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I had to kill him.

An attack to the back of the head brought him down but in order to destroy his brain, the sides of his neck, head, and nose took a beating.  With minimal time I was able to salvage my infected husband's head and create a reproduction based on his last appearance on earth.

While the rotting undead can be difficult to kill, I imagine any salvaged head (other than what remains in a wood chipper) can be mounted as a prize winning trophy using this technique.  Follow me as I show you how I did it...

Step 1: Gather Materials

Unknown to me at the time, effective ways to kill a Zombie include:
  • Light 'em on fire
  • Smash it's head in a convection oven while it's on
  • Run over it with a car
  • Apply a .308 Winchester to the head
  • Various Chainsaw techniques
  • Starve the undead out
  • Trap in a pit of concrete
  • Put the Zombie through a wood chipper
In my struggle with my ex-sweetie, none of the above were available to me so I improvised with what was on hand, which included a pair of sewing scissors, a forked weed puller, a box cutter and a broken broom handle.

In order to best represent my ex-lover's head I therefore used:
  • Styrofoam Head (available locally from a Beauty Supply store or online through Amazon)
  • Sharp Knife
  • Tissue Paper, cut into 1-2" strips
  • White Glue and an equal amount of Water
  • Acrylic Paints and Brush
  • Cotton balls/batting 
  • Two Marbles
  • Halloween/Hillbilly Teeth
  • Hot Glue Gun 
  • Cardboard and Woodgrain Contact Paper (or Plywood) - apx 12"x15"
  • 5-6 long Deck Screws
  • Picture Hanger (optional)
  • Box Cutter Blade (optional)
  • Glossy Spray (optional)

Step 2: Carve the Scars of Death

In attempting to carve the scars that destroyed the ex-Mr. brain, I came to realize:

  • With limited function of the frontal lobe, successful termination requires great damage to the head. As a result styrafoam carving should focus primarily on capturing the essence of entrance wounds.  
  • I would've thought large entry wounds would have corresponding exit wound(s), but because none of my weapons exceeded 12" in length, it wasn't necessary to carve exit holes. 
  • I considered keeping the killing implements embedded in the trophy head, but because I may need to use them again, I ultimately decided against it.
  • In theory the soft passageway of the eye socket/ear canal provides the quickest access to the brain, but during my adrenalin moment, I found those areas difficult to target and the best I could do was to slash his neck and take out a chunk of his nose.  
  • Before his demise, my ex-soulmate had rotted teeth, bad eyes and oversized ears.  To fully capture my ex-luvbug's features I carved out those areas and in the next step built up the surrounding tissue with cotton.   Likewise, based on my swinging mop handle, my ex-man finally gained a strong chin and high cheekbones (albeit brusied and pooled with blood) which also required building up (versus carving out) areas with cotton.

Step 3: Build Up and Protect Facial Features

  • After stirring together a mixture of 75% white glue and 25% water (even less water is fine), add a few drops of flesh(?) tone paint.  
  • Next, dip a strip of tissue paper into the glue/paint mixture and with the help of a paint brush (or your fingers) start covering the foam head - - including all wound crevasses, eye sockets and ear canals. By using tissue paper (versus newspaper) unintended creases can be smoothed out, and the remaining texture will give the appearance realistic wrinkles and/or dessicated flesh.  
  • Due to the nature of  extruded (white) foam, tiny pellets of carved foam will attach to everything (especially cats with long hair!).   Vacuum them off as best as you can, and once the foam head is covered with the glue/water/paint/issue paper mixture they can be brushed off or kept to resemble adult onset whiteheads.
  • Since the foam head is not porous, the glue/water/paint/tissue paper will need time for the layers to dry.  I limited myself to only 2-3 layers, and let it dry overnight before adding more layers.   Note that the thicker the layers, the less realistic the skin will appear.
  • While a styrofoam head can capture carved wounds, it fails to reflect raised features such as an enlarged chin, puffy cheekbones, heavy browline, ear ridges, etc....  So after an initial glue/water/paint/tissue paper layer, attach small pieces of cotton to build up these areas, and cover again with a few layers of the glue/water/paint/tissue paper mixture.
  • Even after the glue/water/paint/tissue paper has dried to the foam, additional openings can be added/enlarged as long as they are recovered with glue/water/paint/tissue paper.
*The glue/water/paint/tissue mixture serves several purposes, including 1)helps keep the cut foam from spreading on everything, 2)shows areas where the foam is still exposed, 3)forms an underlying base for the trophy head, and 4)allows paint and hot glue to fully adhere.

Step 4: Add Teeth, Eyes and Bleeding Matter

  • Cut  Halloween/Hillbilly type teeth in half and trim off excessive gumline.  Use a hot glue gun to secure them into a carved mouth opening.
  • If you were unsuccessful in accessing the brain through the eye socket, a gob of hot glue can be placed in the carved eye socket and a marble can be secured on top of it.  Once adjusted in place, add more hot glue to surround the marble.  Additionally, to give the eyes a dead/cataract look add more hot glue over the recently cooled glue.
  • Hot glue is also added to the outside of open wounds to resemble weeping blood and brain matter.
  • To get the neck to lay against the wall mount at the correct angle, place a rubber band at the bottom edge of the front of the neck, and stretch it apx 5-6" from the bottom edge of the back of the neck. Once satisfied with the angle, trace the rubberband outline and saw away excess. 

Step 5: Let the Painting Begin...

Because flesh(?) tone paint was originally mixed with the glue/water/tissue paper, the foam head has an even color.  It's now time to give it an undead appearance by dabbing on pale colors with a sponge.  

