Dia De Los Muertos Lanterns with Calavera Printable

El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), although it has a morbid sounding name, is actually a day to honor and celebrate those who have passed. Because of that, I wanted to share a fun craft that you can make together with your kids and possibly begin the conversation of this Holiday’s significance in the Hispanic culture.

Dia de los Muertos Lanterns with Calavera Printable - yoursassyself.com

Traditionally, families build altars, with at least two tiers, days prior to November 1st (to learn more click here). They include both personalized and traditional items meant to guide those honored on their journey. As a result, you’ll generally see photographs of the deceased and several of their favorite items (knickknacks, tools, etc.), including their favorite food and drinks . You may also find the traditional water, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), salt, and incense to help them along their journey. For decoration you’ll also see marigolds, papel picado (click here to learn how to make it), and sugar skulls to help add a lighter, festive feel to the occasion.

Dia de los Muertos Altars - yoursassyself.com

When I shared this with my extremely artful and talented niece, and explained that I wanted to create some Dia de los Muertos lanterns, she offered to help. She said she had created some calaveras/skulls for a Dia de los Muertos project at school last year and could recreate a few for this project. I jumped at the chance and this is what she created.

Dia de los Muertos Calavera Printable - yoursassyself.com

Beautiful if you ask me. If you too have artful kids in your family, feel free to make your own. If you’re art challenged like I am, feel free to use these.  

Here’s how I brought this super easy project to life.


CHECK OUT:  DIY: Upcycled Christmas Trees

Supplies for Dia de los Muertos Lanterns - yoursassyself.com


Print out the enclosed printable and cut each calavera square so you can can outline the designs without ending up with marker all over your hand and/or all over the rest of the calaveras.

Markers with Cut out Dia de los Muertos Calavera - yoursassyself.com

With the thick tipped marker outline the face shape and any other thick, dark lines on the calavera (place another sheet behind to keep the marker from bleeding on the surface).

Thick Marker outline of Calavera - yoursassyself.com

With the thin tipped marker outline all the other intricate designs (feel free to make edits as needed – don’t feel you have to keep same shapes, etc. they’ll be hard to notice unless viewed closely).

Filling in Dia de los Muertos Calavera - yoursassyself.com

Once done, cut around the face shape, add glue to the back and paste it onto the front of the cup (making sure to avoid the cup seem).

Pasting Calavera onto Paper Cup - yoursassyself.com

Place a lit tea light underneath and just like that, you have your very own Dia de los Muertos lantern to add to your alter and/or to decorate for Halloween.

Lighting the Dia de los Muertos Lantern - yoursassyself.com

Here’s a quick video to help.

What’s your favorite Dia de los Muertos or Halloween decoration/tradition?

For more inspiration, I invite you to check out my fellow crafty bloggers in this fun #MuertosBlogHop.

Dia de los Muertos Blog HopThis post is part of the Dia de los Muertos Crafty Blog Hop sponsored by Tried & True and Crafty Chica! Make sure to check out all the other meaningful Day of the Dead projects that celebrate history, tradition, and culture!

This post is not sponsored, however this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something via those links Your Sassy Self receives a small percentage of the profits. Thanks for your support!

CHECK OUT:  5 Ways to Honor Hispanic Heritage Month - El Mes de la Herencia Hispana
Rocio Chavez
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  1. I loved this post! Since I live in Mexico, I will be celebrating the Day of the Dead and your DIY ideas all come in very handy. Thanks a lot! I’m sharing and pinning this 🙂

  2. Wow this is look amazing! You’re so creative in just a paper cup you made it into amazing stuff. I am doing this for Halloween.

  3. I initially thought you’d draw on the cup, but that would make things a bit harder to do. Thanks for the instructions, sugar skulls are cool!

  4. Great idea! I hate it when kids play with candles during Halloween and All soul s day. Your plastic cup idea would create a spooky feel for the patio. I d enjoy seeing this more than my children, who are all grown and has different interests now girls. Hmmp! haha. Very creatively artistic and not to mention the material used don t cost money that much. all you have is your artistic talent and kids will have fun doing this crafty halloween decor

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