Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Plaques

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 2 and is actually a celebration of life.  Families celebrate the memory of their loved ones with dancing, costumes and eating sugar skull candies.  This Day of the Dead decoration is so much fun to do, but with all honesty…it is not an easy one. This one will take you some time and patience; this is actually the second time I’ve done this craft and it still took me 6 hours to finish.


Although I still think the result is worth it and I can’t say that I won’t make more in different colours.  It works as a Halloween decoration, for a Day of the Dead party OR (my favourite idea) a themed wedding decoration! I secretly keep hoping someone will get married at the end of October


What You’ll Need:

– Two wooden plaques
– Two papier Mache skulls (you can find these at craft and dollar stores around Halloween time)
– Acrylic paints in the colours of choice (you will need black and white for sure, the other colours are for decorating the sugar skull)
– A mustache (I found these sticker mustaches which were perfect! If you can’t find any don’t worry, you can cut one out of black felt just as easily)
– Modge Podge
– Foam brush
– Paint brushes
– White tulle
– Colourful small silk or ribbon flowers
– Glue gun and sticks
– Two sheets of scrapbook paper
– A bow tie
Paint the edges of the plaques with the colour of your choice. 

Paint the skulls all white, don’t forget under their chins. 🙂 Set them aside to dry.

Turn the plaque upside down onto the back of the scrapbook paper and trace the shape of the front out. Be sure to trace under the edge to get the right size for the face of the plaque. 


 Cut out the tracing.

Spread some (not a lot, too much glue will be too damp and will cause wrinkles) Modge Podge onto the plaque with the foam brush. Place the paper cutout onto the plaque and smooth it down. Spread some more Modge Podge over the top of the plaque to secure the paper to the wood. Repeat for the second plaque and set aside to dry.

Start to paint your sugar skulls. I find it easiest to plan out the design before I start painting, don’t be afraid to search the internet for inspiration. The first step of any sugar skull design though is to blacken the eyes and nose.  Hot glue the painted skulls onto the plaques. Don’t worry if the skulls are not flush to the plaque, glue the parts that are touching and it will hold. Repeat for both skulls and plaques.

Embellish the bride sugar skull with a flower tiara and tulle veil. To make the veil, cut three strips of tulle about six inches long and glue in separate layers to the top of the skull, bunching the glued edge together to give the tulle some volume. Then glue the flowers on top of the tulle.
Embellish the groom skull with a mustache and bow tie.

Hope you liked making these Sugar Skull Plaques. For a Halloween take on this project check out Eighteen 25 Mr & Mrs Skull Plaques. Or for another festive DIY try our Fun and Festive Halloween Garland Craft.

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