- Holidays and Celebrations
Día de Muertos Necklace and Bracelet set
Day of the Dead Crafting
The festival that honors the dead is a national holiday in Mexico, complete with celebrations that celebrate the dead who are always with us, visiting and taking care of the graves of family members and more. Everywhere you look there are bright festival colors in about every color of the rainbow, and of course plenty of skulls and skeletons.
For over three thousands years festivals and rituals connected to the dead have given comfort and hope to the living in Mexicana culture. So why not join in on the celebration with a craft that was inspired by the new queen of the holiday (to those who of us love her) Santa Muerte?
The skeleton saint has been rapidly growing in popularity the last decade and it isn't unusual to see her with a rosary or cross clutched in her hands while she also has her more familiar symbols of the scythe, world, hourglass and owl.
You are free of course to use a skull pendant, change the beads, whatever. As always this how-to is more of a suggestion than a set of rules, so please feel free to make changes. All photos are of my own project, so if you copy please give a link back and credit where credit is due, thanks!
Learn about this wonderful holiday
An earlier version of this necklace using pony beads mysteriously exploded, sending beads everywhere. This one was dropped repeatedly during the photography session and is just fine...
Colorful skull beads
Three large skull beads
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Made of howlite or other materials, carved stone skulls work best for this project. I used howlite beads since they have a calming property and mimic turquoise exactly in looks that fool even jewelers. But any stone you choose will work just fine.
Glass beads for your accent beads would give this project a whole new looks, since they simulate using real pearls, and what lady doesn't love pearls?
Consider adding a cross to a smaller version of this necklace that has Day of the Dead accents built right in.
Images of the holiday - Truly lovely!
Step One: Tie off your finding
To make the necklace after measuring out enough nylon string (I just measure out way too much and cut after I'm done) tie off your finding, and it doesn't matter which one you start with. If you later find these knots slipping you might need a dab of E6000 on your knots and let the jewelry then dry for several days before wearing.
Step Two: Bead!
To replicate this necklace start with your chosen accent bead, then seven skull beads putting them on from the top of the skull and repeat three times. Then add a giant skull bead, an accent bead and seven more skull beads.
Add your cross, then seven more skull beads, now adding them jaw first, and replicate the pattern until you've completed both sides.
Step Three: Tie off Finding, trim, enjoy!
Once your beading is complete tie off your finding and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your pattern of the bracelet will be about the same, with an accent bead, seven skull beads, then a big skull bead. Add seven more skull beads and another accent bead, your other finding and you're done.
My Brag Book!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Too cute for words...
The set I made for myself to match the gift set shown above.