Day of the Dead Hand Puppet Design

Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos starts on October 31st and ends on November 2nd. I’ve always loved the intricate and colorful designs of the sugar skulls. Make your own colorful Day of the Dead puppet using the Skeleton Puppet Pattern PDF as a base.

Use white craft foam instead of felt for the white features. Sharpies on felt work, but the colors end up more muted and small details end up as blobs. Plus most felt has loose fibers that make drawing on it kind of challenging.

Here’s a Skull Template PDF with 4 blank skulls. Look around the web for design ideas. Spider webs, flowers, hearts, crosses, spirals, dots, curlicues are just a few repeated designs. Practice on plain paper first before you start on the foam.

Trace out your final design on the foam sheet. You cut out the nose and eyes in the pattern, but you can also draw or add designs on the foam. I left the nose intact as a heart shape instead of cutting out. I recommend drawing everything before cutting out the features. Trying to draw on each small finger after being cut out didn’t sound fun.

Also keep in mind the mirroring aspect of the arms, palms and fingers when creating and drawing your design. You’ll need to invert your design if you want the arms to mirror each other.

Then just hot glue the foam features on the black felt hand puppet and you’re ready to go. Have fun and be creative.

Free Files used for this post:
Skeleton Puppet Pattern PDF
Skull Template PDF