How to Make Sugar Skulls. It’s Totally Easy. And Sugary. (Also, Happy Dia de los Muertos!)

November 1, 2012

Now that Halloween is over, we just keep celebrating around here. But instead of looking forward to Thanksgiving, we look back to those who came before us. Dia de los Muertos, baby. We celebrate it November 1 and 2 (and the big celebration in Austin is Saturday, Nov 3), so we’ve got this going on for a few more days…straight into the weekend.

Mainly, we just eat all our Halloween candy and make Sugar Skulls. Here’s how we do it.

We mix sugar, Meringue Powder (or if you can’t find that, substitute it with Cream of Tartar, it works just as well) and water

The basic mixture is 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of Meringue Powder, 1 teaspoon water

You mix that up and put in a Sugar Skull mold. We can get them everywhere around here…even at the grocery store. But this is Central Texas. I got mine at a little shop on South Congress in Austin. If they don’t have them around you, you can grab one online. 

Put the sugar in the mold. Almost immediately dump it out upside down on a piece of cardboard. This is really so easy. It mighty look complicated, but it’s completely not.

They’re cool, right?

Here’s where you have to plan: These need to sit and set for 12 hours.

So do this part the activity before and/or plan to make this a 2-day craft project. What I’d do is make enough for kids to decorate the night before and have them ready… Then, have kids mold some the next day while you’re all together and then pull out the pre-done, already-molded ones to decorate… TV segment style. Then they still get to cram wet sugar in a skull mold, but they don’t have to wait for the drying part. Win, win.

Our sugar skulls had a back-of-the-head mold option that we wanted to use so we attached the front and back of the skulls with icing. The icing recipe is 1 pound powdered sugar, 1/4 cup Meringue Powder (or Cream of Tartar) and 1/3 cup of water. Mix that up a lot with a mixer until icing peaks (about 8-10 minutes…a lot of mixing).

Then stick them together.

The fronts and backs will need to set for a few minutes (15-30) or so. This is a good time to eat candy.

Get your favorite icing supplies together.

These boys are the best. My favorite team of Skull Crafters. Owen. Denny. And Harry. They are rad.


And they like to decorate Skulls.

This is a great craft.

Because it’s made of sugar. And then you put more sugar on it.

Harry is very serious about his sugar.

Look how cool these turned out to be.

And then you get to eat your craft.

This has some obvious side effects. But overall, awesomeness.

You should completely make Sugar Skulls this weekend.

You won’t be disappointed.

Happy Dia de los Muertos from Austin!

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  • Reply Helen Jane November 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I wanted to call you a liar and tell you that those couldn’t be easy but then it looked like it WAS easy and I couldn’t call you a liar any more.

  • Reply Dottie November 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    In a word. GENIUS!

    I’m gonna pin this so hard!

  • Reply Amber November 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    This is my favorite post on the internet this week. Lucky Harry. You are such a fun mom, L Mayes.

  • Reply natalie @ The SoHo November 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    What a great project! These look fantastic! Love it.

  • Reply Kara | A Creative Reality November 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Hi Laura! Very cool post! What a great idea!

  • Reply Jane November 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Gorgeous and amazing!

  • Reply Viktorija November 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Just as I read “And then you get to eat your craft.” and was scrolling to the next picture, I was envisioning some wild-eyed, sugar-high kids and thinking, “yeah, NOW the fun begins!” LOL And then I came to the picture of the wild-eyed, sugar high kids! 😀 Total awesomeness! What a great day for everyone. LOVE their masterpieces!

  • Reply How to Make Sugar Skulls. Its Totally Easy. And Sugary. (Also, Happy Dia de los Muertos!) - SAHM Solution | SAHM Solution November 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    […] 1 and 2 (and the big celebration in Austin is Saturday, Nov 3), so we’ve got this goingSee all stories on this topic » Cancel […]

  • Reply Kit October 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Boy, you weren’t kidding! These really are easy! Thank you for posting.

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