Day Of The Dead Skull Motif


Alrighty folks, this is JUST a guide.  I’m going to give you the step by steps on how I got these results.  This is not the only way you can do it, it’s just the way I did it.  Everyone crochets differently, so please adjust this to fit your style.  You may need to add or remove stitches, depending on how tightly you crochet.  Also keep in mind that using thicker or thinner yarn will alter your results.  To define the teeth portion of the skull, you may want to block it.  Check YouTube for blocking videos if you’re unsure of how to do it.  At some point I hope to get a simple photo tutorial up about it, but I’m just not feeling it right now.  I’ll be happy to help through email or comments though.

What you need to know (in American terms) -

  • ch – chain
  • sc – single crochet
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • dc – double crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch

What you need to have -


Yarn, hook, yarn needle, scissors, and stitch markers (not shown) if you need them.

Here we go -

Start with your basic slip knot and chain 12.  Make a circle and sl st into the first chain.  This forms your first eye socket.  Mmmmm eye socket.


Continue without breaking your yarn and chain 13.  Sl st into the 12th chain from the hook.  This makes your second eye socket.  You should have two circles with one chain separating them.


Chain 1, sc into the next chain (the one that’s between your eyes), and then place 20 sc in the circle.  You will be making these single crochets around the row of chains and NOT crocheting into the chain itself.  Again, this is just a guide.  You may decide you want more stitches here.  20 worked for me.


sc into the bottom of the middle stitch (between the eyes) and place 20 sc in the second circle.  If you decide you need more stitches, just make sure you do the same amount in each eye.  That’s the basic rule for this whole project. What you do on one side you will need to repeat on the other side.


I did not join to start the second round.  If you’re a stickler for joining, go right ahead.  If you’re a crochet rebel like me, skip it.  Place 2 dc in next stitch (if you joined, chain 3 and put one dc in the same stitch).  Dc in the next 3 stitches, hdc in the next 2 stitches, and sc in the next 7 stitches.  This starts to form the shape of the skull.

(The photo below shows the yarn needle in the 4th stitch from the end of the circle.  We aren’t going to work any stitches into this spot.  So, if you’ve adjusted your count to work better for your style of crochet, just keep in mind you need to leave some stitches blank to allow for the nose hole.  Yep.  Nose hole.  I’m classy.)


hdc in next 2 stitches, dc in next 2 stitches, chain 2.  We are going to skip a total of 9 stitches, 4 going up the circle, the middle stitch, and 4 going down the second circle.  (NOSE HOLE!)


Join your chain 2 to the 10th stitch (the 5th stitch in the second circle) with a dc.  Now we will do exactly what we did in the first circle, only backwards.  1 more dc, 2 hdc, 7 sc, 2 hdc, 3 dc.


NOW you can join.  Chain 3.  dc into next 3 stitches, hdc in the next 4 stitches, sc in the next 4 stitches, hdc in the next 2 stitches, dc into next 2 stitches.  This should get you back to the chain 2 you made to create the nose.  Place 4 dc into that space.


And we’re ready to repeat it all backwards.  2 dc, 2 hdc, 4 sc, 4 hdc, 4 dc.  Sl st into the top of the chain 3 that started this round.  Cut your yarn leaving a tail to weave in and secure.  You have a skull head, but something is missing.  TEETH!

In the photo below, the yarn needle is showing the middle of the skull.  It’s not exact, but it’s close enough.  Count over 4 stitches to the left and reattach your yarn.

12 13

Chain 4, skip the next stitch, dc in the next stitch, chain one, skip the next stitch, dc in the next stitch, chain one……do you see what’s happening here?


When you’ve made 4 teeth, chain 4 and turn your work.  Dc into the dc in the previous row and chain one.  Do this across to get the second row of teeth.


And there ya have it.  It’s a skull.  Cut your yarn, secure it, weave in the ends.  It’s NOT as hard as you think.  You got this!


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147 Responses to Day Of The Dead Skull Motif

  1. kristie says:

    A video of this would be awesome! I learned to crochet by watching my husbands grandmother and videos. I have a hard time following a “written” pattern for some reason :(

  2. Reblogged this on Neverland Adventures! and commented:
    This is one of the projects i’m doing for Dia de los Muertos!!! ^_^

  3. Betty Radcliffe says:

    Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I love to decorate and now I can crochet some skulls to decorate with. Thank you so very much for the “Day of the Dead Skull Motif”. I love it. Thanks again, Betty Radcliffe

  4. Pegi Jacobs says:

    I love this! Making 15 of them to make a scarf with added a little twist. with color. I think it will work out great! thanks again for the easy to read and see instructions!

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  7. Oh la vache says:

    Thank you sooo much for this “cute” pattern! Real cool and easy to follow, I think I will offer some to my friends :)

  8. Pingback: Crochet A Mini Skull Applique - I Love DIY

  9. Robin says:

    this is truely ingenious, thank you kristin for your ceativity! My teenage little sister will love theese!

  10. Ana Maria Perez Bello says:

    gracias por loas explicaciones Esta muy bonito el proyecto

  11. Hey! I made this!!!! It was my first attempt at making a skull, and it came out …alrightish. :)

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  13. deb says:

    very neat pattern , thanks so much for taking the time to post it. thanks for sharing.!

  14. Ali says:

    This is great, thanks so much. I made seven of them and strung them together in a garland for decoration at our halloween party.