Starting with a light green, add additional shades of grayish lavender, bluish pink, murky red, etc... until the head has the apperance of spoiled ground meat.  Once dry, dab grey and bloody red paint onto the high spots that were formed by earlier gluegun gobs to resemble escaping blood and brain matter.

Once satisfied with a splattering of putrid colors, take the dried form outside and spray with a glossy polyurethane finish (optional).

Step 6: Build the Wall Mount

  • Create a shape for the wall mount from cardboard and covered it with wood grain contact paper (or better yet, plywood if you have access to power tools).
  • Trace the base of the neck on to the backside of the covered cardboard.  Still working on the backside, secure long deck screws within the traced area and attach the neck (of the foam head) to the front of the covered cardboard.   
  • As a final touch consider writing the fatal year that life was removed from your marriage onto a box cutter blade (preferably one used in the attack) and attach it to the front of the unit.  
  • Hang the completed trophy in a prominent spot with pride!

Be safe out there!


 

<p>If I was a bad guy breaking into your home and saw that. I would walk the (curse word) back out that window and fast!</p>
Wow....this is scary just seeing it on this site...I can't imagine seeing it in &quot;person.&quot;
Your very smart, I was going to do almost the same project but you beat me to it. I was going to take the same styrofoam head and use like modeling clay to do the same thing. Then I was going to enter it in the zombie contest but I would hate to be accused of copying and you would have beat me anyway so I'm not entering. Great job, I voted for you hope you win<br/>
Hey, since this wasn't exactly a tutorial, you should enter anyway. P.S. Use <a href="http://www.diypics.com/how-make-latex-fx-makeup/" rel="nofollow">fauxtex </a>instead of clay. It stay supple like real flesh.
Thank you for your kind words. I too had been planning on making this for several months and the zombie contest is exactly what I needed to get started on it. <br> <br>Feel free to enter your version...it would be great to see how it looks in clay!
That's pretty realistic coloring. Ugh.
Thats really awesome you have a great talent!
Thanks...my husband wasn't too happy but he'll get over it!
GREAT tutorial! I think I want to make the head coming out of the ground with hands showing, like a body climbing up from a grave. <br> <br>And the head idea is great for the skeleton I want to make.
Fun...I hope you'll consider documenting and writing up an instructable of it for their next Halloween contest!
sweet
...and decay proof! <br><br>Thanks for commenting!
never mind sorry for bothering you
good idea! but how do you enter the contest? every time i select the contest i want but i dosent have the vote thing :(
reminds me of the walking dead. cool instructible:) <br>
...great show! Thanks for the compliment. <br><br> :&euro; {ZOMBIE FACE}
I did this like twenty times for gag gifts I told my brother (because my dad was away on a business trip) that zombies got to him and we actually had a funeral it was a surprise to him when dad walked in the next day
ha...and i thought my brother was a fink (when he insisted that I was adopted and my parents were thinking about giving me back unless I gave him my allowance that week)
So voting it's creepy and scary but cool and disturbing at the same time
Ah ha...glad I channeled your inner creature feature. <br><br>Thanks for your vote!
Ewwwwww!!.....scary but cool
Perfecto...I consider both adjectives as compliments. Thanks!
Hilarious. Your i'ble is hilarious. You have my vote. <br>DDC
Thanks...I wanted to tell you yesterday that you got mine too but didn't want it to look like I was pandering for votes. Good luck!
sorry about your husband.........but then again it is kill or be killed........or is it decapitate ore be decapitaded? voted
Yeah...my feelings exactly (except for the condolences). <br> <br>Besides, he was starting to smell and I was getting tired of killing flies. <br> <br>Thanks for the vote!
sorry about your husband.........but then again it is kill or be killed........or is it decapitate ore be decapitaded? voted
I would love to do this. I also had the idea of clay. My mom was a taxidermist for many years. You take a mold of let's say a deer. It doesn't come with all the muscles and vanes look. So you have to recreate them with clay. And on top of that my wife wants to be a forensic anthropologist. So I was thinking about using the same techniques they do with depth pegs to get the skin and flesh just right. If you use fake skulls I would do this with that.
Wow...I would love to see a taxidermy or forensic version of an instructable!
Nightmares tonight!!!!! This is sooooo creepy! Thanks for sharing.
Good deal...my life is complete!
this is the most gross and disgusting and unholy thing in the UNIVERSE I love it the for a great instruct able you got my vote
Haha...that is ABSOLUTELY the BEST comment I've ever received for ANY instructable!!! (I especially love the unholy part!). <br><br>Thanks for putting a big smile in my heart :-D
Wow... Real gruesome looking? Voted!
Ha - glad to have grossed you out. Thanks for your vote!
That is awesome. Voting...
Awww...thanks for sharing and I'm glad you liked it!
I'm doing this on Halloween. We are putting them on pointy poles in the front yard.
I do something similar at Halloween with skulls on stakes. Even tho each is made from the same paper m&acirc;ch&eacute; form, once painted no two look alike. Have fun!
Cause that is not creepy at all.....
Well...i guess that's good because after all, this is a family friendly site
I like this a lot! Great idea and execution!
It was lots of fun to make because I had no idea what he was going to look like when I finished. Thanks for your enthusiasm :-D
wow! That's orrible! I m going to vote for you!
Glad you found it disturbing. Thanks for your support!
@ shanemwarren it is creepy

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Bio: ...after 30 years of becoming corporately numb, my dreams of not working (for pay) and instead creating with my hands has become a reality. Life ... More »
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