We recently made a super-easy, Day of the Dead craft:
Before beginning this craft, I recommend you read this article on why you’ll find so many skulls and skeletons in Day of the Dead in Mexico. First, we found some paper maché skulls (click here to order from amazon). We gathered all of our favorite colors of acrylic paints, and first painted them bright white. This coat needs to dry before the colorful designs and be painted on.
Next, we looked on google for images of decorated calacas (skulls). There are so many beautiful designs! In Mexico, the markets are filled with skulls made out of sugar, chocolate, amaranth, paper maché, ceramic, and more. With our acrylic paints ready, we attempted to replicate the intricate details. The girls noticed the swirls, dots, flowers, hearts, and other common symbols.
You could elaborate the decorations with sequins, glitter, or foamies. Once our paint was dry, we coated the skulls with the outdoor Mod Podge. Though as it applies it is white and opaque (it reminds me of glue), it dries as a protective and clear barrier. This is especially a good idea if you’re going to have your skulls outside because it protects your Day of the Dead craft from the rain!
We love the way our calacas (skulls) turned out! What’s your favorite Day of the Dead craft? How do you decorate skeletons for Day of the Dead?
Teach your students about the Day of the Dead with this incredible Day of the Dead Activity Pack! 60 pages of activities including a powerpoint presentation, a minibook, an informational text with questions, themed math activities, a skeleton craft, and tons of decorations! It also contains a book list, discussion questions with key concept definitions, and a cultural guide for teachers.
Check out the packet at our TPT Store!