Laurie Coulter

Nineteenth-Century Apple Doll Head

Caution: If you haven't used a paring knife before, please ask an adult or teenager to help you make your shrunken head.

You will need: a medium or large apple, lemon juice, salt and the root end of a leek for hair.


  1. Slice off the root end of a leek and allow to dry.
  2. Peel the apple.
  3. Cut a U-shaped line for the nose with a paring knife.
  4. To make the nose, cut wedges out around the U-shaped line.
  5. Cut pieces out for the eyes and mouth. Add ears if you like. Slice a piece off the top to make a smooth area for the leek hair.
  6. Fill a bowl with water. Add about 2 tbsp salt and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Soak the apple head for about 5 minutes.
  7. Dry the head on a rack. It will take several weeks for the head to dry. Apples dry best in a heated room in the winter or fall. Summer humidity can produce a moldy apple rather than a dried one.
  8. When the apple head has dried completely, glue on the leek hair.

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