I have a slight obsession with Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) skulls. Some people collect ceramic owls. I collect ceramic skulls.
Here’s one on my desk at the DIY Network office.
Yes, they’re creepy but they’re also vibrant and beautiful. That combination is fascinating to me. I’m mesmerized by the saturated colors, floral motifs and intricate almost-paisley details in sugar skull designs.
In conjunction with my collection, I decided to make a sugar skull door decoration this year. But instead of just colorful designs, I glitter-bombed mine.
I’ve seen a lot of glittery Day of the Dead decor this year. But it’s seriously expensive. I found a blank, white felt skull cutout at the dollar store for $1. And I already own tons of glitter and glue so this project only cost me a dollar!
white felt skull from the dollar store
black permanent marker
black glitter pen or black glitter glue with tip
How I did it:
Plan out your sugar skull. Search online for designs and common patterns. Popular elements in sugar skulls include flowers, paisley-type swirls, crosses, big skeletal teeth, spider webs and hearts. You can check out my Pinterest board for inspiration.
Lightly pencil in your design. If you’re not confident in your drawing skills, enlarge a photo of your design inspiration and trace it! Then trace with a black permanent marker. Next, fill in your designs with DIY glitter glue.
To make the glitter glue, mix a tablespoon of school glue with a tablespoon of loose glitter. If you’re going to use a lot of one color, you may want to double or triple the recipe. I used a lot of different colors so I only needed to make minimal amounts of each.
Tip: Plan out where you want specific colors to be on your skull before you mix your glitter glue. Then go one color at a time. If you need to take a break from glitter-bombing, you won’t have any dry out and you won’t waste any.
Even if you’re glitter-bombing a large area, it’s best to use a smaller brush to prevent straying outside the lines because felt is not so forgiving if you need to wipe glue off. The felt will tuft up and become furry. Sugar skulls are not furry.
Once you’ve filled in your designs with various colors, outline with black glitter glue. You could make your own and apply with a paintbrush but I recommend using a prepackaged bottle with a fine tip. It’s faster and cleaner and more uniform.
Give your skull about 12 hours to dry before hanging. I pierced a tiny hole at the top of my skull to hang. There’s so much glitter you don’t even notice.
Happy Día de los Muertos! Have you glitter-bombed anything for the holidays?