Appleheads—Fanciful Fall Folk Art

In October I carve appleheads. Appleheads are a pleasant way to spend an autumn afternoon, and help release creative energy in a mischievous way. Once made they will reach their peak after a few weeks, then they will slowly collapse inwards. It takes a long time, but it will happen—unless you find a way to permanently preserve them, suggestions for which I would be grateful.

Start with the biggest apples you can find, because they shrink quite a bit.

Peel the apple. Poke a sharp stick or pencil down the center, then remove. Tie a string to the stick and push through. Tie the bottom of the string to a little piece of wood.

Soak the applehead in lemon juice and salt for a few minutes to help prevent it from turning brown. Using whatever tools you have around, carve features into the apples. I like x-acto knives, nutpicks, other small blades.

Day 6. After you've finished carving the apples and they are well-coated with lemon juice, hang up in a dry place. Each day the features you cut into the apple will change dramatically as the fruit becomes desiccated.

Day 10

Day 12. When you like the way the faces look, you can decorate them. I like to use doll hair, bits of fabric, beads, etc. You can buy dolls for a quarter at a thrift shop and cut the hair off.

This is the stage where I would like them to stop shrinking!

Have fun, and feel free to ask questions!

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4 responses to “Appleheads—Fanciful Fall Folk Art

  1. Wow, I never heard of this before and it is a creepy wonderful, I like it! Great for the Halloween season. You are also way more artistic and creative than I am, my heads would look nothing like that as I am lucky I can draw a stick figure, sort of.

  2. Thanks! This is what happens when you’re allowed to play with knives at an early age. While I was making these I was thinking what a fun project this is for kids but they probably aren’t allowed to have sharp objects these days!

    The marks on the apple don’t have to be intricate because whatever is carved will shrivel up and look cool.

  3. Wow, those are really awesome. Fall is my favorite season!

  4. I envy artistic people …

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