Brain in a Jar

The Brain in a Jar made for the July 2009 Mad Lab Contest ( SEIs (Simple Every Items): Tubing, Planter Bucket, Towel


The brain in a jar is a staple in any Mad Scientist. The base is hollow allowing for dry ice and a colored light to be placed in it to ramp up the creep factor.


  • Two water bottles
  • Wire
  • Towel
  • Tubing
  • Planter Bucket
  • Cheese Puff Bucket
  • Plastic Bowl Lid
  • Newspaper
  • Paper Mache Paste


  • Wire Cutters
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint Brushes

Start by covering the bottles with newspaper and binding them together with wire. Then make two little ovals built up paper balls for the side of the brain. Hot glued into place. Use Wire for the optic nerves leading to a balls of paper for the eyes.

After that build up with papier mache clay to form the convolutions in the brain. (Sorry for the bad picture here.)

Make the brain stem was made by taking a towel, shredding it, and using PM clay to make vertebrae.

If your planter pot has a gap on the underside lip, fill it with PM clay.

Paint the brain, brain stem, planter pot, and plastic bowl lid black, then dry brushed white

Use clear plastic tubing to give a look of IV’s going into the brain, these can then act as hanging support for the brain once placed in the jar. Different paint mixes can be sucked up the tube then blown out to give them different colors. Puncture the brain with wire and stick the tubing over it. A corkscrew wire will help to attach the towel shred end of the brain stem to the bottom center of the brain.

Once the tubes and brain stem are in place final assembly can. This is simply putting a wire across the top of the cheese puff container that acts as a beam to tie the tubing to.

Here are some final images, in the last shot I put some dry ice in the planter to give a gassy haze effect inside the jar. I had trouble loading flash into this blog so if you click here to see a 360 view (note: it takes a couple of seconds for all of the images to load, just mouse over the images to rotate it)


One Response to “Brain in a Jar”

  1. I love this! My next costume is going to include something like this.

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