How-To: Zombie Head in a Jar

Zombie 1

Halloween is almost upon us, so I wanted to make a spooky decoration for the frightening holiday.  I’ve seen a few versions of this craft online, but I gave it a zombie twist to celebrate the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead!  I was particularly inspired by The Governor‘s zombie head aquarium that was revealed in Season 3.

The Governor

Displaying a severed zombie head in your home is perfect for Halloween or if you just want to freak out your friends & family!  So to make your own “walker” in a jar, here’s what you’ll need:




Cardstock or Heavy Paper

Laminator (optional)



Plastic or Paper Bags

First you’ll need a jar.  Truthfully, it can be any size you want.  If you want to go more realistic, use a larger jar that’s the size of your head (about 5 gallons).  Or if you want a really strange effect, you can use a more narrow-shaped jar.  I got mine from Cost Plus but retail stores like Target or even thrift stores are a good place to look.

Glass Jar

Next, you’ll need to find your zombie image.  If you don’t have any walkers in your neck of the woods, you can find one online!  I found this zombie and it’s basically a flattened rendering of a 3D head. ( CLICK HERE to download the full size image.)  This is what I’d call a fresh faced zombie—he’s not 100% rotten but he’s on his way!  You can find more images like this by searching for a “3D face texture map”.

Zombie Texture

I recommend using cardstock or heavy paper to print out your zombie.  Ideally you’ll want the paper to be large enough to fill ¾ of the circumference of the jar.  This will give the head more of a 3D effect when it’s in the jar.  For my jar, I used an 11×17 piece of cardstock, and trimmed it down to about 7×17 to fit inside the jar.

You’ll also want to make sure your image is scaled to a realistic head size.  You can figure this out by measuring the distance between the eyes of your zombie.  Eyes are generally between 1-2 inches apart for most people.

Once everything is set up, print out your zombie.

Zombie Print Out

Then cut out around the shape of your zombie’s face.  Because of the shape of my jar, I also cut out 3 small v shapes at the top of his head.  This step is optional but I’ll explain more later.

cut out zombie

To make the paper more durable, I laminated the cardstock.


Now roll up the face and slip it into the jar.  Move the paper around to achieve the effect you want.

Folding Paper in Jar

This is where those v’s will come in handy.  Once the paper is inside the jar, bend the center v so that the forehead of your zombie slightly protrudes.  This will give it more a 3 dimensional look.

Folding V

Then stuff the jar with plastic or paper bags so that the picture remains flattened against the inside of the glass.

Plastic Bags

For a more hair-raising effect, you can use a wig or even human hair if you dare.  Place the hair in the jar and adjust it however you like.  The messier it looks, the better.  For those hard to reach places, use a screwdriver to move the hair around.


Close the lid…and you’re done!  This creepy décor will have your friends and family wondering what’s gotten into your head.

Front & Side Profile

✄ Happy crafting!  ✄

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset


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  1. December 9, 2013 / 12:35 am

    I just stumbled across your blog from a suggestion through Twitter… This DIY tutorial is awesome! I love the Walking Dead 🙂 I love your DIY section/blog too. Awesome stuff. You’ll probably be seeing a lot of comments by me, ha.

  2. Naomi
    August 26, 2014 / 9:00 pm

    I love this project! How much hair did you use per jar?

    • Jeni
      October 9, 2014 / 6:34 pm

      I had two hairpieces—one was a cheap, clip-in ponytail and one was a short-haired wig from a past Halloween. I cut off half of the ponytail and used that as the base of my zombie’s hairstyle. Then I cut additional pieces of hair from the short-haired wig. I used those pieces mainly on the front of his head. If you don’t have any hairpieces on hand, I also recommend doll wigs from the craft store! Good luck and thank you for checking out my post! 🙂

  3. Deborah Ashenfelter
    August 30, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    Just fell in love with your post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Damon Person
    October 15, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    This is Awwwwwesome thanks for the tip 🙂 You rock!

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