Artwork and Blogpost by Charmaine Webb, Cobwebbs Craft Studio, WA

​When I got the MDF Skull to decorate for Halloween, I thought I needed to spice her up a bit, bringing in a little Mexican flavour… as I like the Sugar Skulls they make, garish in colour and just frighteningly beautiful at the same time!

A little fact on the sugar skull or calavera:
calavera is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to edible or decorative skulls made (usually by hand) from either sugar or clay which are used in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls’ Day. The most widely known calaveras are created with cane sugar and are decorated with items such as coloured foil, icing, beads, and feathers.

Her Name is SUGAR | Sugar Skull Kit

​Step 1. Gather your supplies & ideas:

  • Sugar Skull Kit – MDF, Chippies & Stencil
  • Powertex Universal Medium – Bronze
  • Easy Coat Glossy
  • Powercolour: Red, Yellow, Orange, Lime Green, Light Blue, Rose, Titanium White
  • Colourtrix Colours: Rich Gold, Magic Orange & Terra Violet (will not all be used, but handy to have just in case you fancy a bit of colour)
  • Powertex Easy Structure 
  • Stone Art
  • ​Small piece of Styrofoam
  • 2 x Tea lights (optional)
  • Gloves, Brushes, Skewer Stick, Bowls, Plastic table covering

Step 2. Bronzing & stencilling

Her Name is SUGAR | Sugar Skull Kit
Her Name is SUGAR | Sugar Skull Kit
  • I planned to put the lights in for the eyes, so I marked out where I would be cutting the holes in the back piece to slide the tealights in 
  • Make sure you stir your Powertex Bronze well before use
  • Stencil your preferred pattern on the skull face
  • Paint all the bits back & front, leaving to dry each side before doing the other side
  • I also cut 4 rounds of styrofoam to place between the back & front to have a gap to fit the tea lights in. Bronze them up too.

Step 3. Decide where to place bits and colouring of pieces:

Her Name is SUGAR | Sugar Skull Kit
Her Name is SUGAR | Sugar Skull Kit
  • Place the bits on, more or less where you want to put them. Decide what to colour each one, I usually just go for it in the moment and see how I feel!
  • Colour the back & front, highlighting the stencilled area with contrasting colours e.g. blue and orange.
  • I coloured the base in one colour as I wanted it just to show through subtly.
  • Embellish all the pieces by dry brushing them with a little Easycoat and a small amount of pigments (colours of choice)
  • Blend the Powertex colour with a little Easycoat & Titanium White to make it pop even more. TIP: Do not soak the brush in Easycoat, you require a dry brush to make the blends.
  • Stick the front and back together using the styrofoam as spacers

Step 4. Bring it all together

Her Name is SUGAR | Sugar Skull Kit
  • Mix a little Stone Art with Powertex to form a ball of clay, you do not need a large amount.
  • Once all the pieces are dry, carefully place small balls of clay onto each piece, dab a bit of Easycoat on and stick in the desired place.
  • Remember to trust that the Powertex products will adhere to each other.
  • Once you have all the bits & pieces in their desired positions, it is time to highlight your project with a bit of shine, I used Terraviolet in the eye sockets on the Styrofoam
  • I used Magic Orange on the rest of the pieces to lift out the textures

 

Lights off and Eye sockets shining
Her Name is SUGAR | Sugar Skull Kit

I hope you feel inspired to try this project!
I had a lot of fun creating it… and LOVE the end result… especially the glowing eyes!!!

​Warmth & Hugs
​Charmaine

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