This tutorial will showcase how I made this “Day of the Dead” sugar skull mixed media wall plaque. This plaque doubles for Day of the Dead (November 1st) and Halloween . . . and actually makes some interesting home decor for any time of year.
I made this using Martha Stewart Crafts supplies by Plaid, as well as Mod Podge. I also used stencils, paints, brushes, daubers and more. I was pleasantly surprised at how fantastic the Martha Stewart Crafts paints and stencils are!
I created a simple 8 x 10 collage in Photoshop using skull clip art, then created some flowerlike eyes (typical in Mexican folk art).
Next, I decoupaged the side with a patterned paper. Let dry for at least 15 minutes . . . and you are ready to begin painting.
Step 1: I gathered my selected paints and stencils, then lightly painted the skull with MSC paints. Then, I selected some of the glass stencils and glass paint stencil tools – which you can also use on canvas.
Step 2: I selected my stencil and created the flowery patterned border with such ease.
Step 3 and 4: I had a second laser copy made – I cut out the skull and used it as a mask so that only a portion of the flowery stencil would be painted. I continued stenciling with a MSC pouncer around the skull. This is a great tip for keeping the under-painting clean.
Step 5: Then I continued using other smaller stencils for the details I wanted on the skull. I layered my “clingy” stencil and used a MSC dauber.
Step 6: I used the dauber for the outside of the stencil on the chin, thus creating a ombre effect!
Step 7: Once all the paint had dried, I used my mask again and used a bigger dauber to imprint a light, faint amount of black paint around the skull . . . remove the template and let the paint dry.
FYI: I used MSC glass paint. The MSC glass paint comes with a fine nozzle tip, which is great for adding little dots. See what I did in the eye area?
Step 8: Next, I decoupaged some torn doilies to create volume and texture to the skull. Let dry for at least 15 minutes . . .
After all the stenciling and painting, I used a grey colored pencil to create some lines around the skull. Then I repeated the same for the border, using a black colored pencil.
To finish the sides, I painted them with a orange wash and then used a dauber to create dots in grey and black!
Project completed. Ready to decorate for Halloween and Day of the Dead!