This is an easy and fun sugar skull craft that can be adapted for kids of all ages! Kids can practice scissor skills and learn about why people celebrate the Day of the Dead and what a sugar skull actually is.
If you are looking for more easy paper crafts, check out this bat art project with printable.
What is Day of the Dead?
Day of the Dead or Día de Los Muertos originated in Mexico but is celebrated across Latin America. It’s a day to celebrate and remember loved ones that have passed. Besides attending celebrations, families also clean and decorate the gravesites of their loved ones.
Take a look at this article and video on the history and celebrating the Day of the Dead from National Geographic that goes into more detail.
What is a sugar skull?
Sugar skulls or Calavera were traditionally made of sugar and decorated with colorful icing. Now, you can see images of sugar skulls everywhere in art, pop culture and crafts.
Sugar skulls are not supposed to be scary, they are meant to be bright and colorful, reflecting happy memories of loved ones. People will also paint their faces to look like sugar skulls in celebration of their ancestors.
Create your own sugar skull craft
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- Sugar skull printables (printed on white paper)
- Markers, pencil crayons or crayons
- Glue stick
- Black fine sharpie
- Colored cardstock or construction paper
1. Print out your sugar skull templates onto white paper. There are 3 different types of sugar skulls to choose from depending on the age of the kids making this craft.
One blank sugar skull, three drawn in sugar skull designs, three half-drawn sugar skulls and 3 pages of decorations.
2. For the first option, have kids cut out the blank sugar skull template and glue it on to a colorful paper background.
3. Use the 3 pages of decorations to color, cut and glue designs onto the blank sugar skull and colorful background. Have kids place their decorations on the skull first, before gluing to make sure they are happy with their design.
Older kids can design their own sugar skulls without using the printed decoration pages if they like.
4. Another great way to make this craft is to use one of the 3 half-drawn sugar skulls. Kids can use a pencil and then trace with a black sharpie to draw in the other half of the design.
Color the sugar skull in and add in some colorful decorations to the background.
5. For younger kids in preschool, there are 3 different types of sugar skulls already drawn and ready to be colored. Younger kids can color these with crayons.
Cut out the sugar skull and glue it onto brightly colored cardstock.
Older kids, of course, can also use these printables and color them in with markers or pencil crayons. Use the decoration pages to color, cut and glue some designs to the background.
I love that this sugar skull craft comes with so many options for kids of all ages! This is such a fun and colorful paper craft, great for kids to practice scissor skills and a great opportunity to learn about the history behind the Day of the Dead celebrations and what sugar skulls symbolize.
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Pin this Day of the Dead craft for later
- Sugar skull printables
- White printer paper
- Colored cardstock or construction paper
- Markers, pencil crayons or crayons depending on the age of the kids
- Black sharpie
- Print out your sugar skull templates onto white printer paper.
There are 3 different types of crafts kids can do, depending on their age.
- The first option is to cut out and glue the blank sugar skull to a colored piece of paper. This can be cardstock or construction paper.
- Use markers or pencil crayons to color in the 3 pages of design options.
- Cut and glue the designs to the blank sugar skull and colored background.
- Another option is to use one of the 3 half-drawn sugar skulls. Cut and glue one down to a colored piece of paper.
- Finish drawing in the design with a pencil and then trace your pencil lines with a black sharpie.
- Color in your sugar skull with markers or pencil crayons. Decorate the background with the printable designs.
- The last option is perfect for younger kids. Kids can choose to color in 1 of the 3 drawn sugar skull designs. They can use crayons or markers.
- Cut out the sugar skull and glue to a colored piece of cardstock or construction paper.