Home » Paper Flowers » Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Craft and Tradition
| | | | |

Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Craft and Tradition

This post may contain affiliate links that won’t change your price but will share some commission.

A Day of the Dead sugar skull paper craft drawn on purple paper, surrounded by colorful paper flowers. Text across the center of the image reads “Day of the Dead Colorful Sugar Skull Paper Flower Craft”.

Celebrating the Tradition of Dia de los Muertos

In Mexican culture, Dia de los Muertos, also known in the United States as the Day of the Dead, celebrates the cycle of life and death every November 1st and November 2nd. It’s a cultural festival where we honor our loved ones who have passed. Day of the Dead decorations are used to dress up family member’s alters or adorn a party in their remembrance and often include photos of the deceased, tissue paper cut-outs, food, candles, yellow marigolds, and lovely sugar skull crafts. 

I decided to create my own sugar skull craft that both younger kids and older kids will enjoy making together. This was a fun Dia de los Muertos craft for me for two reasons: paper sugar skull crafts are full of bright colors (a little something I am addicted to), and second, I wanted to learn about the heart of this holiday that occurs at the start of November.  

This celebration stands apart from Halloween and does not focus on anything ghost-like or spooky, although certain societies have changed its essence. Having a special day every year to remember all those we love who have passed away and bringing the still-living and the dead together sounds like a special time to me! If you are looking for Halloween decor, look at my fun Halloween crafts!

No Day of the Dead celebrations can be complete without the traditional sugar skull’s presence. While there are countless festive crafts and decorations to brighten Día de los Muertos, I can’t wait to show you my take on it, so let’s get started on this project!

Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Craft Supplies 

Skulls are a staple Day of the Dead decoration. Many are made with paper mache, wood, clay, and actual sugar, decorated with wonderfully bright royal icing, and topped with flowers or metallic foil. This sugar skull craft uses a stencil and paper and is an easy way to join the festivities!  

Here are the supplies you need to create your very own Day of the Dead sugar skull paper craft:

How to Make a Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Craft

Be sure to gather all your supplies together and have a clean workspace before you begin. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create perfect decorations!

A colorful Day of the Dead poster with a sugar skull drawing. Paper flowers adorn the skull and the background.

Step 1: Prep the Poster

Unroll your seamless paper and cut it to match the size of your foam poster board. Use your glue gun or mounting tape to adhere it to the surface. If you have younger kids or a smaller template, cardstock or construction paper can be used, too. 

Step 2: Place the Sugar Skull Stencil

Place your stencil center on your poster board. You can either hold it steady or use some washi tape to keep it in place. Be sure to only use washi tape, or it might rip your paper background.

A white stencil of a Dia de los Muertos sugar skull on white paper against a brown cardboard background.
Sugar Skull Stencil from Stencil Revolution

Step 3: Color in the Skull

I’m using brush pens here, but crafter’s acrylic paint works fine, too. Decide which colors you want and where to begin filling in the stencil.

Once your stencil is filled in, pull it gently off the paper and refine any edges. I also went back and added some extra details and outlines to mine.

A large sugar skull is stenciled on to a purple poster board. The skull is colored in with different colored brush pens that lay next to the poster board.

Step 4: Apply the Border

Next, glue on the border. Find my free SVG for this above in supplies!

A person uses a pink crafting glue gun to attach a white paper lace border to the purple sugar skull poster.
An angled view of a purple paper poster decorated with a colorful sugar skull craft. White paper lace lines the edges.

Step 5: Add Flowers

The next step for your Day of the Dead sugar skull craft is to add the flowers. Now I’m a paper flower artist, so of course, I am using paper flowers here. If you don’t want to create flowers, then you can use silk flowers. Shown here are my Mary Jane-style flowers. Find the full tutorial in the video below!

A woman places orange and yellow paper flowers with pink and white centers onto the top of a Day of the Dead sugar skull drawing.

Depending on how much of a statement you want to make for your sugar skull decor, you can add just a few accent flowers or fill the whole top of the frame. I added about ten flowers and several bits of foliage made from my vine templates.

Shop My Flower Templates!

Mary Jane Small Paper Flower Template
Giant Paper Priscilla Flower Template with Tropical Leaves
Jungle Safari Leaf Templates- Set of 8
Chrysanthemum Flower Template
A completed Day of the Dead sugar skull drawing is complete with a cluster of colorful paper flowers in shades of orange, yellow, pink, and blue with green leaves. A woman’s hand perfectly places the last yellow flower.

Step 6: Display Your Day of the Dead Paper Craft

Once you’re happy with your flower placement, glue everything down. You are now ready to display or hang this beautiful Day of the Dead sugar skull craft creation for your celebration!

The completed Day of the Dead sugar skull craft is displayed on a table, surrounded by colorful decorations – paper flowers of all shapes and sizes, festive Dia de los Muertos decorations, and giant paper flowers hanging on the walls.

My Top Supplies Picks for a Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull Craft

Washi Tape | Dual Brush Pens | Foam Poster Boards | Seamless Background Paper

A cluster of small, colorful paper flowers in shades of orange, yellow, blue, and pink with white and pink centers and green leaves. A woman’s hand places one small white flower into the cluster.

Psst… interested in the other crafts seen in these pictures? Below are my paper pumpkin craft and giant alora garden rose tutorials, both of which can be used to decorate your Dia de los Muertos display along with your sugar skull craft!

Looking for free craft ideas and templates? Go to the Abbi Kirsten Craft Vault!  If you are already a member, log into your account. Need help to enter the vault? Read this helpful Freebie Vault guide. How would you display this Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Craft project? Do you celebrate Día de los Muertos? Tell me about your traditions in the comments. And if you enjoyed this, please share!

 A Day of the Dead sugar skull paper craft is displayed on a Dia de Los Muertos offerings table along with colorful paper pumpkins and giant paper flowers.

About Abbi Kirsten

Welcome to my colorful corner of the internet, where we play with vibrant crafts and unlock your creative magic! Hang out with me and get lost in a fun array of projects, tutorials, and products, from stunning papercraft ideas to flower templates, Cricut help for beginners, and endless crafter’s hacks. 

Join the Member Vault and participate in my monthly Craft-Alongs in my Facebook group to access all the magic!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *