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Picture of Milk Jug Skulls
jugs2.jpg
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These skulls are made with the gallon size milk, water or ice tea jugs! The plastic jug is melted and shaped over a master skull.

Step 1: Tools needed

Picture of Tools needed

To get started on this fun project there are some things needed.

A RESIN master skull...found on Ebay.

Good heavy gloves

Heat gun

masking tape

hot glue gun with glue sticks

sponge

scissors, razor knife

regular screw driver

bowl of ice water with a towel

plastic gallon size milk jugs!!

pharojim17 days ago
A hair dryer should be hot enough too.
JasonF205 (author)  pharojimyesterday
Hair dryer doesn’t come close! Gotta get the plastic hot enough to turn clear for molding.
tr0lldr0id9 days ago
Someone here notes that a hairdryer should be hot enough; I was just wondering if really any good heat source could be used. I know that both hairdryers and heat guns are used to mold foam for costume armor, and in the past, I've used a heat lamp to do the same. Do you think that might do the trick here?
JasonF205 (author)  tr0lldr0idyesterday
I’ve only used a good heat gun, but you need to do small sections at a time so I’m not sure how a heat lamp would work.
ReginaJ152 days ago
Oh how I wish I was crafty!!!!! these are AMAZING!
BobbyA13 made it!8 days ago
Made a bunch with the kids in my Makerspace. Doing a ton of Marvel themed ones in October.
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Kkstepp9 days ago
Is the resin skull you used actually a full adult size? If so, could you please tell me which one you purchased? I've looked several places, and have only found smaller versions.
KimberlyP9015 days ago
Ingenious! I like the idea of a stack of skulls on my porch in the corner! Super spooky! :D
ChuckM68 made it!17 days ago
I saw this last year and made about 50 of these bad boys. This year I'm going to paint them in a clear fluorescent sealer that glows under black light. It should be awsome.
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BrockGrimes18 days ago
Wonder if these could be used as a mold for cement poured in?
JasonF205 (author)  BrockGrimes17 days ago
I would think...but I'm not sure how much detail you will get with the teeth?
rnjenny18 days ago
These are the bomb!!! dang I wish I had a heat gun.
You can get a heat gun at Harbor Freight for 10.00.
You can get a heat gun at Harber Freight for less than $10 if you watch for their coupon. They advertise them frequently.

Can anyone give me a link to a good RESIN skull? I've ordered three different skulls from three different ebay sellers, and I keep getting plastic/vinyl hunks of junk that literally crumble to pieces after a skull or two. I could have just bought the real thing at this point.

I borrowed a cheap foam skull, made a negative mold using the silicone caulk/cornstarch method, supported it in a tub of sand, then made a positive skull using Cement-All (basically cement mix), sticking a piece of 3/4" PVC into the base as a handle. It's worked great for a bunch of skulls. I've made over 30 total, using two of these molds from two different foam skulls. Made some miniatures also. Also have cast some using expanding foam in the silicone molds, using Vaseline (messy) or spray silicone for mold release. Takes me about 7 minutes to make a skull from a milk jug.
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I bought two decent skulls from Michael's. They were $14 less a 20% discount coupon. I later found the exact same skulls at an Olde Time Pottery store for $5 here in Jacksonville, FL. The drawback is that the jaws are permanently attached, but they still made for good skulls. See my earlier post and photo.

JP673 ChuckM6818 days ago
Use a Dremel multi tool with the circular cutting disc to remove the lower jaw. Then a gentle sanding will get rid of any rough edges.

Did you contact the seller to receive your money back/ discount/ sending it back?

Here's another idea: search for one to 3d print on Thingiverse and use a 3d pritnting service to print it and mail it straight to your house.

kojis92 Yonatan2412 months ago

Did you have success with a 3D printed master? I'd be worried (def for PLA), that the low melting point, and infill density could be problematic?

ILykMakin kojis9211 months ago

"Did you contact the seller to receive your money back/ discount/ sending it back?"

You couldn't. I doubt the seller sold them with the intent of having a heat gun turned on them

Yonatan24 kojis9211 months ago

No experience, only a bit of knowledge.

If it isn't black PLA, and not in the sun, why would the low melting temp be an issue? It's not like wax, it's still hard plastic...

kojis92 Yonatan2411 months ago

Not really, the melting temp of PLA is reasonably less than HDPE, which was my concern, although the HDPE is shielding the PLA in this case. I have some scrap PLA pieces tho, so I'll test it. I can say I was able to make a reasonable skull copy from polystyrene.. I just can't seem to find any cheap skulls for a better cast.. despite the timing being just about perfect :(...

drdorward18 days ago
Great idea and explanation!
staticfurball2 months ago
Do you think 2liter soda bottles would work?
It would depend on the size of the skull you’re using.
BrunoR11418 days ago
Great instructions!!! You made it look super easy!
RH2118 days ago
Nice technique I must say but at the same time bizar chosing a skull as master and piling them up as in one of your pictures.
Ever been confronted with the cruelties of eg. khmer Rouge regime during the cambodian genocide and losing family members?
Wish you've chosen another subject as master.
I made a few of these last year and am looking forward to making a LOT more this year.
Docwayne7223 days ago
Just wanted to clarify yournpainting, you spray the inside behind the eyes, nose and mouth. Then spray the outside of the teeth and then just wipe off the excess black on the teeth with a sponge and thinner? Then just some watered down brown paint on the rest of the skull? I’ve made a bunch but they painting part doesn’t look as cool as yours. Thanks
JasonF205 (author)  Docwayne7222 days ago
YES!! I always paint 20 or so skulls at once. Sooo I first spray an off white inside the whole skull..you don't need much, I use the 2X rustoleum....then once dry, I spray outside with 2X flat black on the lower surfaces, eyes, mouth, nose and cheeks...I also "sprit" just a bit here and there so they aren't all the same. Just as it's dry to the touch I soak a sponge with a scrubby side in thinner and wipe off the excess black...I also take some time and "scrub" the teeth...don't take to much off....after all the skulls dry I use a latex interior flat wall paint (orange brown)...I brush it on all over the top surfaces...then while wet I wipe off excess with a damp dish towel....it takes practice not to wipe to much off! I keep a bucket of water handy and just keep soaking and wringing out the rag. Hope this helps
AdamS5691 year ago

Roughly how long does it take to do the mold?

I make them in about 10 minutes
JasonF205 (author)  AdamS5693 months ago
I can make one in under 30 min.
Dumbphone2 months ago
What an amazing idea and the results are fantastic. Wow.
WilliamG211 year ago

Awesome project. Are you able to substitute the heating gun with a hair dryer (set on high) to soften the milk jug plastic?

Hair Dryers are not hot enough and are dangerous running at full for long periods of time
JasonF205 (author)  WilliamG211 year ago

No!! MUST have a heat gun, and a good one!

Thank you.

You can get a cheap heat gun at harbor freight for around $15.

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