How to Build a Human Skull


Although you might think having a human skull sitting around your house could prove just a bit creepy, you can still craft one out of clay that accurately captures every nook and cranny without looking so real that it scares the neighbors. Build a model of the human skull for a science class project or craft one as a Halloween party decoration. Regardless of the reason or the season, your bare bones endeavor is sure to leave an impression.

Things You'll Need

  • 25 to 30 lbs. polymer clay
  • Plastic scalpel
  • Straight edge
  • Pens
  • Roll your clay into a round ball the same size as the skull you want to make. Add more clay to make the skull larger or remove some to make it smaller. Keep rolling the clay until the surface of the ball is smooth.

  • Roll the clay ball until you start to form an egg shape. Focus on rolling one side of the ball more to build the egg shape. Rotate the shape so the tip of the egg points toward you.

  • Place your fingers on either side of the shape and press into the clay. Shape the indentations that will become the skull's cheek bones. Flatten the clay surface between the indentations to begin building the area for the nasal opening and teeth.

  • Turn the shape so either the right or left side faces you. Flatten out the area where the back of the head and jaw will meet, building a shelf-like shape. Place the front of the skull so you're facing it. Carve the outlines of teeth in the lower half of the flattened area with a plastic scalpel. Detail both the lower and upper teeth so each tooth is outlined.

  • Cut a triangle into the flattened area just above the teeth to make the nasal opening. Dig out the shape to form a shallow impression.

  • Find a tool or object with a round shape that approximates the size of the eye sockets you prefer, such as ballpoint pens with the caps still on for smaller skulls. Push the tool softly and slowly into the clay. Form the clay around the object to build the ridge around the eye socket. Remove the round tool when you're happy with the shape and placement. Repeat with the other eye socket. Smooth down hard edges and cracks with your fingers until you're happy with the overall shape and appearance.

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  • Photo Credit skull image by vb_photo from
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