October 28, 2012

I don’t know if words can even describe how proud I am of today’s DIY tutorial. It’s just in time for Halloween, and it is sure to be a hit at your ghoulish gatherings. May I present to you…Meat Head: A Halloween DIY Tutorial…

He’s oddly cute yet terrifying, and is the perfect centerpiece for your Halloween party table.

One of the great things about Meat Head is that he is pretty easy to assemble, and you can put him together for only a few dollars – you can’t beat that! Actually, almost all of the ingredients for this project came from the dollar store (or were already in my home)…

Meat Head


Plastic skull

1 package jello (red in color: I used strawberry)

1/2 lb lunch meat ham, sliced thin

2 cocktail onions

2 black olive slices


Lettuce, for garnish

Plate/tray for display


1. Begin with a plastic skull. I found mine at my local dollar store. Wash the surface thoroughly with soap and water – Meat Head is technically edible, so you want to make sure he is clean enough to eat off of!

2. Prepare the jello in a clear 9×13″ pan! I used a box of strawberry jello, but any red color/flavor will do. I prepared the jello according to the package directions, but used only HALF of the water as instructed. You want your jello layer to be sticky so it will adhere to the plastic skull. My jello was about 1/4″ thick in the pan; the thicker the jello, the harder it will be to stick on to your skull!

Now, you sit and wait for your jello to set in the refrigerator…

3. Meanwhile, you can take this optional step to help you with the jello laying process. Wrap the plastic skull as tightly as possible with plastic wrap. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but attempt to get the face portion as smooth as you can.

4. Use a permanent marker to outline the eyes, nose, and mouth of the skull (the portions of the skull that you will want uncovered). This outline will help when you slice the jello to lay on top of the skull. Unwrap the skull, smooth out the plastic wrap, and place the wrap underneath the clear glass pan with the prepared jello.

5. Use a sharp knife to slice pieces of the jello out of the glass dish and place directly on the plastic skull (which you should now have sitting on the plate/tray you will be using for presentation). I used the larger slices for the large areas on top of the skull, and used my “guide” to slice smaller, hard to fit pieces (like the ones around the eyes/nose/mouth). The jello arrangement does NOT have to be perfect, so don’t worry about fitting slices together like puzzle pieces. When you’re finished, Meat Head should look a little like this: pretty scary already, right?

6. Next, place the lunch meat slices on a cutting board and slice into thick strips. I worked one slice at a time – slicing and placing firmly to form the meat to the shape of the skull. You’ll need to spend a little more time on the areas around the face (eyes, nose, mouth) to make smaller cuts that will allow the hollows not covered with jello to show. Work piece by piece to cover the entire skull in a few layers of ham, making sure to cover all of the areas with jello on them. If needed, use toothpicks to hold ham slices in place.

7. When your Meat Head is fully covered with ham slices, it is time to finish him with garnishes! For the eyes, take a cocktail onion, pierce with a toothpick so about 1/4″ of the toothpick is sticking out the top (I had to break my toothpick in half to make it short enough), and hang a slice of black olive on the toothpick to create the pupil. Place the eyeballs in the eye sockets of the skull.

8. Arrange lettuce leaves around the base of Meat Head to make him more presentable. Place directly on your Halloween party table. If you aren’t using Meat Head right away, wrap him gently in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator. Just make sure to warn any house guests about the scary surprise they might find staring at them from the fridge! Or don’t…it is Halloween after all!

Meat Head can be left alone as a scary centerpiece, but he is technically edible! Your guests can feel free to peel layers off of Meat Head to eat on a cracker…and they will discover the “bloody” surprise underneath the meat as they do so. I used ham for my Meat Head, but you can also use other lunch meat varieties to create different looks. Next time, I am going to try using corned beef for a more jagged, shredded look.

There are so many more amazing and fun recipes on the menu for our Trick-or-Treat #SundaySupper Halloween Party: make sure you check them out for some inspiration!

Bewitching Brews:

Ghoulish Gruel:

Haunted Snacks:

Spooky Sweets:


So – what do you think? Will you be creating your own Meat Head for Halloween this year? Have you made any scary centerpieces before?

83 Responses to “Meat Head: A Halloween DIY Tutorial for #SundaySupper”

  1. Kim says:

    This is amazing! I found a similar one on Hostess with the Mostess, but I like yours even better. The red jello is a creepy surprise. I’ll definitely be trying my hand at a “meat head” for our party this weekend :)

  2. This. Is. Awesome. Also, I am now craving ham.

  3. Alyssa says:

    So gross, but so cool! Love how it turned out!

