First I peeled an apple, gave the peels to the neighbor's chickens, and then carved the face and set it in a little water to keep it wet. I did one apple at a time and aimed for a variety of face shapes, noses, mouths, eyes, and ears. See the photo for the knife I used. If your kids are doing it they can use a spoon. After they were all carved to my satisfaction I took them inside for a lemon bath. One of them I didn't care for, but they change so much while drying that for all I know, that one could turn out the best. I labeled each apple for what I think it will be best for, but that may change as they dry. I'm keeping an open mind.
I took a large bowl and put in about 4 cups of water and the juice of two small lemons. I dipped each apple. If you don't use lemon juice, the faces will turn very black over time. That is great if you want a primitive style, but I prefer mine much lighter.
I set them all on a baking sheet and realized they are still very round and roly-poly, so I took a flat slice off the back of each one so they'll lay flat. The back will be covered by hair or clothes eventually so it doesn't matter.
Now I have to read my own notes to find out how hot the oven should be. I don't want to make apple sauce; I just want them to dry out.
|lemons and paring knife|
|Ready for the oven (remove stems first)|
|Experimenting with a skeleton mouth|