The Opposite Of Spring: Halloween And The Day Of The Dead- My Fascination With Sugar Skulls

Autumn has always been one of my favorite times of year.  Although you may not agree, In my world everything tastes better when mixed with pumpkin.  There is nothing more refreshing than a cool breeze after months of summer heat and most of all it is host to one of my favorite holidays: Halloween.  As much as I hate to admit it I have a macabre side. (Many of us do or holidays like Halloween wouldn’t exist) Halloween hosts many ghouls and goblins and makes fantasy come to life for a day.  It’s a fun time but an even more interesting cultural tradition that coincides with Halloween is The Day of The Dead.  For those of you who may not be familiar it is a Mexican Holiday celebrated all across the world. It was originally celebrated in Summer but was moved to Autumn in more modern times and coincides with the Roman Catholic triduum festival of Allhallowtide: All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. A three-day celebration beginning on October 31st, It is celebrated as a tribute to departed souls and to show respect and remembrance for deceased family and loved ones. According to Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature author

” On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations”

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Representations of Catrina, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico

© Tomas Castelazo,www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons

One such decoration placed on these alters are called Sugar Skulls.  I have always been fascinated with the sugar skull image.  Each are unique much like the soul itself.  An image of a skull adorned with colorful flowers and hypnotic eyes instantly fascinated me.

In the spirit of Fall and the Halloween/Day Of The Dead tradition.  Here are three fun sugar skull decoupage projects:

Sugar Skull Mini jewelry Tray

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I picked up this miniature wood jewelry tray (unfinished ) at AC Moore.  I hand painted the piece with acrylics and matched the primary color to the greenish-blue color on the print. (yellow, pink or black would work also) It looks great for Halloween or keep it out all year-long on your dresser. Great for holding various jewelry, rings or change.  Cut print to size, apply Mod Podge and then the print. Carefully smooth out with your hands.  Once dry  seal with a few layers of Mod Podge allowing to dry between coats.

Day Of The Dead Miniature Wooden Suitcase Trinket Box

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This adorable wooden mini suitcase also purchased unfinished at AC Moore follows the same decoupage process as above. I used the suitcase to trace the image on both sides of the piece to assure it was cut to proper size and shape.  Hand painted inside and out, this would sit beautifully on a day of the dead alter filled with flowers or trinkets. The bright color captures the spirit of both Halloween and The Day Of The Dead.

Sugar Skulls Light Switch Cover

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I am a firm believer in the fun a decorated light switch cover can bring to a room.  I like to think of them as “little canvases”  It can be fun switching them to reflect the holidays as well.  Decoupage light switch covers are both easy and fun to create.  First ,you trace the cover with a pencil, including the area that the switch passes through.(You can use prints, scrapbook paper, napkins, old gift bags just to name a few) Using an X-Acto knife carefully follow the tracing.  Apply Mod Podge to the plain light switch cover carefully smooth out the image you want to use.  Apply multiple layers of mod Podge and allow to dry thoroughly between layers.

Decorative, and full of color Sugar Skulls are full of life certainly Ironic considering it is a celebration of the dead.

Stay Safe and Have a Happy Halloween!

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A Halloween Treat

We had a great time tonight, handing out candy to the kids, and taking our daughter trick or treating in our neighborhood.  It brought me back to when I was just a kid with a pillow case and a dream!  I remembered the excitement I felt running from house to house collecting candy.  Our little butterfly seemed to get the hang of the art of trick or treating easily and was happily carrying her bucket which seemed to fill up rather quickly!

Trick Or Treat

 

Hope everyone had a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Looking for some fun Halloween crafts?  Check out: Kitty Cat Halloween Candy Tray and Decorative Black Cat Halloween lamp.

Bringing the Fall Indoors

Tonight, In the spirit of Fall, I share with you a wonderful blog called Embrace My Space. Sara has a genuine talent for home decorating and I love her autumn decorations both inside and out!

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LAST WEEK I gave you a glimpse of the outside of our home as we transition into the cooler months.

Embrace My Space: Fall Front Porch

Halloween soon will take over our household so I wanted to give you a peek of the fall decor I incorporated inside before it’s too late!  Essentially all of my indoor fall decorating happened in the living room since it’s the space where we spend the most time and the space guests see when they come to visit. Here’s what I did, along with a few tips for transitioning your living room into fall with minimal clean up when it comes time to break out the skulls, jack o’ lanterns and spider webs.

Change up the mantel.  Typically I display a combination of shells, sea glass and other natural elements on our mantel, but for fall it’s all about wheat, acorns and pumpkins!

Embrace My Space: Fall Mantel

Since our TV is above the mantel I try to keep the…

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It’s Raining Black Cats: DIY Upcycled Decorative Halloween Lamp

Hands down, Autumn is my favorite time of year.  From Pumpkin coffee to homes decorated with colorful mums, It is apparent fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner.  What better way to celebrate the most fun and certaintly most spookiest of holidays than with an upcycle craft celebrating All Hallows Eve?

I visited Joann Fabric and picked up some festive material featuring very scary black cats in different poses.  I thought the orange-colored background would look nicely when the lamp light shines through it.

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Materials:

Halloween fabric of choice

Small lamp base

Dollar Store Glass Vase (You can also use a glass jar)

Mod Podge

Scissors/Paint Brush/thin tipped black marker

Twine/String

First, I wrapped the fabric around the outside of the vase and trimmed with scissors.  I traced the bottom of the glass vase on the back of the fabric.  I cut the circle of material out and placed it aside,  I applied Mod Podge to the outside of the glass with a brush and carefully wrapped the material around it smoothing it out with my hands.  I cut a piece of twine off the spool and tied it around what would be the base of the lamp.  Doing this helps add a decorative touch and holds the fabric in place while drying,

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I  stood the vase up and applied the last piece of fabric to what would be the top of the lamp.  Once applied, I covered the entire outside with Mod Podge.

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Once the piece was dry, I added one additional coat of Mod Podge to the lamp and fabric.  What is great about these lamps is the capability to use one lamplight base and switch out different decorated glass jars and vases to create new decorative lighting looks.

DIY Decorative Halloween lamp made with Mod Podge and fabric

Hope you enjoy my festive feline Halloween lamp!  ahhh I can taste the candy corn now!