Looking for planter ideas to decorate your Day of the Dead altars? Make these simple sugar skull inspired DIY planter pots for the Day of the Dead holiday traditions.

Sugar skulls DIY planter ideas for the day of the dead
Sugar skulls DIY Planter ideas

DIY Dia de los Muertos planter pots for an ofrenda

Day of the Dead planter pots for an alter can make your celebration more special. I love the thought of customizing the sugar skull planter for the loved one you are honoring.

This is a good Day of the Dead craft for kids of all ages. Younger kids can help with the sugar skull decorations and older kids can help on all the steps.

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supplies for making day of the dead planters
Gather your supplies and start making your planters

Supplies Needed

Directions to Make DIY Planter Pots for Dia de Los Muertos

plastic skull marked for cutting to make it as flowerpot for day of the dead
Mark the area to cut on the top of the hollow plastic skull

Step 1

Take the hollow plastic skulls and draw the area you need to cut to use as a planter.

Use a utility knife to cut a hole at the top.

Note: I am using a skull-shaped drinking cup from the dollar tree as I couldn’t find the plastic skulls that are usually available during the Halloween season. It was quite difficult to cut through the drinking cup as it was hard plastic, I had to use a drill and sharp utility knife to cut through it. I then sanded down the sharp edges as much as I could.

Step 2

Add holes at the bottom using a drill or an awl if you are going to use it as a flowerpot.

Step 3

Spray paint the skull in the color of your choice. I spray painted the planters in black.

Step 4

Once the paint dries, add designs on the planter using the paint markers or acrylic paints.

a stencil is pasted on the forhead of the skull to make design for the planter pots
Use a stencil to transfer designs on to the flowerpot

Sugar Skull Planter Decoration & Paint Ideas

1. Use Stencils To Create Beautiful Sugar Skull Designs

Use stencils to create the intricate designs on the painted skull. Place the stencil on the forehead of the skull planter. Use a stencil brush or any paintbrush and load it with very little acrylic paint of your choice. Then use dabbing motion to transfer the design.

I chose orange and yellow acrylic paint and blended it as shown below.

a black plastic skull with design to make it as a flowerpot for dia de los muertos
This is how the design looks after removing the stencil

2. Add Colorful Sugar Skull Paint Details with Small Paint Brush

I felt like the color was not bright enough so I took a precision paint brush and filled the design with more paint to make the design pop.

a black hollow skull with painted design to use as garden pot decoration for day of the dead with paint palette on the side
Add the details on the planter pot

3. Add White Dots & Floral Designs Around Painted Skull Design

To add the white dots around the design use a white paint marker. Use some simple designs like a flower or sun with rays to fill the eye area.

4. Creative Sugar Skull Nose, Teeth & Jaw Decoration

Fill the nose holes with an upside down heart and highlight the area of the jaw with some paint.

Use your creativity to add some designs to jaws. I used the white paint pen to highlight the jaw and in the other planter I just used some yellow paint to add lines in between the teeth.

Tip: Check out these Day of the Dead paper plate masks for more design ideas.

sugar skull design planter ideas for the day of the dead
Which flower pot ideas is your favorite?

Ideas for Filling Your Day of the Dead Planters

  • Fill the planter pots with soil and add live plants and flowers to make these flowerpots.
  • Use artificial plants like fake succulents like I did.
  • You can also fill these garden pots with these gorgeous DIY marigold flowers to decorate your altars.
garden pots with fake succlents decorated for dia de los muertos
These sugar skull DIY planter ideas with fake succulents will add beauty to your altars.

I love these planters for the Day of the Dead. The dots make the flowerpots look more artistic even though the designs are very simple.

Yield: 1

Create Sugar Skull Planter Pots for Day of the Dead Celebration

gorgeous black sugar skull planters with colorful fake succulents inside them

Create this beautiful Sugar Skull planter pot to celebrate Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos. Fill the Sugar Skull with your favorite plant or flowers and set at an altar.

Active Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Medium


  • hollow plastic skull
  • paint markers
  • acrylic markers
  • spray paint


  • utility knife
  • paint brush
  • palette
  • stencils
  • drill


  1. Cut a hole in the top of your hollow plastic skull for where the plant will sit in your Sugar Skull planter using the utility knife or drill and utility knife.
  2. Using the drill, punch through several holes in the bottom for drainage if you are going to be using the planter for live plants.
  3. Spray paint one color - we used black.
  4. With a stencil and paint, create some pattern detail on the skull.
  5. Add details with paint marker or paint and fine paint brush.
  6. Let dry.
  7. Fill with plants of your choice.

More Day of the Dead Ideas from Kids Activities Blog

How did your Sugar Skull planter pot turn out? How did you use it for someone special on Dia de los Muertos?

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