Skull crafts are becoming more popular as Day of the Dead moves into the mainstream. As you may know, Day of the Dead- Día de los Muertos– is a holiday celebrated in Mexico, some other countries in Latin America, a few countries in Europe, and the Philippines. In Mexico, skeletons are decorated, dressed-up, and given personalities and activities. These skull crafts begin with etchings and then prints of skulls and finally decorations of glitter, sequins, and puffy paint!
Materials for Skull Crafts
*styrofoam (I saved and washed mine from the supermarket)
*brayer (I bought mine at a craft store- I wonder if you could use a mini-paint roller?)
*sequins, glitter, little flowers, puffy paint, etc.
I had my kids practice drawing skulls on papers first. After we drew on paper, we used pencils to draw (press hard!) on the styrofoam.
Once we had our skulls (some scary and some smiley and flowery) we squeezed a bit of the printing ink (a bit thinner than paint) onto a paper plate. Rolling the brayer in the ink until it was evenly coated, we then rolled it over our “etching.” The brayer enables a thin layer of paint- in a pinch you could just paint a thin layer of paint with a brush.
The next step is where the magic happens!:) Pressing our designs onto the paper, and carefully lifting to reveal our designs was the most exciting part of the process!
How sweet is my daughter’s surprise and excitement? I love it:). Be careful to lift the styrofoam carefully, so the paint doesn’t smear.
We let the ink dry for a bit and gathered our other art supplies.
The kids then decorated their skulls with lots of colors! Sugar skulls are typically decorated with sequins and thick frosting (we used puffy paint), and we also used little lace flowers and glitter- because as my daughter says, “glitter makes everything better.”
These are our skull crafts! I think they turned out fabulous!
Take a moment to check out our Common Core aligned Day of the Dead Unit that can be found at the Kid World Citizen Teachers Pay Teachers Store! With a gorgeous minibook, festive decorations, and unique, themed activities, this unit has all the printables you need to introduce and celebrate Day of the Dead a classroom or home setting.
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