Monday, November 28

Dia De Los Muertos - Amor de Familia... a #Cre8time Keepsake by Maria Soto

Hi There! Maria here today and I wanted to share how I came about this project... a Family Shrine for the "Day of the Dead" celebration. 

Many years ago I went to Mexico for my grandmother's funeral. My Grandfather had passed away many years before her. When we arrived at the cemetery, they opened her coffin, and added human remains inside her coffin. I asked my Dad what that was about and he said that was my Grandfather, and he would be with her now for eternity.

Until that day I never knew you could do this. So I decided to make a coffin shrine for my project – you will see more than one skeleton on the inside, and also many skulls on the top... representing all of the other family members that have passed on.

Products used:
Measuring cups
Mixing sticks
Acrylic paints and various colors
Paint brushes
Recycled bag
Kleenex tissues
Cheese cloth

I had a handful of plastic skulls and also some little tiny ones that are actually double-sided. I used Amazing Mold Putty to make this multi-skull mold. I need a lot of skulls for this project, and making one single mold was not a good idea – so I made this big one with many instead.

First make sure to follow the simple instructions on how to mix Amazing Mold Putty {CLICK HERE to view mixing/preparation}. It's pretty easy – it comes it two parts, Part "A" and Part "B"; and you take equal amounts of each (one part is white the other is yellow) and you mix these two until you no longer see any white, only a uniform yellow putty.


I used a plastic bowl to place the putty inside and then quickly pressed down all the skulls, trying to use as much of the putty's surface as possible. You have to move fast because this sets pretty fast once mixed together. I was able to make 10 large skulls and 7 tiny skulls from this one mold.


Now since I was going to paint all these skulls for Day of the Dead, I needed to use the Amazing Casting Resin. This resin not only cures in about 10 minutes... but it cures a nice opaque white as you can see in photos – and you can also add color to the resin is you want. I just left them white because I knew I would be hand painting each differently. I had extra resin leftover so I poured into a bigger skull mold (I'll use this later in another project). CLICK HERE to view how to mix and prepare Amazing Casting Resin. 


I made this little heart with wings out of Creative Paperclay. I did make a mold of this piece, but at the end I decided to use the one made from paperclay instead of the resin, same goes for a little skull I used on the inside of the coffin.

Here is the wood coffin I purchased from Michael's. I painted it first, then played around with how to add the skulls, add texture and embellishments, etc.

I love to use recycle items in my projects. In this project I used this empty potato bag. I painted the inside of the coffin purple, and this mesh was perfect because it matched the inside color. 

Here is the coffin, all painted with acrylic paints... 
black on the outside and the inside is purple.

So now I'm ready to add the skulls to the outside of the coffin. First I added some Amazing Casting Resin to the top of the coffin – a little bit at a time. Since this resin cures really fast, I had to make sure to work in small amounts, waiting for each pour to cure. It took me a few hours to get the top completely done.

Each resin pour over the coffin meant I would add a few skulls. As you can see I did color some of the skulls black, and then I stopped because I remembered I needed them to be all white. Adding the skulls at first was easy, but then I really had plan where to place them first before adding more resin – because I needed to fill the entire top of the coffin, making sure not to cover up the bottom skulls. This took a while, but I think it turned out perfect. The tiny little skulls were the perfect size for use as fillers.

Once I was done adding the skulls to the top of the coffin, I painted all of them white. Since some of the skulls were black tinted resin, it took a couple of coats to completely paint them all white.

Once they were all white the fun could begin... going back in and adding all the little details of color to each. This took a while but I really liked the end result!

I also added some color to the resin that spilled over the coffin – I wanted it to look as if the bodies had melted away, and all you had left were the skulls.

Here you can see how I added the recycled bag on one side, and then added the heart with wings and the skull made from paperclay. Had to add some flowers... they were orange, but I wanted to distress them. So I painted them all black, then I added back some red, orange and black. The heart as you can see was painted black, then I added some red and white and the word "amor" which means "Love". The tiny skull was painted all white, then detailed with bright colors. 

This close up shows the final look on the inside of the coffin, You can see the three bodies I added on the right side of the coffin. I used two kleenex tissues to cover the bodies and then added Amazing Casting Resin colored with Black Dye with a piece of cheese cloth over the cured resin. I painted over these materials to give them more dimension.

Here are more detail views of the finished inside of my coffin shrine.

This project took me about three days to start and finish. Once I was happy with everything, I took it to my office and created a little setting to celebrate my loved ones that have moved on... then brought it back home for the traditional celebration including food and lighted candles with my family. 

I've shared my take on how I used these products to celebrate a special day with my family. CLICK HERE to view some other Sugar Skulls and a Mini Shrine I created last year for this occasion.

How would you celebrate
a special holiday using
these Amazing products? 

Please share your ideas with us. We have the winter season and Christmas coming up, let's see what amazing creations we can all come up with! We love to see what others do with these awesome products.

Thanks for visiting! I invite you to stop over to my blog, "What is Creativity"
 at to see more of my creations. ~ Maria Soto

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