get out your drill with the smallest drill bit you have.
Without the person's head in the mold, drill a very small hole on each of the eye marks you made on step #5. (look @ pic #1)

Have the person put the head back on once the two holes are drilled and have them get their eyes into the right positon again.
If there eyes are in the right place, when they're looking staight ahead in the ball, they will see two little dots with light coming through them.

If they don't see any dots right in front of their two eyes and one's a little right of their eye and another's right in front of their left eye, ect., then that's fine!

What you'll do is have them take off the mold and drill another hole(s) where you think their eyes are and then have them look again.

Hopefully by then it would be in the right place!
If not just drill a couple more holes. (look @ pic #2)
As you can see in picture number two, I did three sets of holes and the third one was correct.
You don't have to patch up the incorrect drill holes (if you have any at all) because, as you also saw in the picture, the imaginary mouth that hasn't been cut yet, was surrounding the holes that were incorrect, too! And since later you will be cutting out the mouth, you will be cutting out the incorrect drill holes, too!!!
If your drill holes are way off (which is pretty unlikely) and they won't be in the mouth area that gets cut out...then...'ll have to patch them up with a little paper mache...

Step 7: Sticking the Helmet in Place

Picture of Sticking the Helmet in Place

Put on your batters helmet backwards and put your head back inside the mold.

The reason you're putting the batters helmet on backwards: Later, when the helmet is glued into the head and you're looking through the mouth, you won't want a big flap on your helmet in the way.


You will now spray the foam sealant into the mold.



Spray very little sealant...Just enough to get the helmet in the correct position once the foam sealant expands and dries.

Look at picture for rest of step

Step 8: Spray Painting

Now that you have gotten the helmet into the correct position and the foam sealant is dry, you will spray the head white.

Cover up the neck hole with newspaper so that you don't spray the inside of the mold.

Put the mold on a stand of some sort so that when you spray the head, you won't have to move it to spray another part or have the mold roll away.

Spray paint the mold (or as I call it, the head) white!

Don't spray paint too much in one place!

Once you have done a layer of white spray paint let dry.

Do another layer of spray paint.

Keep on doing layers of spray paint until the head is solid white.

Once you have done the things above, move onto the next step!

Step 9: Cut the Mouth

Picture of Cut the Mouth

You will now cut the mouth!

The mouth is up to you

I freehand drew the mouth lightly with a pencil and made it as even a smile as I could.

Make sure that the mouth cuts out the drill holes that marks where their eyes are.

The reason:
The person will be seeing through the mouth... But people won't see the person's eyes because there will be some fabric in the way!

To cut the mouth:
Get out your dremel (if you don't know what a dremel is look at the pic on this page) and attach a round blade to it.


Cut out the mouth by cutting with the dremel along the light pencil lines.

Once the mouth is cut out, you are done with the dremel!

If you have some rough edges on the lines where you cut the mouth, sand it down until is looks good.

Step 10: The Nose and Hat

Picture of The Nose and Hat

Get a small cone (made out of foam) that you think will do well for the nose.

Round the inside of the foam cone so that when you glue it to the head it looks natural instead of just sticking out with gaps under it to each side.

Once you have rounded the foam cone, cover it with a thin layer of paper mache.

Once you have done the layer of paper mache on the nose cone, and it's dry, paint the nose black with acrylic paint.

Do another layer of black paint until the nose is a solid black.

You are done with the nose! On to the hat.

You will need a larger cone and a base for the hat (look at the pic on this page).

Glue the base and the cone together with a hot glue gun.

Cover the assembled hat with a layer of paper mache.

Once the layer of paper mache is dry, paint the hat with yellow acrylic paint.

Do another layer of yellow paint until the hat is a solid yellow.

You are done with this step!

Step 11: The I-Can-See-But-You-Can't Mouth

Picture of The I-Can-See-But-You-Can't Mouth

To start off this step, get a large metal bowl and pour some red food color into it.

Get a large strip of cheesecloth and soak it in the food coloring until it is a dark red.

