This Free Printable Sugar Skull makes a fun and easy Halloween or Day of the Dead decoration!
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Now that October is here, I’m starting to think about Halloween. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays. Usually, I don’t do a lot of Halloween decorating, but this year I decided to add some cute DIY projects to my home. I wanted to do something different than pumpkins and witches though.
Ever since my high school and college Spanish class days, I’ve been fascinated by the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. Sugar skulls are a popular and colorful symbol of the holiday.
Inspired by the intricate images I found of sugar skulls online, I ended up drawing my own. I love how it turned out, so I turned my drawing into a free sugar skull printable for you!
Day of the Dead
Have your heard of Day of the Dead? It’s a holiday that’s observed throughout Mexico and other parts of the world.
Day of the Dead can be traced back to Aztecs, who celebrated the goddess Mictecacihuatl, or the Lady of the Dead, during a month long summer celebration. After the Aztecs were conquered by Spain and Catholicism became the dominant religion, the custom became intertwined with the Christian All Saints’ Day.
During this holiday, which takes place on from October 31 to November 2, friends and Family gather in cemeteries to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. Celebrants often build private altars, or ofrendas, covered with sugar skulls, flowers, favorite food and drink of the deceased, and other gifts, as well as their loved one’s possessions.
It might sound a little macabre, but Day of the Dead is meant to be a celebration.
The intent is to be with and encourage visits from the souls of the deceased. Funny stories and anecdotes are often told.
As I mentioned before, sugar skulls, or calaveras de azúcar, are a very common symbol of the holiday and are given as gifts to both the living and the dead. If you google sugar skulls, you will find an amazing array of colorful and creative images.
Free Printable Sugar Skull
Would you like to create your own sugar skull drawing? Start by using a soft pencil to lightly sketch the skull’s outline. Then, fill in the skull with intricate images, such as flowers, leaves, and various shapes.
After creating the drawing, I used Letraset Aqua Markers to fill in the imagery, then I outlined everything with an ultra fine point sharpie. I was actually really easy and very enjoyable to do, and I’m so happy with how it turned out!
Not feeling creative? Just click the image below (anywhere except the Pin Me! button) to download the free sugar skull printable!
Note: For best results, print the PDF on letter-size card stock. When your printer dialog box opens, make sure that the box under “Paper Size & Handling” is marked “Actual Size” (not “shrink oversized pages” or “fit to page”). That way your printer won’t shrink the image size.
To display my drawing, I used a an 11 x 14-inch frame with a 5 x 7-inch mat opening, but an 8 x 10-inch frame with a smaller mat (or no mat) will work, too. It will just have more white space around the image.
Do you decorate for Halloween or Day of the Dead?
P.S. If you like this free printable sugar skull, make sure to check out my free printable sugar skull banner, too!