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