Come the end of the month, it’s not at all uncommon to see scary skeletons lurking around the neighborhoods, thanks to Halloween. But thanks to Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), friendly skeletons are just as welcome. The Mexican holiday, Nov. 1 and 2, celebrates the wondrous cycle of life by recognizing – but not fearing – death. It is a day to reflect on the warm and fuzzy memories and share happy stories, rather than mourning the absence of the dearly departed. It’s believed that the spirits of our loved ones return on these special days to be with family and friends.
Gumball-size chunk of polymer clay
Black and white acrylic paints
2 jump rings
Snippets of fuchsia, teal, green, purple and yellow party streamers
Colored seed beads
Small pin back
Directions: Flatten the ball of clay into the shape of a quarter.
Use the opposite end of the liner brush to make indented eyeholes and cheekbones. Make a blunt cut for the chin with the craft knife.
Bake in oven according to directions to harden clay.
Paint base coat in white, then add thin black facial accents. Turn over so backside is up and glue one jump ring to the bottom.
Use miniscissors to cut 2-inch by half-inch of party streamers. Take one piece at a time and scrunch it, then apply it around the outside edge of the pin. Continue lining until the paper goes all the way around the pin.
Glue one seed bead in each eyehole for color. Attach pin back. Loop the milagro onto the jump ring and connect to the other jump ring. Add a layer of water-based varnish to the skull.
Tip: Milagros (a k a “little miracles,” tiny silver prayer charms) can be found at local Mexican import shops.