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!

EDIT – I’m glad everyone loves this pattern.  I can no longer crochet or knit…..or stir a pot of soup.  Ugh.  Degenerative disks in my neck have really bothered my wrists.  So, I want you to make these, sell them, share them, and do whatever else you want to with them.  You have my permission.  You have my blessing.  You have my appreciation.  Happy crocheting to all of you!


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310 Responses to Day Of The Dead Skull Motif

  1. zoila lopez says:

    G racias…bendiciones….linda la calaverita….gran paciencia para enseñar….

  2. Gwendolyn says:

    DEAR KRISTIN, thank you very much for the pattern. I am going to try even though i am a beginner at crocheting…. one of my lovely daughter in law is going to adore them – for sure!!!! Hope you are well!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS!!! One of the best patterns I’ve ever used!! The instructions were super simple to follow!! Thank you so much!! I love it!!!

  4. Pingback: Crochet Skull Motif | Pink Heron Blog

  5. Jill Clayton says:

    Thank you for your pattern it’s easy to follow, I’m going to use it in a day of the dead folk art style shawl.

  6. R.A. says:

    Have you tried nerve blocks for the pain? Most helpful for me. I also like chiropractic, soft tissue massage and acupuncture. Blew out knee in 93(19 surgeries later), fibro since 4th grade, dx- rsd in 2004 and degen. disc disease from t11- s1.

  7. janik says:

    Thanks a lot! So beautiful and easy thanks to you!
    Hope your health goes better!

    Thanks from Belgium!

  8. Anna Lopez says:

    Mine didn’t come out right. I need to try again and follow the instructions closely, I missed something somewhere.

  9. Luanne says:

    Kristin – sorry to hear about your disks/wrists! I hope you find some way to stir soup and do handi-work again. It looks like it brings you quite a lot of joy. I’ll be trying this pattern this fall,

  10. Hippie Al says:

    Thank you very much for this pattern! It is much appreciated! 💖😁🌻

  11. Anna says:

    Thank you for the pattern! I’m making them using a K hook. My plan is to make several of them in different colors and making a garland for my office. 😀

  12. Marina Indricane says:

    Thank you so much for a beautifull motif! Thank you for sharing it with all of the craft world! And thank you for giving us your permission to use it for our projects!

  13. Thank you for this motif – it is exactly what I was looking for. I’m sorry you can’t crochet etc any more. Best wishes x

  14. Katie says:

    This is awesome! I love your humor. (NOSE HOLE!) 😂😂😂 Thank you!!
    – a fellow crochet rebel

  15. Alicia says:

    I’m so sorry for your pain and thank you so much for this pattern is so awesome

  16. Frankie Chapman says:

    Thank you for this pattern. I am making them for my favorite sister in law. She lives the Day of the dead skulls. I am making them as Christmas tree ornaments.

  17. Marina W says:

    Thank you, so much, for this free pattern and so easy to follow tutorial. I am so sorry you can’t crochet anymore due to your neck problems. Best wishes and good health.

  18. Erin says:

    My 4 yo daughter has firmly insisted this skull goes on her new cloche hat I made… She’s an odd little thing, lol. Thank you!

  19. Tam Johnson says:

    Hi Kristen,

    Just found your fantastic pattern and website, thank you so much for sharing what you do!

    I just wanted to ask you if you’ve seen a Functional medicine practitioner for your health issues? I know it sounds crazy, but diet plays a massive role autoimmune disorders and I think your condition could be helped a lot that way. There’s only so much modern meds and surgery can do.

    I studied Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and healed my own autoimmune disorders through functional testing and the autoimmune paleo diet (AIP) There are many great practitioners stateside that could help you get some real answers and at least some return of function if not a cure.

    The thought of someone not even being able to crochet totally breaks my heart! Sending you much love x x

  20. Kathleen Lucas says:

    Your the best. Prayers for you

  21. Heather says:

    Thank you for this pattern. My heart goes out to you and I pray you are able to find something you can enjoy doing.

  22. JanineY says:

    Has anyone else made these and the skull ended up not flat? Mine ends up like the beginning of a ball. Is cool for making 3D but any tips on how I can get it flat? Bigger or smaller size hook?

    • Diann says:

      Probably just your tension but also might be the yarn you used. Try gently stretching or blocking the item, that usually fixed the “curl”.

  23. Diana says:

    Thanks for sharing.Sorry to hear you have a disk problem-they sure can cause a lot of pain-Hope you still have some good days.

  24. beatealight says:

    this is great thank you so much!

  25. Bex says:

    Thank you that was surprisingly easy!!

  26. Rachel Taylor says:

    You are wonderful! I have degeneration in my lower spine. Hang in there and thank you for sharing your creativity with us!

  27. Pingback: Quick Halloween Themed Crochet Tutorials for the Very Busy Person. – Elaine of the Gnomes

  28. Becky MacNeil-Allen says:

    Finally! I’ve been looking for this pattern for my neice for some time. Your written pattern and pictures are amazingly easy to follow. You have quite a talent there. And my kind of humor too! I’m so sorry to hear about your illness. I’ve been dealing with a few of my own for several years now. Fibro is mearly a symptom of what I have. My liver has been effected by them and I can no longer digest pain medication. It’s all topicals or suck it up buttercup. Totally sucks. I can agree with the nerve blocking procedures and holistics mentioned earlier. Going even further on that note, because of my liver problem, I have discovered that Essential Oils are very helpful. They can be adminstered several different ways so digesting them can be avoided. And you can still pass a sobriety test, hurah!!

  29. Diann says:

    Super cool. Thanks for sharing it with us and good luck to you in future!

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