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:

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.

Step 1: 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

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.

Step 3: Crop profile

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 (picture 1) and delete the face (picture 2). Then, move the profile picture to one side of the portrait to match the location of the eyes (picture 3).

Step 4: Erase profile edge

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.

Step 5: Copy profile

With one side completed, make a copy/duplicate of the profile and paste 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.

Step 6: Merge and resize

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)

Step 7: Save file + print

After saving my image I printed it out. There should be an option in your print dialogue box that enables you to fill the page with your image, this will be "fit to media" or something to that effect.

When I printed mine it printed with a small white margin. Since I wanted just the image I used a paper cutter to trim off the white border.

If you want to use it I've included a PDF of my flattened head image below.

Step 8: Laminate

Since this image will be submerged it needed to be laminated so it wouldn't disintegrate. Most people don't have a lamination machine at home, but your local school, office supply store, library, or copy centre likely has one that you can use. Lamination costs about $1 a sheet.

Step 9: Prepare jar

You'll need a jar large enough to hold your picture. I got this 5 litre glass jar at my local hardware store for $15.

Filling the jar about halfway with water, I used a mix of yellow, orange, and green liquid food dye I tinted the water to resemble a preserving solution. Just like in the vintage science fiction movies.

Step 10: Put head in jar

Curling the laminated printout to fit through the jar neck the sheet was inserted, the jar was then topped off with water until full. The jar was then sealed. The head in a jar was now ready to be placed inside the fridge to prank hungry foragers.

Step 11: Place in fridge

Place jar into fridge. Maybe you hide it behind a few items so that a person has to be digging to find it, or maybe you leave it right up top to scare people as they initially open the fridge.

Since the solution reminded me of brine solution I decided to add a few hard boiled eggs to my head jar for fun.

Have fun scaring your friends with a head in a jar!

Have you made your own head in a jar? I want to see it!
Share a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and be awarded a 3-month Pro Membership on Instructables.com
Can anyone help me with this I'm looking at doing one of myself and one of my cats head, thanks very new user gav...
<p>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.</p>
Happy to help with pics.
Hi are you willing to help with making pictures again this year?
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?
<p>YES I AM interested and do this stuff for work all the time. please let me know. </p>
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.<br>Thanks!
<p>hi magsrootz, i'm willing to help. can you email me at atevhie@yahoo.com. thanks</p>
Are you willing to do these pictures again this year?
Are you willing to do these pictures again this year?
Can u do this picture and how much would it be
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.
<p>Is anyone who knows how to make these pictures willing to make some for me? I will pay you for each picture. I down loaded the program and tried myself but I cannot get it to look right. I am looking to have about 10 made for a Halloween party. </p>
<p>Hi wyld2006, when do you need those pictures? I can work on that. Here's my email address - atevhie@yahoo.com - Thanks</p>
<p>I wonder if I should stick a pair of... balls in it? ^^</p>
<p>What about having a jar in a jar so the print is protected from the water?</p>
<p>He said to laminate the print first.</p>
<p>Which doesn't render jtmcdole's question invalid.</p>
<p>But does render it irrelevant. It is of course possible, but would necessitate unrequired effort and the result would be sub par.</p>
<p>&quot;unrequired&quot; == &quot;optional&quot; effort if one doesn't have or care for laminating. You also have no standing to sugest it would generate sub-par results.</p>
<p>Keeping to being &quot;positive and constructive&quot;, look at in analytically: A jar has a much smaller mouth than a body. Wide-mouth jars will have a same-size or larger mouth than the base. To fit a jar in a jar, you must make the inner jar smaller than the outer jar...that's just physics. Thus, your &quot;head&quot; image will be smaller than a single jar alone. Further, you will be able to see both the inner jar and it's lid, breaking the illusion. Result: tiny head, in a jar, in a jar. Not a head-in-a-jar. Some of us have goofed around and have observed the real-world...which gives us some standing. Instead of whining about other commenters having no standing...just do it your way and post a picture. Not a proof, but a data point showing full-, partial-, or no success. Have fun with it.</p>
<p>Lol you guys are like having a buisness scientist argument thing</p>
<p>Just saw your question but I do know this - trapped air, whether in a bottle inside a bottle or jar will look almost like a mirror. Hence, it will look as though you set a mirrored jar inside the jar. </p>
<p>The thing that pulls this off, is the refraction of the water to air (well water to glass to air) if you put an air filled jar inside the jar, it would just look like a piece of paper in a jar in a jar :) laminators are dirt cheap if you don't have one, and the thing that makes the lamination work, is that there's no air between the plastic and paper.</p>
<p> Nice :)</p>
<p>Thank you for the brilliant tutorial, my daughter and I decided to take it to a different level...</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/N7qaQ0O1ebA" width="500"></iframe></p><p>and</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FJWe2phJ8wU" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>Ha! This is the best version I've seen yet. Very clever, thanks for sharing such a fun video. Enjoy the Pro membership!</p>
<p>Hi, thank you so much! We are both gonna have a lot of fun with that. How do I upgrade or does it happen automatically<br>Mike</p>
<p>Worked pretty well for a headless man costume! People kept stopping to take pictures.</p>
<p>This is really cool! Great idea :)</p>
<p>Great stuff! Love that eerie glow.</p><p>Enjoy the 3-month Pro Membership!<br></p>
<p>That is awesome</p>
<p>oh Gruesome! </p>
<p>How freaky is this! that man looks like me! great job though!</p>
<p>Here is a couple pictures from pre-Halloween night of my head in a jar. I put it on the &quot;floating table&quot; next to where I was handing out candy.</p>
Floating table?
<p>I made a table top from scrape wood and held it up with a single black post. The post inner layer is a pipe that is buried into the ground to provide the structure and the outer layer is to directs fog up to the table top and falls out around the edges. It looks good in the dark. </p>
<p>Yikes, that looks good on the table.</p><p>Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the 3-month Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Thanks, Mike! This was an awesome project for me and my daughter. This is what my wife will see when she gets home today (see photos). Thanks again!</p>
<p>You should film your wife's reaction, and upload it to http://www.iprank.tv. A lot of people will like this.</p>
Unfortunately, it happened back on Halloween and I didn't have my video camera ready. Here's to next year! :)
When your wife asks where the kid is, say last time I saw him he was in the frig
Good one! She did freak out when she opened the fridge on Halloween and saw the jar. It was classic. :)
When your wife asks where the kid is, say last time I saw him he was in the frig
<p>This looks so good, both in and out of the fridge!<br>I hope your wife is spooked when she comes home. I'd love to see pictures of the reaction if you can get them.</p><p>Enjoy the 3-month Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Hi, Mike!</p><p>She was certainly spooked. In fact, she said loudly, &quot;That's Creepy!&quot;. Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera in my hand to get her reaction. Thanks again for the great project, Mike!</p><p>Cheers,</p><p>Michael</p>

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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