Where did October go? DDM Project

I needed more sugar skulls for my altars. No time to make a traditional sugar skull with meringue powder and sugar, so I did a quick transformation on these former ‘spooky’ skulls.

The irony was that I have been working on a large Dia de Muertos embroidered canvas since September. Getting it finished before DDM was my priority. My grand plans to spruce up my DDM altar with new pieces sort of had to fade out. It turns out, the large piece was just finished a few days ago and I have a few days left to try to get the altars together. I will be back by DDM with pictures of my lil altars but today I am showing my quickly worked skulls.

I found inexpensive some multi packs on the internet and even less expensive multipacks of gruesome skulls at a local shop.

6 for $3.99 at local discount shop.

The first thing I did was to cover the gruesomeness with white primer/gesso/paint.

About to be ‘sugarized’.

It can be messy and if you don’t enjoy the feel of paint soaking into your fingertips, use gloves or plastic bags on your non painting hand as the best way to paint 3D skulls is to hold them and rotate the roundish shape.

Some skulls needed 2 layers of primer-paint.

Once the skulls are perfectly sugar white and dried, you have a lot of choices on how to decorate them. I have a huge collection of acrylic paint pens. They look like markers but contain paint not ink. There are many brands. My favorites are Molotow and Posca. Both brands are good quality and come in lots of colors. Hint- acrylic paint pens should be stored at a horizontal angle.

An advantage of having a set of good acrylic markers is that the can write on several surfaces that most markers won’t.
Both Uni Posca and Molotow offer an assortment of tip sizes.

Of course, Sharpies also work on painted surfaces.

I rushed but still wanted to show you the skulls I applied acrylic mediums to.

I treated some skulls with acrylic mediums- Glass Bead and granular gels. Granular gel resembles crushed glass. Glass bead gel contrasts with tiny uniform spheres. I also used a fine pumice gel but it didn’t transform the skull much.

I did add a layer of Iridescent medium made by Liquitex to some but I preferred using Dragonfly Glaze made by Folk Art. Iridescent medium is meant to be added to acrylic paint and creates a metallic effect to the paint. Dragonfly Glaze comes in ‘shifting colors’ and is meant as a top coat. It’s good for outdoor projects as well as indoors. It’s acrylic based so no odors. Best of all, it’s well priced.

For skull sparkle, either add iridescent medium to the white acrylic primer or give the skull a layer of Dragonfly glaze.

I was sorry to only find a few little bottles of glitter. I’m still not leaving my house. Next year , I will invest in a bottle of superfine white glitter and really add some sparkle.

A tiny bit of the Dragonfly glaze sheen is visible here. It’s a nice effect in 3D.

I still want to explore decorating these cheap props with all my supplies- I have a marbelizing kit but not really enough time. I managed to cover one skull with my alcohol inks.

Alcohol ink left some brilliant, rich colors on this skull.

I was able to locate a box of gems, beads and sequins and started gluing them to my old skull. Wish I had primed it first but I still love it.

I need to get some finishing touches on that large canvas. I will be back really soon to show you all my little altars and perhaps another quick DDM project.


Thanks for checking out my blog.

Categories Artful embroidery, dia de muertos, Inspirations, things not embroidery, tutorial
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