Embossed Metal Sugar Skull


Tami Sanders here today with a project for Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead – to share with you. Dia de los Muertos honor and celebrates the lives of friends and family who have passed on.

One of the more recognizable symbols used in the celebrations are calaveras – or skulls. Sugar Skulls as they have come to be more commonly known have gone “mainstream” and can be found embellishing jackets, journals, hats and more. They are usually very colorful and are more fun than spooky.

The Crafter’s Workshop has a FABULOUS “sugar skull” stencil – TCW339 Mexican Skull…

I was inspired by Mexican tin pieces that I have seen that were embossed, then painted with washes of bright colors. You see this technique used on Christmas ornaments a lot…

sugar skull wm

I started by taping the stencil down to a piece of heavy-weight brass metal. Be careful cutting and handling the metal as edges will be sharp.

Then I used a regular embossing stylus and paper stump to emboss the design. There are all types of metal working tools you can use. But most Mexican Folk Art is done using materials at hand. So I looked around my studio and used what I had.

The stylus worked well for outlining and defining as well as for first step in embossing. I worked on top of a double layer of craft foam. Once I had the portions of the stenciled design outlined, I used the stylus to emboss, then used the paper stump create deeper, smoother embossed areas. Then, if needed, I redid the outline using the stylus to clean up the embossed design and add more definition.

Izink Inks were applied to add bright sheer color to the skull. A fine point Sharpie was used to outline the designs to make them stand out more.

I glued the metal piece to a 12 X 12 canvas using Beacon’s 3-in-1 Glue, then added tap nails around the piece and finished with a ribbon around the edges of the canvas.

I’ve put together a Snapguide that will show you how you can make this project yourself – guide includes step-by-step photos and directions…


thanks for visiting the TCW Blog!



Tami Sanders

The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

6 thoughts on “Embossed Metal Sugar Skull

  1. Wow I’d never have thought these products together would produce such a gorgeous and pretty piece. Thanks for showing this

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