DIY Day of the Dead Wreath

When I started writing this blog two years ago, I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in what little-old-me got up to about the house! So I'm still pinching myself at becoming a finalist in two blogging awards at the moment. One is for Best International DIY & Home Improvement Blog in the Amara Interior Blog Awards, and the other is for Best Interior Design/Architecture Blog in the Blog Awards Ireland. I claimed third prize in this category in the Blog Awards Ireland last year and had such a blast at the award ceremony, meeting so many like-minded people that I'd only previously met onlline. I was really looking forward to this year's ceremony when I realised that the awards night for both blog awards are on the same night! What a shame. Since I've never been a finalist at an international blogger's award, I decided to go to London for the finals of the Amara Interior Blog Awards. I'm so disappointed to miss the Irish awards ceremony in Dublin, so I came up with a special project to pay homage to the theme of that night's ceremony: Day of the Dead.

I first encountered Day of the Dead when we lived in Arizona, where the strong Mexican community there celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Halloween has always been my favourite festival anyway, and what appeals to me about the culture of Day of the Dead are the beautiful folk art motifs as well as the idea of honouring one's ancestors. The former is what inspired this fun Halloween craft project.

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The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Materials

  • Polystyrene wreath ring
  • 4 mini plastic skulls
  • White spray paint (optional if your skulls aren't pure white)
  • Coloured spray paint
  • Permanent coloured markers e.g. Sharpie
  • Wire cutters
  • Various silk flowers
  • Hot glue gun & glue
  • Ribbon
  • Drill with small drill bit (optional)
  • Craft wire (optional)
  • Curved needle (optional; available in haberdashery stores)

Step-by-Step

Start by spray-painting the wreath ring in a colour that will compliment the colours of your flowers. I already had orange paint, so that's what I used.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Spray paint the plastic skulls all white to create a blank canvas.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Then comes the fun part! Use the coloured markers to draw on your favourite Day of the Dead motifs. You can find plenty of inspiration on Pinterest.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

I have to confess that I was quite nervous about drawing onto my pristine white skulls with permanent markers, especially since I'm not very good at drawing. However, this was way easier than I feared because the motifs are very simple, the kind of things that a child draws without giving it a second thought: flowers, hearts, leaves etc. 

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

You could get away with just using hot glue to stick the skulls onto the wreath ring, but I wanted to be sure they wouldn't budge, so I also used wire to secure them. To do that, I started by drilling two holes in the base of the skulls in a front-to-back (not side-to-side) orientation.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Then I threaded the craft wire through the curved needle and fed the wire in through one of the drilled holes and out through the other.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

I wrapped the wire around the wreath ring and twisted it tightly to secure it in place.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

I used the wire cutters to trim the loose ends of the wire, then applied hot glue around the base of the skulls to make them extra secure.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Repeat for each of the four skulls, placing them equal distances apart.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Now is the time to add the flowers. For this, I went around to my local discount stores and purchased the cheapest, most gaudy, brightly-coloured plastic flowers I could find! I also ordered a couple of plastic flower garlands online to add more colours to those I was able to find in the bricks-and-mortar stores. I chose all roses to give the wreath some consistency.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Use the wire cutters to cut off the flower stems, leaving just enough to stick into the polystyrene ring.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Arrange the flowers around the wreath ring by sticking the nubs of the wire stems into the polystyrene. I also added a dab of hot glue to each to make sure they were secure.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Continue adding the flowers until the polystrene wreath ring is completely concealed.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

Finally, tie a ribbon around the wreath ring so that it can be hung.

The House that Will | DIY Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos sugar skull wreath Halloween decor

For somebody who doesn't particularly like a lot of colour in the house, I am totally smitten with this wreath! It is just so much fun and a great way to use cheerful colours to decorate for Hallowe'en. 

norma

Related posts:

DIY Autumn Wreath

Pom-Pom Wreath

DIY Spring Wreath