With roots in ancient traditions, Day of the Dead celebrations around the world are a festive way to honor loved ones who have passed. Family and friends gather to pray for and remember special people. They tell stories, share favorite foods, and reflect on the importance of their ancestors. Local community events often feature music and dance to celebrate life. The celebrations are as varied as their communities, and Dios de los Muertos events bring people together with a common goal – to celebrate special memories. Celebrate by making a sugar skull embroidery!
Handmade items are an important part of Day of the Dead festivities – sugar skulls are the most recognizable, but you are also likely to see marigolds, skeletons and colorful tissue paper decorations.
Check out our article that covers seven (7) ways to transfer your embroidery design to fabric. Print out the pattern and then pick your favorite way to transfer the design. For this design, I knew I wanted to embroider it on linen and knew that it would be quick and easy with a Frixion pen and the light box.
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I like to use painters tape to tape down the pattern and then the fabric. It comes off easily and doesn’t leave a residue.
Then, using the Frixion pen, I traced all of the lines for the design. Always test your marker on a scrap of fabric to make sure it comes off! I have had some fabrics where the Frixion leave a residue line. If you aren’t familiar with Frixion pens, you write on your fabric and with a little heat from your iron, the marks disappear. I like to use it for embroidery transfer because it stays in place until I give it the heat. Sometimes I don’t get to projects right away, or water gets spilled on them so water soluble markers don’t always work.
Here is the design all transferred.
And, then placed in the hoop ready to embroider!
I had fun picking bright and cheerful colors that are generally used for Sugar Skull art.
I didn’t use a lot of embroidery stitches, just ones that are quick and easy. This is a perfect project to pick up while watching a show.
I outlined the flowers with a chain stitch so that they would be bold and bright. I filled in the centers of the flowers with French knots. Around the outside of the skull, the nose, lips and stems I used the stem stitch. For the leaves, I used a detached chain stitch, sometimes referred to as a detached lazy daisy stitch. I didn’t want the teeth to stand out too much and decided on a dark grey thread and just did straight stitches for each of the lines. And, some extra French knots for added embellishment!
You can use this same pattern to download and use as a pattern to paint fabric. You can enlarge the pattern and use it as a pumpkin stencil, or reduce the pattern and transfer it to a pair of inexpensive white canvas shoes!
Most of all, have fun!
Check out all of our scary and fun DIY Halloween projects on Create Whimsy!