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.


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