Pleasure in the Craft Section

Applehead Dolls coverApplehead Dolls for Pleasure and Profit

I am not sure which is creepier: the author’s expression or this particular craft. Actually, I didn’t know one could make an applehead doll. Is this a thing? If it is, it needs to stop right now. Can you imagine trying to sleep with these creepy apple people staring at you? And please, let’s be honest, the whole “pleasure and profit” in the title also adds a nice touch of innuendo.

I am adding applehead dolls to my list of creepy things right next to clowns and mimes. Let’s call it a hat trick of evil.




Selection of the fruit

The Eyes

Drying the head


  1. Wow – I haven’t heard of this craft in *years*. It fascinated me back then, but now it’s just…weird…Thanks for posting! ^_^

  2. I’ve seen applehead dolls in a few households during my childhood. I didn’t find them creepy. You know what I do find creepy? My mom’s nutcracker dolls that she puts out at Christmas. She thinks that’s hilarious.

  3. Hey! Applehead dolls are fun! Creepy, but fun. Maybe it’s a homeschooling thing. We made these during the art portion of a history lesson. Those little round headed pins make great blue or green eyes! They last for years. The apples dry out in the strangest ways, making the faces like old toothless people! Kids love them!

  4. In the ’70s, there was a toy kit that allowed you to make “shrunken heads” out of apples. Vincent Price did the commercials, As creepy as they turn out, that concept actually made sense. And kids were more into arts and crafts back then, so it was a smart way to get boys involved. It must have done well, because I remember the commercials running for several years, and many of my friends had it. Never could convince my parents to get it for me, though.

    1. I had that kit. It included a plastic ‘lampshade’ that you could hang the apple in and attach to a table lamp, this way the heat from the lightbulb would shorten the drying period.

  5. Mary, I think that you are exaggerating. You must be very young, to never had seen any of those apple head dolls. This was a popular craft in the 70 and 80 decades, Some people made them into witches riding brooms, and hung them by their kitchen windows. Some of the apple faces looked real, like very old people,( before botox). In a few years the Minions, and Pokemon’s characters probably will be seen as creepy.

    1. Truly never have (of course this could be the result of being an oblivious kid in the 60s and 70s) I didn’t really know/see any crafts beyond sewing,knitting, etc. I guess I had a sheltered childhood. 🙂

  6. I learned how to make them in girl scouts, which would probably have been the late 80s, or maybe I just read a book about them? Either way, my mom threw mine away before it finished drying because it was attracting fruit flies.

  7. Oh yes, these were very much A Thing. In the 1970s, they were one of the most popular hands-on educational crafts for kids. At least, popular with the teachers! Papier-mache (made out of newspaper and oatmeal paste) was big then too.

  8. My mother-in-law, of blessed memory, made applehead dolls representing herself and her husband — with her in her belly-dancing array and him in a floppy hat and flannel shirt. She had them up in her house in Vermont, and while they were away one winter a thief broke in and stole them along with much that was more valuable — antique crystal, etc. Fortunately, she had taken pictures of her things (including the dolls) and gave them to the state police. About six months later, the police chanced to execute a warrant on a man living about 50 miles away, and an alert officer recognized the dolls on his mother’s fireplace mantle. My MIL got most of her stuff back, dolls included!

    Do not mock the dolls. They have powers human beings were not meant to know,

    (True story, on my honor as a bibliophile!)

  9. I’ve seen apple head dolls at craft fairs etc. It reminds me of some craft advice I give: “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
    This author does look like she’s not using apples for the heads….. very creepy……

  10. Nobody else disturbed by the fact that she essentially says the rejects can be turned into Indians and squaws but those aren’t worth as much money?

  11. My grandmother had one of these in her house when I was growing up in the 70s.It wore a little old fashioned nightgown and sleeping bonnet and was actually very cute! This BTW is coming from someone who is not at all fond of dolls as an adult and truly despised them as a child, they mostly terrified me lol! But the little granny apple doll was one of the very few I ever liked or remember with any semblance of affection. I’d make a place for her on my shelf if I had her!!!!

  12. The museum in downtown Mayville, North Dakota, which is open on Sundays during the summer, I believe (haven’t checked the sign lately), has several of these horrifying-looking things. The faces are shriveled and black as coal. Lovecraftian!

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