Head in a jar prank

Picture of head in a jar prank

Hungry? Scare those fridge-bound famished food foragers with a head in a jar!

Using a photo editor, two pictures are blended together to create flat image of a head, which is then laminated and submerged in a jar. When the flattened image in inserted into the curved jar, along with the distortion from the water, gives the illusion of a decapitated head in a jar of preserving fluid.

Here's what you need to make your own:

  • Photo editing software
  • Large jar
  • food colouring
  • printer + access to lamination service (local print/copy store)

Making your own head in a jar is easy, but requires some photo editing skills. I've included a tutorial on how I made mine, and took me about 30 minutes to compose. Personalizing this prank will make it more effective. But, if you're not a pro with photo editing, you can download my flattened head image below.

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Step 1: Take photos + import

Picture of Take photos + import

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.

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. 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.

Step 2: Adjust levels + align images

Picture of Adjust levels + align images

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, nose all aligned). Almost all photo editors have a ruler function, these help keep things true.

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SpooktBlueOne7 months ago

Trying to find a damn large jar in UK. They're useless only sells 2.5litre!?

Wish I could order from US!

At Super Store there are big jars with huge pickles in them. Hope you like pickles :)

Use a pickle onion jar? That's what I'm going to do x

Better yet…..go to “” and search “Glass jar”…and order from them….Good luck! I love this idea…..

If you pay for the jar and the shipping, I will send you one.

what about ebay or amazon?

You could always use one of the smaller ones and make a shrunken head thing!

or the head of a young child.

fjdasilva9 hours ago

Great Idea!!!

skippymcgraw20 hours ago

Forget Photoshop.

If you want a quick and easy way to do this, just use the panorama feature on your phone. Hit the start button on the panorama with your head turned to the left and then move your head at an even speed until it's looking right and press stop. Captures it perfectly.

FerdB made it!1 month ago

here's MY head in a jar. instant iced tea for the "solution".

lab head in a jar.jpg

This is so cool!!!

Hi Ferd - I am trying to make a library of heads in a jar and I would like to add yours. Would it be possible to send me your picture? If so, please send it to me at Thank you for your consideration. Robert

Oops. I just read your response to CaiCaiLiy.

Can you upload the file here as pdf or jpeg so I can use it?

Hey Lily...Sorry because...

A) I've not been around to reply and

B) I simply rolled my face along the glass on the photocopier 'til I got it right and I don't have a file to send : ^ ( Otherwise I'd be GLAD to have you use my face!

mikeasaurus (author)  FerdB1 month ago

The squished face is a nice touch, and I like the iced tea look.

Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the patch and 3-month Pro!

FerdB made it! FerdB1 month ago

a bit better, though darker, view...more of a 3D effect (and you can almost see my ear). Sorry it's dark, but lower light means fewer reflections on the glass.

lab head in a jar2.jpg
fc77112 days ago
This is brilliant.
Can someone make this photo for me and how much u will charge plz need for my Halloween wedding
Are you still needing help? Email I do photo editing.

or search for a zombie photo like the one I posted

McDaigo made it!7 days ago

This was a really easy Halloween decoration! We made a chicken wire ghost for the yard and put the printed head (thanks Mike!) in a bottle with a handle. Now it looks like we have a floating lantern in the yard with a head in it. I love this project!

head in a jar.jpg
mikeasaurus (author)  McDaigo7 days ago

Spooky addition with the light; I like it!

Thanks for sharing your results. Enjoy the Pro Membership

michael.delire made it!8 days ago

My project is soon done :)

mikeasaurus (author)  michael.delire7 days ago

Nice work, it looks good. Share a picture when you stuff that head in a jar! Don't forget to hit the "I made it" button.

magsrootz12 days ago

Is anyone willing to create these images for me? If I send you the necessary pictures can you create the final image? I can pay you for your work. PayPal works if you are willing, I have a Halloween party I want them for on the 24th. I just am frustrated with trying to figure out the program, so if you are interested please let me know. I need 12 total.

YES I AM interested and do this stuff for work all the time. please let me know.

Can u do this picture and how much would it be
Hi David, I'm looking for 12 photos total by 24 October, please include email and cost your looking at also I can pay through PayPal.

hi magsrootz, i'm willing to help. can you email me at thanks

Hi David, I am looking for 12 photos to be made before a Halloween party on the 24th. I can send you what you need if you give me your email address. Can you tell me what kind of price you are looking for, and if I can pay you through PayPal? thanks.
Happy to help with pics.
Can I have your email? I will forward you a few to get started and work on getting the rest today. What kind of price did you have in mind?


if anyone is willing to help with the pic editing pls can u email me at and i will send u the pic i need

thx so much to anyone who emails me

pls don't reply to this comment and label the email "Halloween Jar Pics"

thx so much!!!

magsrootz15 days ago

can you tell me what photo editing program you are using? Nothing I have can crop the pictures that way. Thanks!

It is Adobe Photoshop.

I've tried to get the two images so I can merge them but can't figure it out. How do I add the images so I can print as you did.

magsrootz, take a front and profile pic of yourself, create a layer (3 total) for all the images, copy, paste the profile image and then reflect it, then place the two profile images on either side and blend them together, i'm sure there a lot of tutorials online on blending in photoshop, it should be pretty easy, i hope this helps.

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