Milk Jug Skulls

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About: My wife and I have a home haunt called Terror On 20Th....I love to build props...everything from a casket to pneumatic monsters! I am also a presenter, speaker and course teacher at Halloween conventions.

These skulls are made with the gallon size milk, water or ice tea jugs! The plastic jug is melted and shaped over a master skull.

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Step 1: Tools Needed

To get started on this fun project there are some things needed.

A RESIN master skull...found on Ebay.

Good heavy gloves

Heat gun

masking tape

hot glue gun with glue sticks

sponge

scissors, razor knife

regular screw driver

bowl of ice water with a towel

plastic gallon size milk jugs!!

Step 2: Master Skull & Stand

1. I use a resin skull, this one has the removable jaw. I made the stand with some scrap wood and a section of PVC...I drilled a hole through the bottom of the skull but it can just be glued onto the pvc. This stand makes all of the difference!

2. I added some fiberglass matting to the back and top of the master skull to help "beef up" the rear of the skull as we will be cutting off the plastic when it's done.

Step 3: Prep the Jug

Cut the handle off of the jug.

Place the jug over the skull with the long part covering the face as shown.

Step 4: Start Making the Skull

Using the heat gun on HIGH, 1st heat up the decals and peel off. This should only take a few seconds

In a circular motion hold the heat gun about 3 inches above the top and keep moving the gun until the jug starts to turn clear.

With your gloves on, pull the soft jug down to take the shape of the skull.

Then heat up the plastic just under the cheek bone until clear and "tuck" in with your gloved hand...repeat on the other side...the jug is now "locked-in"

Step 5: Detail Work

Now we go back to the top...heat again until clear and now use a sponge dipped in ice water to push the plastic into place...do small sections.

Work your way to the forehead, then each side.

Heat up the area above the cheek bone until clear and push the sponge in, repeat on the other side.

Now do the same under the cheek bone on each side.

heat the mouth area over the teeth and press the cold sponge over the teeth to get the basic shape of the mouth.

Cut off the extra plastic under the mouth, be sure to leave about 1/2 inch extra to fold under the teeth and base.

heat the nose area, when clear push the sponge into it.

Heat the eye socket and push the cold sponge into the socket...don't push in to far or the plastic will tear. Repeat on the other eye.

heat the teeth section and using the cold sponge, fold extra plastic under teeth.

Now heat the teeth again but use a small screw driver to push in between the teeth and get some detail!

Step 6: Getting the Skull Off the Master

I use some heavy duty scissors and cut up the back of the skull, once at the top I cut a small V shape. Now the back of the skull will open....facing the skull pull the open back towards you...the skull should "pop" off.

Now use some tape and get the seams as close together as possible. Using the hot glue, glue from the inside. Cover the whole seam with a good bead of hot glue. Now peel off the tape once the glue has cooled.

Step 7: Time to Paint

First I use an ivory flat spray paint and spray a good coat inside the skull.

I use some flat black spray paint on all of the lower sections...eyes, nose, mouth and around cheek bone.

Using some paint thinner I soak a sponge and wipe off the excess paint...I use the sponge with a scrub side...be careful not to take to much off.

Last is a coat of flat interior latex paint...brown..I brush it on and using a water soaked rag I "blot" off the paint....once almost dry I take the sponge and clean off the teeth a bit!

Step 8: Finish

The skulls are super light...IF using them outside I suggest spraying a bit of expanding foam in them and toss in a handful of stones.

I like to attach the skulls in clusters...you can use the hot glue but I use zip ties and screws so they won't come apart! HAVE FUN!!

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129 Discussions

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JasonF205pharojim

Reply 7 weeks ago

Hair dryer doesn’t come close! Gotta get the plastic hot enough to turn clear for molding.

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tr0lldr0id

2 months ago

Someone here notes that a hairdryer should be hot enough; I was just wondering if really any good heat source could be used. I know that both hairdryers and heat guns are used to mold foam for costume armor, and in the past, I've used a heat lamp to do the same. Do you think that might do the trick here?

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JasonF205tr0lldr0id

Best Answer 7 weeks ago

I’ve only used a good heat gun, but you need to do small sections at a time so I’m not sure how a heat lamp would work.

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Kkstepp

Question 2 months ago on Introduction

Is the resin skull you used actually a full adult size? If so, could you please tell me which one you purchased? I've looked several places, and have only found smaller versions.

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KimberlyP90

2 months ago on Introduction

Ingenious! I like the idea of a stack of skulls on my porch in the corner! Super spooky! :D

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BrockGrimes

2 months ago

Wonder if these could be used as a mold for cement poured in?

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JasonF205BrockGrimes

Reply 2 months ago

I would think...but I'm not sure how much detail you will get with the teeth?

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rnjenny

2 months ago

These are the bomb!!! dang I wish I had a heat gun.

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time-killerrnjenny

Reply 2 months ago

You can get a heat gun at Harbor Freight for 10.00.

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JohnPageOttrnjenny

Reply 2 months ago

You can get a heat gun at Harber Freight for less than $10 if you watch for their coupon. They advertise them frequently.

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JP673staticfurball

Reply 2 months ago

It would depend on the size of the skull you’re using.

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BrunoR114

2 months ago

Great instructions!!! You made it look super easy!

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JimInRadfordVA

2 months ago

I made a few of these last year and am looking forward to making a LOT more this year.

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Docwayne72

Question 2 months ago on Introduction

Just wanted to clarify yournpainting, you spray the inside behind the eyes, nose and mouth. Then spray the outside of the teeth and then just wipe off the excess black on the teeth with a sponge and thinner? Then just some watered down brown paint on the rest of the skull? I’ve made a bunch but they painting part doesn’t look as cool as yours. Thanks

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JasonF205Docwayne72

Answer 2 months ago

YES!! I always paint 20 or so skulls at once. Sooo I first spray an off white inside the whole skull..you don't need much, I use the 2X rustoleum....then once dry, I spray outside with 2X flat black on the lower surfaces, eyes, mouth, nose and cheeks...I also "sprit" just a bit here and there so they aren't all the same. Just as it's dry to the touch I soak a sponge with a scrubby side in thinner and wipe off the excess black...I also take some time and "scrub" the teeth...don't take to much off....after all the skulls dry I use a latex interior flat wall paint (orange brown)...I brush it on all over the top surfaces...then while wet I wipe off excess with a damp dish towel....it takes practice not to wipe to much off! I keep a bucket of water handy and just keep soaking and wringing out the rag. Hope this helps

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AdamS569

Question 1 year ago

Roughly how long does it take to do the mold?