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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213 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!

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  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.

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  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

  17. i have been looking for a clear tutorial and finally found one!!! Thank you so much! pictures help alot too!! :)

  18. livvy121 says:

    These are so quick and easy but look brill and are great to personalise, thanks!!

  19. Ruby says:

    Thank you! You helped me overcome my fear of trying something new😊😊

  20. angiie says:

    Hey , I’m new to crotching and I really want to learn this. Do you have a video of doing this? That would be helpful. (:

  21. April says:

    Hello. I’m new to crocheting and am lost at the “NOW you can join” step. Are the directions that follow that the directions for joining?

    • When you finish a round, slip stitch into the top of the first stitch in the round you just finished. Then chain up once if your next row starts with a single crochet, twice for a half double, etc. That chain usually counts as your first stitch in the next row. I’m sure there are YouTube videos that show this in detail. Good luck!

  22. cynthia keller says:

    Thank you so much for this pattern it’s perfect for the Christmas presents for the 15 grand children fingerless mittens. thank you so muh loved the comments too

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  25. Way I cant share on Pinterest???
    Kisses from Brasil

  26. Heather says:

    Did you use medium weight yarn? And what h at size hook did you use?

  27. Linda Sh says:

    Thanks so much for your excellent photo tutorial. This is the easiest to follow of all the “patterns” I tried, and it actually turned out like it was supposed to. I added a black border and joined 13 of them together, chin of one to the top of the head of the next one, and made a scarf. The recipient was thrilled, it was a surprise “thank you” gift for her. I told everyone who complimented me on the scarf that once I found the perfect skull pattern, I simply had to make that scarf. I’ve shared pix of it with a couple of Facebook crochet groups and people always want the pattern, so I link to you here. Hope it’s brought you some traffic. Thanks again! Linda from Ontario

  28. Leilah says:

    For some reason I’m ending up with 2-3 more stitches on one side but the other side works out just like yours. Not sure what I’m doing wrong, I’m following the instructions exactly. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  30. Karen P. says:

    I was off by two stitches every time I got to the part where I do 4 DC in the chain 2 space of the nose… when your done going backwards up the 2nd eye and you join to start the second row, JOIN IN THE 3RD STITCH so it will end where the CH 2 nose starts…I counted the left eye circle and there was always 18 stitches on that side and only 16 on the right side…so by starting the JOIN in the 3rd stitch, it will bring you right to the end of the row where the CH 2 nose starts for the 4 Double Crochets… I think you should add that to the pattern because I think it will help when people are making this…I love this pattern by the way…and thank you for posting it!

  31. Ashley says:

    I’ve been looking for something like this all over,it’s amazingly perfect,thanks so much for sharing. I made it with fingering yarn to reduce the size,and I’m turning it into a totally rad necklace! I would just like to ask for permission to sell it,would that be ok with you?

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  33. Kayleen says:

    How do you make 20 sc into the circle for one eye I can only make about 14. I must be doing something wrong. I really want to learn how to make these my husband wants me to put these on a pillow case.
    Thank you

  34. sian says:

    I just did this and it was super easy!! Thanks for the patern and pictures

  35. Kate says:

    On the row where you end up putting 4 DC in the nose hole if you only put 4 DC in the row you don’t get to the nose hole. I have made these several times and always have to put 7 DC and I follow your pattern and count to a T

  36. diarytodealwithlife says:

    A friend linked a picture of a skull scarf to my facebook, and that set me out to search for an easier pattern. Out of all the patterns and videos that I have found out there for skulls, this is by far the easiest one. Being a beginner, relearning what I was taught as a kid it has been fun. I am in the process of making a blanket of skulls. I am enjoying this, watching each square formed.

  37. Hi
    Thank you very much for sharing!!
    and I work with dresses for girls and do crochet applications
    and I sell
    I wonder if I can use your skull
    there are copyright and can not use if I have not permission
    Thank you

  38. Sara says:

    Amazing thanks!!! so easy to follow!!

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  40. cindyzs/freespiritczs says:

    Reblogged this on cindyzs.

  41. Sherry Smith says:

    Do you have instructions on how to make the barefoot sandals that you show made with this motif? Please and thank you.

  42. Rebecca says:

    Sorry I’m new to crocheting by patterns. How do you place the single crochet in the circle without attaching to the chain?

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