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Day of the Dead Door Decoration

Huichol Inspired Day of the Dead Beaded Paper Mache Skull


“Wherever I walk, wherever I sing, there is a blossoming of flowers, a rapture of song.
And there my heart is alive.” - - Huichol saying

I've long admired the handwork of the Huichols, a Native American group living in western central Mexico.  They are well known for their art, in particular their yarn paintings and beaded objects.


I've always wanted to try my own hand at beading a sculptural form, so in honor of the upcoming Day of the Dead, I have.

You will need:

paper mache skull
white acrylic paint
sponge brush
size 11/0 seed beads in assorted colors 
Aleene's Glitter and Gem Glue
sheet of parchment paper
plastic lid / bead tray 

Let's create!

1.     Cover your work surface with some parchment paper.  Squirt a quarter-size amount of paint onto the paper and proceed to paint the skull.  It will need two coats of paint.  Allow the paint to dry between each layer. Hint: I use parchment paper on my craft table to keep wet objects from sticking to table surface.  The paper will easily peel away.

 2.     Lightly sketch your design onto the skull using a pencil.  Pour your first color of beads into the bead tray.  Trace your first shape with a line of glue.  Tip the toothpick into the glue.  This adds just enough tackiness to use as a tool for picking up a bead and positioning into place.  

3.     Working in small sections, fill in your entire design with beads.  To keep mine lightweight, I didn't cover the background, simply the foreground / design. 


To learn more about the Huichols and their amazing art, check out this great video.


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