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
I did a quick and simple (not to scale) version using the PiscArt smartphone app for Android. Three mean-face selfies on a white background, blend pics, trim with scissors, place in a gallon size Ziploc bag, add water.
<p>How did you do it on picsart please, I've downloaded it but cant figure out how to blend it like you did, thanks Lisa</p>
It's been a while but I think there's a feature called &quot;add a picture&quot; from there you can adjust the transparency where the pictures intersect.
<p>cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllll </p>
<p>Even with simple apps the effect is still good! I hope you scared some folks with your head inside the fridge :)</p><p>Thanks for sharing pictures, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>ahahaha. super super great idea for Hallloween!</p>
<p>hell yeh!</p>
<p>I just put it in the fridge, eeeeee! Cant wait for the chef to come cook lunch, HA!</p>
I've been planning to do this for.a long time and finaly got to it before the jewish festival of purim ?. I used contact paper to protect the photo but had no way to seal it, so now I have mold growing over my face...
<p>I actually prefer it with the water damage to the photo, it looks authentic!</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your version of head in a jar, enjoy the Pro Membership.</p>
<p>Ola boa</p>
<p>Fun, will refine it, still offering Pro?</p>
<p>Ha, looking good. </p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Oh my gosh now I have a great idea for next Halloween! Bookmarked!</p>
<p>Thanks for the gift mikeasaurus, sadly I'm not up to putting a light under water just yet. But with the help of the Instructables community I'm confident that will change. As the Supervising SGT. I did the read-out with the jar on the lecturn to the amusement of the nightshift. Sadly, due to a strict media policy i can't post any pictures of us in uniform.</p><p>thanks again mikeasaurus.</p>
<p>I had this on my desk at work over Halloween. It freaked the cleaners out so much I had to put it away. It's making a guest appearance for Friday the 13th, November. I don't think having a bald head works as well, but hair on my head just isn't going to be happening.</p>
<p>Looks amazing! And, is that a light inside, or just ambient glow?</p><p>I wouldn't sweat the details about hair, people see the big idea first and that's usually enough. Glad it worked out for you, hope you can scare someone again today!</p><p>Thanks for sharing your picture here, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>these always make me <strong>sick</strong> ~ that's why i LOVE them!! <strong>x^)</strong></p>
<p>That is to cool</p>
<p>Worked pretty well for a headless man costume! People kept stopping to take pictures.</p>
<p>How do you get that backlit eerie glow in the jar? Anyone else have any ideas on that part please </p>
<p>I made 2 of these and found plain green food coloring works great. I also did a blue and it's not bad either. I used clear containers I had. If you use the wadeface provided, this is a 5 minute project but the results look like you spent much more time. </p><p>I can hardly wait for my grandson to open the refrigerator!</p>
<p>You can put the photo in a water tight bag. Then fill the jar with tonic water. it will glow under a black light. You can also use a liquid of choice and add vitamin B2 to it for the same effect. </p>
I used some inexpensive submersible led lights I got on amazon. It was a hit, and the light really helped the costume stand out while walking around in the dark.<br><br>here's something that would work - http://www.amazon.com/Submersible-Battery-LED-Lights~WHITE~wedding~tea-Light/dp/B000VUNXEY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1446222946&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=submersible+led+lights
<p>Whoa, that costume is PERFECT!</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your costume, Enjoy the Pro Membership.</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>excellent r&eacute;sultat</p>
<p>Ha, that face is perfect!</p><p>Thanks for sharing your picture, Enjoy the Pro Membership.</p>
<p>I screwed up and left his collar on but it still turned out pretty cool... I'm going to do one taking a pic of the back of the head and print it on 11x17 paper... :)</p><p>I used water and some left over coffee...</p>
<p>Gory, and the brains are a great touch!</p><p>Thanks for sharing your picture, Enjoy the Pro Membership.</p>
<p>awesome, thanks for posting!</p>
<p>Its weird but looks good .</p>
<p>This was GREAT instructable for a quick to make prank since u were soooo nice to share ur pic. I put my work at eye level and in your face when u open the left fridge door. Sorry about the glare from interior light-photographer I'm not. Thanks again!!!</p>
<p>Where did you find this jar?</p>
<p>That jar came from Walmart and was originally a bulk purchase of sweet pickle chips. I haven't looked to see if they still have the glass jars in that size. It seems that plastic has become more prevalent. If not, I would try Sam's Club next. The glass is must soooo much better for the laboratory feel...</p>
<p>Update: Yes, they ARE Currently available at Walmart (at least in Central FL) complete with whole Kosher Dill Pickles for $5.22 a jar.</p>
<p>Being at eye-level, I hope it scared someone :)<br>Enjoy the 3-month Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Oh, it certainly did...bwaaahahahaha. &quot;Wade&quot; is positioned where cold beer traditionally sits...not what any of my empty-handed friends expected. Maybe next time they'll bring their own...teeheehee And thank you for the Pro membership! Bonus!!</p>
<p>The result are truly exceptional! If he sees a funeral director .... copy your idea!</p>
<p>brilliant, I absolutely love this.</p>
<p>I'm glad you offered up yours, because I have serious doubts that I could have figured all that out! Never used photoshop or anything of the like before. Thank you</p>
<p>That was absolutely great! I love the vid with the kids at the end. Thanks for such a good idea and excellent presentation.</p>
<p>Made this last year and doing again this year. A crowd favorite! Jar is from the Container Store; it's perfect.</p>
<p>You have an excellent dead-face :)</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your head in a jar, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>It worked out really well. People were really freaked and loved it. Thanks for the awesome idea. </p>
<p>Looks great, and that green color is really creepy.</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your head in a jar, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>This is such a great idea and love all the pictures posted in the comments. Has anyone tried smaller jars, like mason jars? (with different photo specs)</p>
<p>What about having a jar in a jar so the print is protected from the water?</p>

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