Let the dyed cheesecloth dry and then glue it onto the inide of the cut out mouth (on the edges) with glue (see pic on this page).

Step 12: Final Touches!

Picture of Final Touches!

This part is all up to you.

Glue the nose and hat on with hot glue--I won't tell you where to put them, I'll just show you what I did (look at pics on this page).

You also, In this step, are going to decide where to paint the eyes.

What I did on the eyes: I used a compass and lightly drew the outline of the eyes on the head. I then painted the eyes with blue acrylic paint.

Like I said, this step is up to you. Good luck!


hauntedknoll1 (author)2013-10-29

" Great costume! You should submit it to "

timkaiser45 (author)2011-07-13

Me and my wife as Mr & Mrs Jack...

mthompson33 (author)timkaiser452012-06-26

can i buy the male one. please message with info and ur price. 30 or below and exact replica shown in picture

josh4790 (author)timkaiser452011-09-21

wow!! how did u make urs? it looks really good!

timkaiser45 (author)josh47902011-09-21

Similar to the instructable, but used a beach ball and so-flo fabric starch for the paper mache (dries much harder, and with less layers) The important thing to remember, that I think alot of other Jack Heads had forgotten, is scale. The hat has to be in proportion to the rest of the Head. I did not use a foam cone for the hat and nose, rather I fashioned one out of newspaper and paper mache'd it. This way you can get proper scale.
These are the 2nd & 3rd Jack Heads I have Made, Mrs. Jack was fun, got lots of comments about her, just added a flower and eye lashes (all made out of paper mache) and gave her a pink hat...

dfontenot (author)timkaiser452011-10-23

Your heads look great. I made one about 15 years ago. Lasted a couple of years. Then turned it in to a Pumpkin for a yard decoration. What I wanted to know is how many layers did you use using the So-Flo Fabric Starch (so love that stuff)? Did you put anything in it to make it stay in place while on your head? As far as the eyes go, did you use something for them so you could see? My daughter is wanting to make one for this Halloween and the techniques are better now then they were 15 years ago,, lol...any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

timkaiser45 (author)dfontenot2011-10-25

I used 3 layers of paper, specifically brown grocery bags. If your using newspaper, it will probably take 5 or more. To make it stay in place on my head, I actually used styrofoam that I just made a simple 5 sided box out of and hot glued it into the head (sculpted the front and back a little to be as comfortable as possible). The eyes were just painted on, it's the mouth that is cut out. I found the field of vision through the mouth much better than through the eyes, and the head sits more accurately; not so far down on the shoulders. I found this plastic mesh from the craft store (I think it's used for yarn needle work, found over by the yarn and sewing section) It comes in alot of different colors, and you can see through it with no problem. I hope this helps a little, good luck...

sparqster (author)timkaiser452011-10-29

@tkaiser1 - did u use just the Sta-Flo as the mix or did you throw in flour (as the bottle of Sta-Flo suggests)? I've been working on this a couple of days now (2.5 layers in) but I still feel that the layers are a bit flexible. Any feedback truly appreciated!

timkaiser45 (author)sparqster2011-10-31

I used the Sta-flo straight from the bottle, didn't know they had instructions on the bottle, guess I had never noticed... I would assume adding the flour would make it more pastie since flour is a thickening agent. You really have to go by feel on these things, the stronger the better...

djevensteven (author)timkaiser452011-10-18

Nice job with your heads. What did you use to shape the cone for the hat? I would like mine to be as accurate as yours

josh4790 (author)timkaiser452011-09-27

they look really good! i dont think i could make something that

vcampos12 (author)2009-10-29

i did this in less than a week and it cost me less than 5 dollars. thanks very much. it was a tad bit different though but you were still great help

mthompson33 (author)vcampos122012-06-26

hey id love to buy that. for like 20 bucks. please send me a email to name ur price and tell me when or if you can do this

josh4790 (author)vcampos122011-09-21

how did u do it my good man?