    The Glossy Life

  4. This is so very scary – brilliant!

  5. Susan says:

    Oh my gosh! Meat head is so cute and so lurid! I love him/her!

  6. Megan says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Mr. Meat Head!

  7. Kristie
    Twitter: mypaperlife

    Creepy but quite cool!

  8. edith pilaff says:

    I can’t tell you how fabulous this is!
    The kids are going to love it!
    Thank you, :)

  9. […] Here's a Halloween party food idea that is very impressive, and also super gross: a meat skull appetizer plate! For those of you who like your Halloween parties more on the creeptastic side, this Halloween craft is for you! And when you see what the dollar store component is, you'll be all "why didn't I think of that?" This great idea is from Ruffles and Truffles: [how to make a Halloween meat head skull] […]

  10. Tammi says:

    That is a pretty creepy centerpiece! Love it, great imagination! Happy #SundaySupper!

  11. […] Meat Head – Ruffles & Truffles […]

  12. […] Meat Head – Ruffles & Truffles […]

  13. Heather @girlichef
    Twitter: girlichef

    Oh my gosh – this is so much fun, I LOOOOVE IT! I’m gonna have one heckuva halloween party with all of the fantastic ideas I’m seeing today =)

  14. Tara Noland says:

    Now that is ghoulish grub. Love it, very creative!!

  15. Oh my gosh. I think this is the best Halloween party treat that I’ve ever seen! LOOOOVE meathead!

  16. I know I already commented on Mr. Meat Head but I have to say hello again :) I love him so much!

  17. this is so creepy but so cool! Fantastic!!

  18. […] Meat Head – Ruffles & Truffles […]

  19. Wow, this is awesome, you should be proud! Happy Sunday!

  20. Bea says:

    How frightening!!!! Perfect for the Halloween Party Centerpiece :) Your tutorial is fantastic! Congratulations and thank you for sharing this scary meat head!!!

  21. Renee says:

    I have to say that is the most awesome use of jello and deli meat I have ever seen! I think it would be great in the center of an antipasto platter as well.

  22. sunithi says:

    Ooh ! This is so craetive. Would make a great centerpiece :) Edible too ! Ingenious !

  23. OK is it possible to be creepy and cute? I love this idea!!

  24. I think the ham is perfect–it really looks like blood soaked bandages! Creepy!

  25. Hezzi-D says:

    That skeleton is seriously creepy with the bloody flesh!

  26. This is super creative and fun! You did a really great job…

  27. Okay, this is genius. I love it! Happy Halloween.

  28. You had a lot of fun with this!! Thanks for sharing such a fun, creative idea. This goes way beyond “uh, waiter, there’s a bug in my salad” :-)

    • Katie says:

      I was really hoping to scare my husband with it in the fridge, but alas, I only succeeded in scaring MYSELF when I would forget he was in there and opened up the door!

  29. I’ve been wondering how this would look since you shared with me it was sliced ham. It’s better than I imagined! It’s looks great!

  30. That is seriously GHASTLY but also awesome in it’s own rite! Holy cow!

  31. Laura Hunter says:

    This is very creative, freaky but very creative.

  32. Patti says:

    How creepy and creative!

  33. Sarah says:

    This is such a great DIY project! Perfect center peice for a Halloween Party!

  34. Carla says:

    This would make an awesome centerpiece! I’m not sure if I would want to eat him though LOL poor meat head

  35. Katy says:

    A ghoulishly brilliant Halloween centrepiece! Love it!

  36. Very scary Katie! I’m going to hide in my closet now!

  37. Susan says:

    Very cute! Great for any Halloween party.

  38. OMG, I love this!!! Not sure I would want to eat “Meat head” but dude- this is AWESOME for the table!!! I love this and loved your step by step tutorial! :)

    • Katie says:

      Haha – I think that ended up being the general consensus – no one wanted to eat him…he was too magnificent (or scary?)! That’s ok though…he was a great centerpiece!

  39. Liz
    Twitter: thatskinnychick

    This is SO cool! What a great party idea! I can see my hubby and boys peeling away the layers of skin without a care…but I might be too creeped out…LOL.

  40. […] Meat Head – Ruffles & Truffles […]

  41. What a spooky treat!!! My boys would flip if they I put this on the table…a must try for me!

  42. This is just so cool! Love how over the top and perfect it is for Halloween!

  43. Kim Bee says:

    Disgustingly cool. I love this idea. It’d be wicked for parties.

  44. - says:

    […] DIY Meat Head Tutorial from Ruffles and Truffles here. Layer jello, meats, etc… on to a Dollar Store plastic skull. […]

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