Last summer the oldest country kid really wanted to whittle. BUT, at age six I was not about to give him a pocket knife and send him on his merry way. Heck at seven I think I trust him even less to have one! Sorry, but MY child is not ready for that kind of responsibility. Alas he found other ways to whittle, like using a nail on wood… any piece of wood he could find. So I decided to let him whittle….. with a butter knife! I know, not quiet what the boy was dreaming of, but in the end I got no complaints with this project, carving a head from an apple.
Now, not ever having done this before, we learned a few things along the way for the next time we make these. Like? Well I only peeled half the apple for him to make his face on. As you will notice, we did get some “fuzzies” on our apple during the drying process because it started to mold before it could properly dry out. Next time, I learned FULLY peel the apple so the moisture can get out.
We set to work carving a face into the apple. Your imagination is your only limit. But try to keep the depth of all the work even so it dried uniformly. And keep in mind, tiny details can shrivel up into nothing…. so don’t go getting all detail crazy. Once your apple is finished being carved, hang it to dry. You can use a a unbent paper clip to form a hook and some string to hang your head with.
Now you wait, which was hard for the oldest country kid. It takes about three weeks for the head to fully dry out and shrink. It is fun however to watch the process and changes over time. Since ours got fuzzy, we just used them as Halloween decorations. But if you get your apple head fully dried out, you can take this fun project a step further.
Back in the early days, before toy stores, many children fashioned their own toys. Apple head dolls were one of those toys! Once your apple head is dried out, you can use an old coat hanger wire to fashion a body. Leave a “neck” to stick your head onto, which you will want to cover in clear varnish to prevent molding. Cover the wire body with old strips of cloth and you have a wonderful old fashion toy to be proud of.