Day of the dead halloween costume with winner written at top and the skull charm

DIY: El Dia De Los Muertos

Beautiful Mona Marie swept us away with her DIY Day of the Dead costume for Halloween. Which found her to be the lucky winner of a hand carved skull charm. 

We asked Marie to share her DIY wisdom and she didn't hold back......


Hobby Lobby

  • Bunch of large faux dark red roses
  • Bunch of small faux red roses (relatively the same shade as large roses)
  • Bunch of small faux flowers (I chose a light pink)
  • Chartreuse soft reindeer moss (floral dept)
  • Black elastic band 3/4 in. (fabric dept)
  • 12x18 in. sheet of dark green felt (the thick, sturdy kind)


  • Mini skeleton hands (seasonal baking dept.)
  • Plastic skull head (seasonal dept.)
  • Glittery spiders (seasonal dept.)
  • Swarovski crystals (hotfix)


  • skull, softball, scissors, newspaper
  • loctite gel super glue
  • low temp hot glue gun and clear low temp/multi-temp hot glue sticks
  • needle nose pliers (with wire cutter)



  1. Lay a nice layer of news paper on my dining room table for easy clean up, I suggest about 2-3 layers to be safe and plug in the hot glue gun to heat up.
  2. Pull/cut the flowers (flush) from stems, then peel the leaves from the plastic stems and place to the side.
  3. Take the 12x18 in. dark green felt and cut one 4x12 in. rectangle for the head piece, then cut two 4x6 in. rectangles for the shoulder covers and cut six 1x2 in. rectangles (to cover/reinforce elastic).
  4. cut 8 in. (or size to fit) of elastic, hot glue the elastic to the middle of each 4 in. ends of the head piece, then hot glue the 1x2 in. felt retangles over each end of the elastic.
  5. Cut 5 1/2 in. (or a size to fit) of elastic, hot glue the elastic to each top corner of the 4x6 in. shoulder cover, then hot glue the 1x2 in.  felt rectagles over each end of the elastic. Repeat for other shoulder cover. **(if you want extra support I suggest adding elastic band to both ends of the shoulder cover)**
  6. Take some of the bigger leaves and hot glue them overlapping around the edges completely covering the felt. Do this on the head piece & shoulder covers. (Make sure the over lapping part of the leaves are securely glued down.) repeat the shoulder covers.
  7. While head piece is still warm, place it on the skull to cool. This is important to help mold the head piece to fit comfortably. Leave the head piece on the skull for the remainder of the construction. Also while shoulder covers are still warm mold them to fit your shoulder using the softball.
  8. Take large roses and add an ample amount of hot glue to the lower side of the rose and place it in the center of the head piece (slightly tilted up). Repeat until the felt is covered end to end with large roses. This should take about 3 huge roses. Repeat for shoulder covers.
  9. Hot glue the moss all the way around the roses (lift up the rose petals to hot glue the moss for more depth) and add a dab of hot glue under rose petals to secure them to the moss. Repeat for shoulder covers
  10. Add some small red roses in between the gaps of the large roses (don’t forget to add some small roses to hide the snipped bottoms of the large roses on the back side) and add some dabs of hot glue to secure them in place. **(Don’t add too many because you still have to add the other flowers.)** Repeat for shoulder covers.
  11. Randomly hot glue some of the small pink flowers in the spaces you left exposed, but don’t crowd the head piece because it will be heavy and cover the other added details. Repeat for shoulder covers.
  12. Grab some mini skeleton hands, add hot glue to both sides of the palms and with your index finger and thumb, spread the petals of the large rose, and insert the hand. Squeeze the rose to secure the hot glue. Randomly do this to each large rose. Repeat for shoulder covers.
  13. Take a plastic skull bead, add some hot glue and randomly place them in the little crevices. Repeat for shoulder covers.
  14. Hot glue some glitter spiders randomly on the head piece and shoulder covers.
  15. Use the Loctite gel super glue to add the Swarovski crystals anywhere you’d like for some added bling.
  16. Make sure all items have been attached securely, nothing is loose. I did a shake test since I knew I would be doing a lot of moving around.


I accessorized with a little black satin dress I found at TJ Maxx for $3.00 in the clearance section, some crazy spider web fishnets I got at Wal-Mart, a lace spider web table runner from Walgreens that I used as a shawl and some super cute MELISSA x Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon Skull shoes.


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