How to Draw Figures for the Day of the Dead

Written by sarah coennen
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How to Draw Figures for the Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead was an ancient Aztec ritual to honour the dead. (Getty Thinkstock)

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, observed on November 1 is an ancient Aztec ritual that has transformed throughout the ages to become a Hispanic/Catholic ritual in which the celebrators honour their dead in various ways. In Mexico, Central and South America, revellers will spend the day decorating the grave sites of loved ones and enjoying a picnic lunch of the deceased's favourite foods.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Coloured pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glitter
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Draw, colour and cut out several skulls. To draw the skull, begin with an arc. This is the top of the skull. Make two indentations on either side of the skull where the temples are located. Make a frame beginning at the eyebrows and ending at the cheekbones. Place the eyes inside this frame. Form the jaw, which is triangular in shape. Add features such as teeth and patterns in the skull as desired. You can attach them together with glue or tape and hang them up around your home or town as streamers. Since the Day of the Dead is about honouring one's dead family and relatives, skulls are one of the most popular ornaments.

  2. 2

    Draw a skeleton figurine or several in different positions. Follow the instructions in step one to draw the skull. Then draw the neck in three small bones. Draw the shoulder blades with the spine in between all the way down to the hip bones. Draw in the hip bones and then the two legs made of two long bones each until they connect with the feet. Use a different section of bone for each of the toes and then two larger bones for the rest of the foot. Make several copies of the drawing and use them for the young people to colour as they wish.

  3. 3

    Draw a basic altar on a piece of paper. Make several copies. On a separate sheet of paper, draw different items to place on the altar such as candles, incense, music and food. Make several copies. Have children colour the altar and the items to put on the altar. Let them glue the items to the altar.

  4. 4

    Draw a female skeleton with a large circular belly. Have the children choose a photograph of themselves. Let the kids colour their skeleton or add glitter to it. Glue their pictures in the middle of the skeletons belly and attach a magnet to the back of the skeleton.

  5. 5

    Allow the kids to draw a picture that reminds them of the Day of the Dead and frame it or make buttons out of them. You will need a button machine and button making kit for this activity.

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