Earth head in a crowd

How to: make your own protest prop

Ever wondered what to wear to a protest? Placards, props and your protest wardrobe can all help communicate what you really care about. Ahead of the Global Climate Strikes, why not spend a "crafternoon" or two making your very own sad Earth head.
  Published:  20 Aug 2019    |      1 minute read

Not only are Earth heads a great photo opportunity (you may have spotted them in the media following the Anti-Trump protests), they also make you much easier to spot in a crowd. 

Before you start, make sure you've left yourself plenty of time as they'll take several days to dry. 

Step one

Get a beach ball or big round balloon – though adapt size accordingly if you're making one for a child. As you can see, Alfie here needed a slightly smaller balloon!

Alfie wearing an adult-sized Earth head
Credit: Jenny Thatcher

Step two

Use scrap newspaper and a mix of PVA glue and water to coat the balloon or ball, leaving a head sized hole around the bottom so you can easily slip your (or your child's) head into it.

Making an Earth head
Credit: Esmé Callaghan and Matilda Eldon McCaig

Step three

Leave to dry for half a day, then add another coat. Repeat with 4 or 5 layers, leaving to dry between each layer. Finish with a 24 hour drying period. 

Step four

Once you’ve left the last layer to dry for 24 hours, gently deflate the balloon or ball and remove through the hole you've left for the neck. 

Step five

With a pair of scissors, carefully tidy up the neck hole. Mark with pencil where you'd like your eyes and mouth. Then sketch out the continents.

Continents on an Earth head

Step six

Cut out the eye holes, gather your paints and start colouring – don’t forget the sad mouth and eyebrows!

Once your paint is dry, you're protest-ready. We'd love to see your efforts, so send us any action shots on social media and tag @friends_earth

Earth head made by supporter for Great North Run 2019
Earth head made by supporter for Great North Run 2019
Credit: Roisin Embleton


Find out about other fun activities you can do as a family.