  15. Polly says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. I have a difficult time following some (it’s probably me), but yours was easy for me and entertaining to read! My intention is to embroider names and embellishment for Day of the Dead next year! Again, thanks!

  16. Angel says:

    I would like to the before starting the slipknot is there a certain length? I found it slightly difficult to start the second eye socket. Please help. Thank you!

  17. elise gurrola says:

    I want to thank you so much for your pattern and guide. Out of all the patterns I found online yours was the easiest to fallow and made the best skull. This is going to make the perfect Christmas gift for my sister and her daughter. :-)

  18. Emma says:

    Great pattern, thanks!

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  20. Trish says:

    For some reason I can’t get this to print? Any suggestions anyone? Or could you email me the pattern or a link? My daughter will love these and I want to put one on her beanie I made. Thank you so much.

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  22. Valerie says:

    Instructions were great! I just finished my skull it was my first crochet project and I learn a lot of the stiches along the way. I’m so proud of how it turned out. Thank you!

  23. laura alka says:

    Your pattern was the best explained one ive ever done. Very easy to follow with no confusion. excellent explainin. I will be looking for more of your patterns. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  24. Jessika says:

    I have seen skulls put together as a scarf or tablecloth. I have wanted to make that. Now it’s possible with your tutorial. :) thanks!!

  25. jacoBrett says:

    I’m currently working on making one of these but I ran into some trouble. On the round where I’m SUPPOSED to join and ch 3, 3 dc, 4 hdc, 4 sc, 2 hdc, 2 dc, I didn’t quiet get to the nose hole, I’m two stitches short. I unraveled the entire project once and tried it again and it’s the same way, I’ve also reviewed it and checked my stitches closely, I’m being extremely careful to obey every deail of the pattern. I’ve still got two stitches before the ch 2 which is the “nose hole.” What should I do to correct this?

    • Don’t think of it as a pattern. Think of it as a guide. As I said above, you should be fine as long as you’re doing the same thing on both sides of the skull. Add your two stitches before the nose, but make sure to add 2 on the other side of the nose too. Don’t worry about following my steps. Relax, remember what you change, and if it turns out a little different than my picture, that’s fine.

    • jenmb says:

      @ jacobrett I had the same issue, I just eliminated the 2 DC in the same stitch. When I tried to adjust sts to make up for it, the nose hole got wonky.
      Very cool skull, thank you!

    • jacoBrett says:

      I wound up doing 1 dc instead of the increase, and adding an extra sc on both sides of the last round which means I also only did 3 dc at the very last before 1 sl st to FO.

  26. Trish says:

    Thank you for this. Im some-what of a beginner even though Ive known how to crochet since I was 9. This was very easy to follow and now I can add some skulls to a scarf!! Sweet:)

  27. joy ritter says:

    I just made my first one – I LOVE IT! Had to rip out just a couple times but finally got the hang of it and now it is looking very cool! I think I will make more and string together for a funky scarf! Thank you for your time and instruction! Joy

  28. Susie says:

    Love this pattern! Has anyone put fringe or other finishings at the end. I keep making the skulls and add them to my stash for future projects.

  29. laura says:

    Can you do a left handed tutorial of the skull pattern pleazzzzze.

  30. Luna says:

    Love this! Thank you so much for putting it out there for people.

  31. cityprole says:

    I am not only left handed, but can’t read a pattern..but yes i have been crocheting forever!
    Pretty pretty please, if you do a vid of this, mirror image it for us lefties …this seems to be the only way I can follow a tute..Many thanks!

  32. Karen says:

    Thanks Kristin, easy to follow instructions and also enjoyed the humour :-)

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  34. Ashley says:

    Great pattern. Just wondering what size hook and weight of yarn did you use? Thanks!

  35. Love this pattern!!! NOSE HOLE!!! Love it!!

  36. Sue Blacklaw says:

    Made this skull with sportsweight yarn to make an eyepatch for my son who lost his eye to glaucoma due to diabetes at 33 years old he was thrilled and his friends thought it was really cool as well he likes to be a little different now hos 44 year old wants one too thank you so much

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  38. Yvonne says:

    If I wanted to make this skull a bit smaller, would I just use a smaller hook? (I want it about 3X3)

  39. Brenda Marie says:

    I just made one and it doesn’t come out FLAT (it has a curve to it like a MASK)… BUT I LIKE THAT… I am gonna make it into a little wall hanging (after I add a few flowers and leaves to it to give it a ‘sugar skull’ look. Thank you for sharing your tutorial – it was very easy to follow. :-)

  40. Elizabeth says:

    Of all the patterns I have collected of skulls I chose this one at the last minute, so glad I did cuz reading your directions was just too funny—-and perfect :) Thanx for the pattern and the wit :)

  41. Heidi says:

    This is a really well done tutorial, I now have a great little skull. I’m going to stitch it onto a headband I think. Thanks!

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  44. Berit says:

    Thanx, love it….

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  47. Jane Bush says:

    I would love to have instructions for the little embellishments, the flower and bow , you have on your white skull! They are so cute!

  48. Michelle says:

    You didn’t mention what size hook to use . Love the pattern going yoke one for my daughter .

  49. Pingback: Day Of The Dead Skull Motif | Crafty Brewster

  50. Rhiannon De Vore says:

    is there any way we could do this on a circular loom?! if so, please show! love the pattern, super cute xx

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