Saturday, October 3, 2015

DIY Sugar Skulls (Calaveras)

A beautiful Mexican tradition near Halloween time is the celebration of Dia de los Muertos.  During the celebration, families and friends of the faithfully departed pray to wish their lost loved ones luck in the afterlife.  The celebration lasts until November 2nd, and one tradition is the passing of calaveras to children.  Typically made of sugar or clay, the calavera is a representation of the human skull.  Over the years, the sugar skull has become popularized in western cultures as well. 

I recently planned my 2015 Halloween tablescape, and this year it will have a Dia de los Muertos theme.  Today's tutorial will show you how to take simple skulls and adorn them to look like sugar skulls.  I hope you enjoy the post!

My supply list:
Assorted paint and brushes
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Glass beads
School glue
Decorative trim
Dixie Cup
Small paper card
Faux flowers
Spray paint

I began with two plain porcelain skulls.

I painted each skull's cavities with black craft paint.

Next, I added lines to represent the teeth of each.

Female Calavera:

I used a dark, rusty red paint

to outline the eyes of my female skull, and after that, used a sharpie to draw a simple pattern around the eyes.

I cut a bit of sparkly palette trim

for each eye socket of my female calavera, and added a few roses on the top of her head using hot glue.

I used the same red paint to draw in little lips.

Next, using a sharpie pen, I drew in some spider web detail.

To give her a little feminine charm, I created a bouffant hairstyle by gluing down a couple pieces of faux hair over a small balled up piece of hair.

Shown here.  Add more roses.

Male Calavera:

I added a simple mustache to my male skull.

To give him a bit of pomp and circumstance, I added a mini top hat.  I started with a Dixie cup.

I used a small bowl with a larger circumference to draw a template onto a small paper card, and traced the circumference of the Dixie cup.

Glue all the pieces together to form a mini hat.

I spray painted the hat black and allowed it to dry completely before gluing it to my skull.

I added a bit of red ribbon to the top hat, and used a sharpie to free-hand draw some simple patterns onto the male skull.

Two pieces of contrasting ribbon became a snappy bow-tie, and I used hot glue to attach it to the male calavera.

Almost done......

I debated awhile before deciding to give the male skull glowing eyes like his female counterpart.  I used two glass beads.

I covered the beads with regular school glue.

I sprinkled generously with red glitter, and allowed them to dry completely.

Completed eyes.

I used hot glue to hold them in place.  Completed Sugar skulls.

I decided not to use traditional Mexican colors, which is also an option, because I was making these to be part of a centerpiece with a vampire theme. To see these Calaveras in my 2015 Halloween  Día de los Muertos tablescape, you may do so by visiting the post on my blog Parsimonious Décor Darling here.


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