Thursday, October 10, 2013

Art Around the World: Kid-Friendly Day of the Dead Recycled Cardboard Skulls

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Day of the Dead Recycled Cardboard Sugar Skull Craft Project 

I've always loved art from other cultures and our home is filled with examples 
of art and instruments from around the world. My art classroom and curriculum was always filled with many different projects from many different cultures.  
This project is simple. It is low cost using recycled cardboard that you already have in your house.  
It provides an opportunity to expose your children (or students) to conversations about life and death as well as art from other cultures and different belief systems. 

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrate on November 1st and 2nd in connection
with the Catholic holidays of All Saint's and All Soul's days. Family and friends gather together
to celebrate life and remember the lives of those who have died. 
My girls and I have lost two great friends to cancer this past year as well as my grandmother. 
We made these recycled cardboard skulls to remember and celebrate our loved ones. 
The Day of the Dead holiday is intended to be a celebration of life, not mourning. 

This project is a great way to recycle and use up old cereal boxes,
cardboard, and corrugated cardboard coffee cup sleeves! 


Start by making basic skull shapes with various layers and types of cardboard.
Add eye sockets, nose hole, and teeth! 
We cut ours with scissors and used Elmer's school glue. 

Paint the cardboard skulls with white craft paint or Gesso. 
Allow glue and white paint to dry completely. 
We split this project up into a few different sessions to allow drying time for the glue and then the paint. 

After the paint is dry, comes the fun part...decorating! 
The girls were so excited and couldn't wait to start decorating their Day of the Dead skulls.

The girls used oil pastels to draw colorful designs and patterns on each skull. 

The Day of the Dead celebrates the life of people who have passed on.
We talked about and shared our favorite memories of grandparents, and family friends we have lost to cancer
while we decorated our skulls. We drew happy things like hearts and flowers. 

Oil pastels are messy and can stain clothing and carpets. 
Push up those sleeves, wash hands well when you are done 
and beware of oil pastel boogers! (little crumbs of color that smear, smudge, and stain)
Be sure to protect your work surface, we used newspapers to protect our table. 

Display your Day of the Dead skulls proudly and remember your loved ones. 

Pink and Green Mama,

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