Dia de los Muertos

 Virtual Open Studio

Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration.  

Traditionally, a sugar mixture was pressed into a clay mold to make a skull shape that was dried and then inscribed with the name of the deceased on its forehead. The decorations were used as a way to honor the deceased and enjoy memories of them. 

Sugar Skulls are still an important part of Dia de Muertos, and today they are decorated with colorful icing and sometimes non-edible sequins, beads, or feathers. They are designed to be whimsical and humorous icons. Colorful and ornate images of Sugar Skulls often decorate costumes, are painted on faces, or are worn as jewelry. 

Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with paint or markers! 


Check out the video below to make your own Dia de los Muetros Skull Pendants!


-Air Dry Clay


-Small bit of jewelry wire

-Paint, colored markers, sequins, or other decorating materials



1.  Press a small ball of clay into the round scoop of a spoon and slightly down on the top of the handle. 

2.  Remove the clay from the spoon.

3.  With the flat side down, press down slightly with your thumb and index fingers.

4.  Form a loop with a little wire and twists the ends together. Insert into the top of the skull so the loop sticks out. 

5.  Give your skull some time to air dry before painting!

6.  Now it is time to decorate! Use paint, markers, sequins, anything you have around the house to bring color to your skull!

7.  When dry, string the skull onto a string to hang or wear as a pendant! 

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