Day Of The Dead Costume For All Saints’ Day – DIY Sugar Skull Makeup

If you are looking for ideas for All Saints’ Day costume ideas for kids, be sure to check out my Saint Costume Directory!

In Mexico, the Catholic Hallowtide (All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Soul’s Day) is celebrated as The Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos. At our house, we love to celebrate Catholic traditions from around the world, and so in the interest of keeping the All Saints’ Day costumes interesting around here, Lydia dressed up as a sugar skull last year!

You can read more about the Day of the Dead as a Catholic celebration here.

The costume itself was easy. She wore black leggings and a white long sleeved shirt. We got a cheap black long sleeved shirt and I cut a “skeleton” into it.  I drew a simple skeleton on with chalk first and cut it with fabric scissors. My tip would be to cut the bones much thinner than you think you have to. Because of gravity, the fabric will droop farther than you realize once you put it on. lol

For her face I just got the costume makeup from the costume aisle also from Wal-Mart. We had a tube of white that you put on with a sponge, and sticks of other colors that resembled lipsticks. Like… makeup crayons.


The makeup was cheap. I drew the colorful stuff on first, then went around it with the white. At this stage it looked horrible! Lol. Then I outlined everything with the black color stick, and then it looked AWESOME!

I added the orange dots around her eyes AFTER the black outlines, but just as dots- it’s not filled in and it looks just fine.

The real trick to putting on sugar skull makeup yourself is doing the black outlines absolutely last so you don’t smudge the lines with your other colors.

That’s it! The makeup is obviously complicated for this outfit, but me and Lydia had a lot of fun with it. It is far from perfect but I think the overall look is still successful 🙂

And thanks to the new Disney film, Coco, (Which we LOVE btw) you can get actual sugar skull costumes at the store now! This one was at my Wal-Mart. Man… this was such an original costume last year! lol

It’s true that the Day of the Dead does have some traditions that are rooted from the Aztec natives from Mexico. Catholics, however, choose to see the Day of the Dead as a day to pray for the souls in purgatory, which is a deeply Catholic belief and tradition. In fact, Protestant Christians do not believe in praying for the dead, as they don’t believe in purgatory. It is a practice which Catholics get from 2 Macabees in the Bible, a book which Protestants are missing from their Bibles.

Also, many many traditions are rooted in previous pagan practices, such as the Christmas tree, the Advent wreath, many Saint feast celebrations such as St. Brigid, etc. And the Catholic church has always worked to somewhat absorb these secular traditions the people did not want to culturally let go of, and turn them into feast celebrations, using them as an instrument to point to our Lord and Savior. I find this ability of the Catholic church absolutely savvy. 🙂

Happy celebrating everyone!

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