Sugar Skull Lanterns

Last year for Halloween Rhys and I visited a local farm shop to hunt for our perfect pumpkin! It really felt like we made an afternoon of it when we got stuck into the carving later on at home. Loved every minute of seeing who could create the most scariest or creative face. This year I thought we’d try something a bit different! I’ve not done paper mâché since I was in primary school and this is the perfect excuse to do it again! Also, these paper mâché sugar skulls can be used again and again unlike a an old wilted pumpkin.

What you will need:

·         Balloon

·         Fairy lights or battery candle

·         Black marker pen

·         Sticky tape

·         PVA glue mixed with a little bit of water

·         Strips of newspaper

·         Paint

·         Scissors

·         Pencil


Step 1

Blow up your balloon so there is still a bit of give in it. This is to enable tape to be wrapped all the way around it. Ideally it should make an indent to give the skull a defined jaw. I think my tape must have fell off because I ended up without an indent but I carried on regardless!

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Step 2

Draw on the balloon with a marker pen where you intend to stick the paper. This is to give you a guide so you don’t go overboard with the sticking.


Step 3

Mix up a little bit of water with the PVC glue and dip the strips of newspaper in one by one. Apply at least 2 layers and then leave to dry for as long as possible. Overnight would be ideal. I got a bit too excited and painted it too soon so it got a bit soggy. Learn from my mistakes 🙂


Step 4

Once dry, snip the balloon and slowly pull it off away from the inside. Neaten any rough edges with scissors and check that the skull balances ok on a hard surface. Adjust with scissors again if need be. Draw out and cut parts which will be cut out so you can see the fairy lights twinkling inside. (Eyes, nose holes and cheeks)


Step 5

Painting! Yey! Paint the inside of the skull first, a dark colour will be more effective. Once the inside is dry, give the outside a base coat of one colour. Once the outside is dry you can draw your design. I did this lightly with a pencil. Now all you need to do is colour it up! And pop in some fairy lights to make your skull come alive at night! Add a bit of bling too if you fancy 🙂

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