Fun, quick & easy to make papel picado calaveras - Simple video tutorial, instructions and templates!

Papel picado calaveras template and patterns for papel chino!

Easy to make papel picado calaveras: Day of the Dead or el Dia de los Muertos decoration garland video tutorial

As you might have noticed, we love Day of the Dead here at Happythought and specially these fabulous papel picado calaveras.

Last year we put together a  template and video showing you how to make traditional papel picado. This year we are on a Calavera (careta or Sugar Skull) tip (see our 3D calavera or careta mask template), so we decided to try something a little different and we are thrilled with the results – we hope you like them too!

Papel picado calaveras: Photo & Video Tutorial

Making your own sugar skull papel picado is easy. Follow these simple step-by-step photo instructions below or watch our video tutorial on our youtube channel.

Youtube craft video tutorial: Make skull decorations for Dia de los Muertos!

Papel picado calaveras: Step-by-step photo tutorial

Papel picado calaveras: Sugar skull free templates designs artwork images!
Bright colored crepe paper for your calavera garland.

To make papel picado calaveras you will need:

• Crepe paper in at least 3 colors

• Scissors

• Masking tape (colored if available)

• Happythought Calavera papel picado templates (download here)


There are 3 basic stages in the making of the papel picado.


what you need to make calavera papel picado day of the dead

First, cut your crepe paper down into approx. 20 x 12.5cm size sheets.

Next, fold your printed template down the middle (along the dotted line) with the instructions on the outside. Using 4 sheets at a time, fold the crepe paper in half. Then assemble a ‘book’ with the template sheet as the cover.

Secure the top of your book with a little masking tape. Make sure that the crepe paper doesn’t slip when you are cutting out the shapes.


calveras using crepe paper papel picado mexican dia de los muertos

You’re now ready to start cutting out your Sugar Skull papel picado!

We prefer using scissors. They are easier to handle, especially if you have any little helpers.

Like making paper snowflakes, carefully cut out all the shapes on the interior of the skull template. Then folding again when necessary (as shown) to access the ‘interior’ shapes,. Again follow the template guide to cut around the edges.

When you’ve finished cutting, remove the masking tape from the top. Next flatten out your book and remove the template cover. Be careful when separating the sheets of crepe paper as they can be quite fragile.

Repeat this process with another 4 sheets of crepe paper and the second template sheet. Once you have made 3 or four sets of papels, you are ready to create your garland!


calavera papel picado free templates and patterns sugar skull

Unroll a length of masking tape and lay it out on a flat surface with the sticky side facing up. Carefully place the skulls on the tape in alternate colours. The top tabs of the skulls should only cover half of the width of the masking tape.

Next, fold the tape over to create your garland as shown. To keep things simple, we recommend sticking no more than 5 or 6 at a time. To make a really long garland you can easily stick two lengths together with a little more masking tape.

An alternative method to stringing your garland is to fold over the top tab on your skulls. Lay a length of ribbon along the groove of the fold and turn the flap over the ribbon. Then secure with a glue stick or a little sticky tape.

So, what do you think? Not too tricky, right?
Remember too, if you store your Calavera papel picado carefully you can use them over and over!

Papel picado calaveras: Sugar skull calavera templates to download and make!
Sugar skull calavera templates to download and make!

Download your calavera patterns or careta papel picado templates here!

Papel Picado template set (12 patterns)

papel picado template designs for Dia de los muertos or Day of the Dead

Papel picado banners, butterfly, calavera, mini flags, birds and hearts plus mini papel picado garland templates. Available in the Dia de los Muertos printables and decorations kit.

12 Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead papel picado template ideas!

Our popular papel picado tutorial and the more recent how to make butterfly papel picado.

We hope you enjoyed our papel picado calaveras! If so, please give us a little love; by liking us on facebook, pinning us on pinterest or following us on twitter. Thank you!

37 Responses to Make papel picado calaveras video

  1. Thank you SOO much for sharing such beautiful materials to work with!! I have just purchased the entire Day of the Dead Printable package and I am SOO excited to start decorating! This year, we will celebrate both Halloween and the Day of The Dead, for the first time! Obviously it is in honour of the Mexican celebration, our family members who have passed, and out of complete respect! Thank you SOO much for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much, here in Mexico, they are all ready done, so the kids always said things like, I don’t like, and you know, but with this I’m going to me make them do it so the can know that is not a super easy so they can appreciate what other people do only for our decoration!!! =0
    Thank you again =) your web is extraordinary.

  3. you guys are TERRIFIC!!!
    thanks for sharing, kids love it
    WE LOVE OCTOBER 31. NOV 01 + 02!

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