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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168 Responses to Day Of The Dead Skull Motif

  1. Anne Squire says:

    I made about 60 of these, mostly in #20 crochet cotton. They were “charms” to give away at a recent Art Is You retreat in Australia. They were a fantastic hit with everyone – just as well I did more than there were participants! I modified the pattern a bit – ch 25, dc in 13th & 1st st to start, and when I got across the nose gap, I turned & did the teeth, finishing with a ch4 back down to the first tooth, and slip-stitched down the first tooth tr to carry on. I also did some in a thicker randome-dye ribbon yarn – pretty pinks, green, yellows etc – and called them sugar skulls! So glad I stumbled into your pattern!

  2. Bibi Macia says:

    Easy fun project to kill a few minutes ;) LOL thnx for sharing!!!!!!! Stop by and visit me at and share a like!

  3. Kirstin Bonney says:

    These are awesome! My eleven year old daughter wants an ear flap hat with a Mohawk and skulls for this winter… The hat and Mohawk were pretty easy, the skulls were intimidating me! Thanks for making it easy!

  4. Pingback: Gillar inte… | Med kärlek från Äpple & Kanel - för dig som älskar det handgjorda

  5. Tourlounne says:

    Merci beaucoup… J’adore… Tourlou

  6. Pam Owenby says:

    My 12 yr old granddaughter is what we refer to as “Baby Goth”. She loves the skulls, vampire cross necklaces, and anything black. We let her have some, but not too far. This is perfect for her! She will love it! She also loves her “girlie” clothes, so I can make these in colors to match anything. Thanks for an adorable pattern!!!

  7. Beth says:

    An excellent visual tutorial; thank you so much for sharing!!



  8. valarie valarie says:

    thanks so much for sharing……. great little project. Im enlarging them to about “open hand size” and connecting to form a scarf!

  9. Love this pattern. It’s one of the easiest to follow and memorize. I’m joining each of these to make a scarf in various colors. I’m calling them Dia de los Muertos scarves. Thanks for the free pattern!

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  11. Tina says:

    I love this pattern! Much easier to follow than others I’ve seen. My only problem is my skull does not lay flat and pretty like yours. It curls up on the edges. It is frustrating me so much! I have frogged several skulls halfway thru because of them curling up by the end of round 2. What am I doing wrong? I am keeping my tension pretty loose.

  12. Pingback: “Serious” Hat for Work | OrMeCreate

  13. Joyce says:

    Hi – Ive been searching for an easier crochet pattern for a “skull head”that I can crochet large enough to attach to a crocheted afghan thats about 54″w x 64″-72″ long. This pattern looks easy enough to enlarge. I’d like the skull head to be like 24″ w x 24″-36″ L. Is that possible with this pattern and any suggestions. Thank you. (Id like to make a crocheted “skull” head afghan for a Xmas present for someone.

  14. Teresa Upchurch says:

    How can I get a copy of this skull pattern?

  15. Sam Cedermark says:

    Fabulous instructions. Really clear and humorous. Thanks.

  16. cynthia keller says:

    this is great i needed a pattern for my 2 grandaughters thank you so much greatly appreaciated

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