I’ve served a Meat Head at my Halloween parties for at least the last five years. It never fails to impress (and distress!) my guests.

Project Steps

Start with a plastic skull.

Wash it well, and make sure it’s clean enough to eat off of. Because that’s what you’re going to do.

Congeal yourself some Jell-O in a big flat pan. Red flavors are best (I used green one year when Meat Head was a Vulcan).

Use only half the water the recipe calls for, to make the Jell-O nice and rubbery.

Cut the Jell-O into strips and patches about ¼” thick, and layer it across the skull. This makes an interesting bottom layer for your guests to discover.

Next, take strips of cold cuts and layer them across the skull. (A pound-and-a-half is plenty.) You don’t want to use too much, or else your guests won’t eat their way down to the Jell-O surprise that’s waiting for them!

It’s a ham Meat Head, which gives a Freddy Krueger complexion. It’s used corned beef, for the look of someone with their outer layer of skin peeled off, and turkey, for a nice zombie appearance. You’ll need to use strategically placed toothpicks to prevent the cold cuts from sliding off the head.

Add the eyes. I recommend pickled onions, for their pleasing translucency. The yolks of boiled eggs give a jaundiced look, with pupils made from sliced olives.

Cover the whole assembly with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until party time. (Be sure to warn housemates.)

it’s time for the magnificent midnight buffet! Remember to garnish Meat Head. He looks ever so much better served on a bed of green leaf lettuce, don’t you think?


This project first appeared in Make: Halloween Special Edition, page 69.