Making Sugar Skulls


A couple of years ago, I found some skull garlands and skull necklaces at Star Wholesale (RIP, Star).  I bought them all in a post Halloween sale, I think, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with them.  I actually came out with two sizes of skulls: some were about 2 1/2 inches “square” – and they were made from plastic, I think.  Then, there were lots and lots of skull beads that came on the necklaces.  Those were less than an inch in all 3 dimensions.

I have used most of the larger skulls I bought, making faux sugar skulls with paint, sequins, white glitter, and glitter glue.  The next year, I made the skulls for my students, I think.  of course, they weren’t appreciated as much as if they had made them themselves. I just didn’t have patience that year.  Last year, of course, I taught French, and that is not skull-friendly.  I have sold a few of them, but they are difficult to ship, since the sequins fall off easily.

This year and maybe last year, I picked up skulls whenever I found them and whenever they were not too expensive.  Last month, I found some 4″ by 2 1/2″ skulls at Garden Ridge, I think, or Michaels – or maybe Party City.  I don’t remember what I paid for them, but I did find some that were slightly larger at WalMart for $1.00 each.  There were also some 8 inch skulls for $3.99.  I bought 3 of those.  And, some day, I will use the gigantic 18 inch (or more) skull I bought years ago when I made that first purchase.

I don’t think that I have ever published a tutorial on how to do this.  It is fairly easy, but it is also nice to have instructions.  I plan on letting my students (those who are well-behaved and who deserve it, that is) make them this year.  Yesterday and over the weekend, I used a hot glue gun to fill in the eye sockets – the sequin eyes will be glued on top of the skull, so there needs to be a firm foundation.  Today, I had my students paint the skulls. I used some leftover white and ecru paint that I mixed together.  With four classes working, we got two coats of paint on the skulls.

Tomorrow, I will have them use the brushes to put glue on the skulls and pour glitter over them.  That will probably take all four classes as well, since the glitter and glue have to dry on one side or on the top before they do the bottom.  On Thursday I will have sequins and glitter glue available for them to decorate their own skulls. By Friday, they should be dry, and the kids can take them home.

That’s the plan, and it may have to be altered if I am called in another day for jury duty.  I am preparing lesson plans just in case.  I am making my “demo” skulls in all four stages of developement, and will publish the tutorial when I have pictures of them all.  Stay tuned!


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