This unique calavera (skull) art was made using a recycled pallet. Perfect for Dia de Los Muertos, but you can keep it up all year!
So it all started when we spotted this calavera wood cut out at Michaels. There it was, near all of the Halloween goodies, and we had to have it. Because “Dia de Los Muertos” is becoming popular, and we love it too. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s the description from Wikipedia:
” . . . a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico . . . the holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.”
I don’t celebrate it as a religious holiday, but I do enjoy the art and colorful celebration. With a bit of extra pallet wood we had laying around and our beloved wood cutout, we decided to contribute to that. Here’s how we did it!
DIY Calavera Art
Gather These Supplies
- Recycled pallet wood
- Skull wood cutout – I got mind from Michaels
- Finished piece of pine, 2″ x 1/4″ x 3′
- FolkArt Home Decor Wax – Antiquing
- Scrapbook paper in a variety of bright colors – you can use scraps
- Spray paint – white
- Sharpie marker – black, fine point
- Paper flowers – a variety
- Rhinestones (to glue in the centers of the flowers)
- Nail gun and 3/4″ nails
- Miter saw
- Scotch tape
- Craft glue
- Paint brush
- Old rag
Steve actually had several pieces of pallet wood left over from a previous project. Pallet wood probably comes in a variety of widths, but he cut four pieces down to 16″ long with . When four pieces were laid out as shown, it made a “canvas” that was almost square – about 16″ x 16.5 – 17″ or so.
It doesn’t have to be exact, and it’s okay if it looks rough (you can see where we tested stain on a piece above!). As long as the skull fits, you’re good.
The next step was to cut the 2″ x 1/4″ x 3′ piece of pine down to two cross pieces that fit across the back to hold it together. The cross pieces will be about 14″ long, so you’ll have some wood leftover.
I made a copy of the wood cutout that I could cut up! Okay, maybe it wasn’t that brilliant, but it was new to me.
For finishing touches, add paper flowers with craft glue – and then rhinestones in the center.
I used some calavera inspiration online (searching calaveras) to give me a bit of guidance for where to draw the lines.