Dias De Los Muertos "Sugar Skull" Decorations




      These whimsical holiday decorations give new meaning to "rock candy". Inspired by the vibrant colors and patterns of the traditional Calaveras, or "sugar skulls", as they have come to be known, these easy to make decorations can be used as doorstops, paperweights, or simply placed around the house for a splash of color and fun. A great project to do with kids, and you can make lots in just one afternoon!

Step 1: Materials

Here are the few materials you will need to complete your skulls

- BIC Mark-it fine permanent markers, 24 color pack. (around $13 at Wal-Mart)
You could also use Sharpies or other markers, so long as they are permanent, I just prefer the vibrancy of BIC markers

- Black Sharpie pen. (around $2 at Wal-Mart)

- Small-ish white rocks. (I got mine from a local beach, but you could probably buy them at a craft store such as Michaels)

- Krylon Triple-Thick Clear Glaze (optional)


Step 2: Wash Off Your Rocks

If you bought your rocks from a store you can skip this step.

Rinse off your rocks in warm water to remove any dirt, sand, etc. Dry them off with a paper towel and let them sit for a few minutes to dry out entirely.

**Safety Note: Do NOT use a hair-dryer to dry your rocks after washing. Extreme heat can cause wet porous rocks to explode.

Step 3: Pick a Rock to Start Designing

Find a rock you want to use. If you aren't very confident in your artistic ability, it may be easier to start with a large, round or oval-shaped rock. 

Step 4: Create Personalities for Your Rock(s)

Using the black BIC marker, draw some basic "skull" faces on your rocks.

Step 5: Start Color Designs

Using any color markers, begin a simple design. Try abstract flowers, swirls and lines.

Step 6: Add More Colors!

Add more colors and designs to your skull, the more you practice the more intricate designs you can make!

Step 7: Add Fine Details

Using your Sharpie pen, add small details- outlines, small dots and swirls.

Step 8: Seal Your Design (optional)

After you are happy with your design, go outside or to a well vetilated area and spray with the gaze, being sure to follow the instructions on the can. Let the glaze dry for 5-10 minutes.

Step 9: Design Your Other Rocks

While your first skull is drying, design your other rocks, when you are finished with them, repeat step 8.

Step 10: Variations

You can also make plain skulls and pumpkins for a traditional Halloween look.

Step 11: Finished

Enjoy your one-of-a-kind decorations!

This is my first Instructable, so any feedback would be great- I'd also love to see your designs!

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    9 Discussions

    melt metal

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool idea! Thanks for sharing it. The marigolds were a nice touch to go along with the theme.
    My friend and I made some on our lunch hour today. We haven't sprayed the coating on them yet - we only had clear nail polish at work and it just swirled the colors together. I may have to try a few different coatings to see what my markers can take.

    2 replies
    ejk14melt metal

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, these are great! I'm glad you liked it, sorry it took so long to comment, I've been sick for quite a while and haven't logged on in forever. :)


    7 years ago on Step 11

    I really like this idea, you could probably do this on hard boiled eggs too.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome ! Thanks ! Think I might make a smallish one and attach a pin back !

    ejk14pie popper

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm glad you like them :) I love your Totoro hat- That was one of my favorite movies when I was little!