Sk1327 (author)2011-10-31

I made this in 3 days... I used a cheesehead i have from being a packers fan to keep it secure on my head! i followed these instructions to make it pretty closely! Did some stuff different though! Me and my friends were the Fast Food Mafia.

9herfan (author)Sk13272011-11-01

Took my son "Jack" to Jack in the Box and they let me take pictures behind the counter.

ilurie (author)2011-03-14

does anyone have a made one i can buy from them? i live in los angeles...

also, what kind of ball are you using that you can puncture it and it still holds up and are u cutting a hole out of the bottom for it? hows it working exactly?

Lady Hanako (author)2010-10-31

Hey! Great costume idea!
My boyfriend made one sorta following your instructions. He made the head from paper mache using Sta Flo liquid starch from Wal Mart (It works perfectly as paper mache mix). He used a smaller ball, a yellow construction paper hat, and used cheese cloth for the eyes instead of the mouth. He also used a sharpie red marker to freehand the mouth and a sharpie blue marker to color the cheese cloth. We got some great feedback on it. :)

bobandthemonkey (author)2010-10-28

making one right now, did it in three nights so it wont be as amazing as previous ones and yours, but still pretty awsome.

eri909 (author)2010-10-23

I didnt boil the flour is that a bad thing? lol

applesnacks (author)2010-10-21

Made my 7th grade self's day.

I used a balloon to shape mine, which worked pretty well, and made the mouth, hat, and nose out of construction paper.

Of course the nose has since fallen off, and the head now sits ominously in a window sill to scare new comers and salesmen - quite well if I do say so myself.

boxman978 (author)2010-10-17

how do you see

Mdob (author)2010-10-13

All of the employees at Jack In The Box should wear these!

jimidaman (author)2010-09-21

I got first place at a costume contest last year with this, and won an ipod nano :)

Greasetattoo (author)2009-11-04

OH NO, Mr. Bill!

tocsik (author)2009-10-28

With a little adaptation this could be turned into The Pint-Sized Slasher mask from Fallout 3.

MACKattacksnipe (author)2009-10-24

May i take your order

x z i t (author)MACKattacksnipe2009-10-24

id like 25 tacos, 5 extra large drinks, and 80 cheeseburgers.

pandaboy292 (author)x z i t2009-10-27

ill have the same but make the cheeseburgers doubles.

boblordofmonkeys (author)2009-10-26

 nice the hat should be shorter though

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-10-24

well done!

TheCrazyChinchilla2 (author)2009-10-17

 Could you show a pic of the bottom looking in to the head...... I'm wondering how big the hole you put your head in should be.

Darkshot (author)2007-12-12

very cool! i would make this but i dont have the time or the patience! looks wicked cool :) i never would have thought of this!

It does take quite a while! Thx for looking!

I've actually thought of making this before, but I think your Instructable has given me the...courage?... to help me do it! Thank you!

sure XD

Wesley666 (author)2009-10-05

I'm got make this. Then in the middle of the year next year just wear it to school. Or go Halloweening in July...not sure which yet.

danlab (author)2009-09-29

Instead of the batter's helmet, you could use an old bike helmet, then you would have the straps to hold it on your head better

nave (author)2008-10-28

yeah, i made it , i used a giant balloon from zurchers, and in stead ok making the entire mouth the hole, i just made a simple rectangle, and in stead of using foam for the hat, i got some poster board and made a cone for his hat, and i got another for the rim of his hat. i thought mine was pretty convincing when i was at a zoo for a costume contest and mothers were having me hold their babies for pictures (and im 14) it looks pretty nice, and as soon as i get the pictures, ill put them up (and i won 1st place in the costume contest)

karrman1984 (author)2008-10-17

there is only one person i know that can pull this off lol hey look me up on my space

nave (author)2008-10-01

im making this costume right now, but for the head im using one of those punching balloons

howboutitbru (author)2007-12-12

that some fly shit

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-12

very cool instructable! (favorited)

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