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Make a Calavera Skull Centerpiece

7 October 2009 9,708 views 10 Comments

by heather


By Laura, Charcoal Designs

Turn dollar store Halloween vases into pretty calaveras, for a more colorful Dia de los Muertos-style fall decoration. Calavera is Spanish for "skull" and is a typical motif in celebration of Day of the Dead.

Project Estimate:

  • Spray paint, (Wal-m*rt has paint for .96 cents a can), $1
  • Ceramic Skull, $1
  • Foam Florist Square, $1
  • Glitter, on hand or $1
  • White Glue, on hand
  • Paint (to paint details on the skull), on hand
  • Felt Cut Outs (optional), $1
  • Faux flowers (or handmade flowers), on hand or $1

Total: $3 and up

To Make:

I prepped the surface first by cleaning off the skulls with acetone (nail polish remover) to help the spray paint stick better. Protect your work surface with newspaper. Apply one coat of gloss color spray paint to the skulls, allow to dry, apply another coat if necessary.

Once the paint dried I brought the skulls inside for the fun part... decorating! I had my favorite bold colored glitters on hand and some ‘glossies’ brand paint (adheres well to most surfaces, including glossy ones), and went downtown on embellishing the eyes, mouth, nose and adding details. Tip: apply white glue to the eyes, mouth and nose
sockets and then shake in some glitter (do each color separate and carefully over a paper towel or wax paper so you can salvage the remaining glitter and put it back in its
proper container) then when slightly dry you can paint around the eyes and nose.

Next, when everything dried (well mostly, I have no patience) I placed a florist foam square (the cushy green stuff, also sold at most dollar stores) into the skull container and stuck some faux flowers in it. You can buy black roses (or spray paint other flowers black), or you can also make some colorful crepe/tissue paper flowers on your own for super
cheap, you just need some tissue paper or crepe paper, pipe cleaners and some imagination! Check Crafty Chica for instructions on making your own!

I placed some super cute, bright colored felt cut-outs under the skull for cheeriness. Day of the dead is a celebration! These are a regular item in the craft section at Dollar Tree.

Bonus: Check out this puff-painted version of the calavera vase by Crafting ADD.

calavera-puffpaint

Bonus numero dos: Here's another great version from Señora López.

calavera1

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10 Comments »

  • Georgette said:

    I LOVE THIS CRAFT!!! by far my favorite halloween/dia de los muertos crafts you have put up. If i wasn’t pregnant and could be around spray paints i would totally do this craft! maybe i’ll get the hubby to spray paint them. I’m telling all my friends.

  • Adriana said:

    Beautiful! We will be doing some Dia de los Muertos inspired activities soon too.

  • laura@charcoaldesigns said:

    Thank you Heather! Love the puffy paint version! :D

  • lora said:

    tis is the neates thing i love it

  • lora said:

    it is the great’s thing and you can do it from the dollar tree

  • Amy said:

    I went to the dollar tree and bought 15 of these skull last night.
    I’m going to use this craft idea for centerpieces for my dia de lose muertos themed wedding.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • flo said:

    these skulls are 2 for $1 at dollar tree right now!!

  • Dominique said:

    Ive been all over Tucson, az looking for these I really want to decorate these as centerpieces for my wedding!

  • Angie said:

    This is easy and fun to make. I am making them for my daughter’s 16th birthday party and the theme is Dia of the Dead. Thanks for the help.

  • yvonne said:

    Hello, can anyone me in trying to find these skulls? Im planning my wedding and luv the centerpiece idea. Thanku

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