Sugar skulls are colorful, decorated skulls traditionally crafted out of sugar as part of the Mexican celebration the Day of the Dead. These five free printable templates are a fun and easy way for your kiddo to make their own sugar skull masks!
What is the day of the Dead….
The Day of the Dead is a Latin American holiday that takes place November first and second. The celebration looks different depending on the location and not all Latin american countries celebrate the Day of the Dead at all!
It’s a time of celebration and honoring those that have passed. It’s not a sad time or meant to be scary.
Skeletons (calacas) and skulls (calaveras) are popular imagery during this time of celebration. Instead of being scary skeletons and skulls are often times portrayed in silly poses, bright colors, and highly decorated.
What exactly is a sugar skull….
Traditional sugar skulls are crafted from sugar pressed into molds and decorated with feathers, icing, ribbons, beads, and more. Larger sugar skulls often have the name of the deceased who they are meant to commemorate. Sugar skull are sometimes eaten but their predominant purpose is to decorate the graves and altars during the celebration.
Today sugar skulls have become a pop culture image that’s easily recognizable, even to those not familiar with the Dia de los Muertos celebration. We see the sugar skull image on t-shirts, Halloween costumes, jewelry, and more.
Add some color to your sugar skull mask….
These printable sugar skull masks come in four different decorative designs as well as blank one to inspire your kiddo to create their own sugar skull design. Add color any way that strikes you young artist.
I recommend printing on card stock if possible. It will create a nice sturdy mask and also ensure that your mask will hold up to any medium you choose.
We’ve been loving this huge pack of Crayola markers in forty colors! Having so many colors to choose from makes for some great color combinations and just feels so much more special than the standard eight colors!
Encourage your kiddos to explore other media like watercolor, oil pastel, sequins, or other small three dimensional objects!
Make your own Day of the Dead mask….
These designs are perfectly sized to be cut out and used as actual masks. Color first, especially if you’re working with young artists. Coloring first will save them the frustration of coloring off and on the edge of the paper.
Cut around the edges using sharp scissors. I don’t mind leaving a slim white outline and it gives your kiddos a little wiggle room. The eye holes will need to be cut using an X-acto blade. Supervise or assist those little ones!
Use a paper punch to create two holes on either side of the mask. Use twine, ribbon, or even elastic to create a band that fit’s around your child’s head. Another alternative would be to glue a craft stick to the bottom of the mask to create a mask meant to be held up to the face!
More Day of the Dead resources….
The Day of the Dead sounds like such a scary, ominous holiday. In reality it’s such a colorful, beautiful celebration of family and loved ones. It’s a great introduction to the Latin American culture or a great place to dig a little deeper.
This post has an extensive Day of the Dead book list and free Dia de los Muertos printable for your kiddos to record what they know. Books include bilingual text, craft tutorials, and colorful children’s books that can teach you and your kiddo so much.
Have you ever heard of a Mexican nicho? A nicho is essentially a three dimensional picture frame. These colorful picture frames are often used as a way to commemorate a loved one during the Day of the Dead celebration. Click here to learn about how to make an up-cycled Mexican nicho box.
Do you want to grab your printable Day of the Dead masks….
I’ve got five free printable sugar skull templates just for you. Just use the form below to become a Kitchen Table Classroom subscriber. Then go check your email and confirm that you meant to subscribe. Upon confirmation you’ll receive a subscriber only password that will give you instant access to my Free Resource Library.
There you’ll find this pack of printable sugar skull masks under the heading “Holiday Resources to Print.” Click the thumbnail and the PDF will pop right up. You’ll also get access to hundreds of other free printable resources right there in the Resource Library!
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