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vintage lace sugar skull tutorial

Since posting this video, last October, I have had dozens of request for the T-shirts or a kit to make one I rounded up the supplies and I’m excited to say that we now have a DIY sugar skull craft kit!

craft kits from Debi's Design Diar

I have also listed the supplies and the links to purchase items individually on Amazon if you don’t want to buy the kit

I have just added three new kits to my online shop, let me know if theres something from my videos that you would like to see in a kit!

For this project you will need,
– a variety of vintage lace, I find lace at estate sales and flea markets, otherwise new crocheted lace is somewhat pricey.
fabric glue
sheer netting
-pearls and rhinestones
-needle and thread

E-6000 glue

This weeks video was so much fun to make and answered a question I have been asking myself for a long long time…

What do I do with all the vintage lace that I have been hoarding away for years?

Whenever I visit an estate sale or yard sale that has a pile of vintage sewing supplies, especially vintage lace my heart starts racing… I just love it!

I have bolts and bolts of lace for sale in my shop and I have my own personal stash in my craft room.

I don’t own a sewing machine and I couldn’t possibly use up all of the stock that I have already, but I just keep collecting it, I can’t help myself!

Maybe you think I’m exagerating?

Here is one drawer in my craft room….

vintage lace for sugar skull

and a few shelves in my shop…


Thats just the tip of the iceberg!

The inspiration to make this T-shirt hit me, when my assistant Claire walked into the shop wearing a skull tank top that she purchased in France. Her top had one large appliqué of a skull silhouette sewn across the front, that sort of mimicked a cobweb or old vintage lace.
Then the wheels started turning…
My first thought was to try and find one big piece of lace that would somehow morph into the shape of a skull.

I quickly realized that I could achieve a more interesting effect by piecing together several small bits of lace looking for shapes that  fit together like a puzzle .

I also love the beautiful girly swirly embellishments of sugar skull art and I think that lace can be very similar to this style.

As in all of my projects there was a little bit of trial and error,
If you notice in my video the Photo below  is slightly different, I added the teeth after I was finished filming. It just seemed like a smiley face until I added the teeth.

sugar skull tee DIY

After looking at several images on Google, I realized that the teeth are usually the focal point of most sugar skull designs, thus the original teeth  in the video are not as pronounced as the ones you see in the image below.
When you are making this project really take your time , and look for pieces that have a strong shape to the eyes and nose and the mouth. I also think it’s key to create  a very defined jawline, this is what will make your design really pop off the shirt !

lace sugar skull supplies

I also think it would be fun to apply this process to a throw pillow, the back of a jacket or a tote bag.

sugar skull template

I found that using sheer fabric as a base is really helpful to creating the design, it allows you to lay your lace pieces on top of a template and get everything lined up  without having to pull all the pieces off  once you are ready to glue everything down.

I Applied the glue right on top of the sheer fabric as it  will go right through the tulle and adhere to the T-shirt.
You can download the free PDF of the skull template here,

Free Sugar Skull download,  sugar-skull-ill03PLAIN

As I stated in the video, remember to put a piece of cardboard inside your T-shirt before gluing everything down,

you don’t want your fabric to stick together… this seems like a no-brainer but I have been known to forget things like this!

– One final tip,

you will definitely want to use a needle and thread to tack down any bits that need reinforcement,

this will allow you to hand wash your T-shirt and it will look much better if everything is lying flat the lace tends to curl up on the edges.

To celebrate reaching 10k subscribers this week on my Youtube channel, I’m having a giveaway!
I put together 10 goodie packages to make your own sugar skull T-shirt.
The kit includes vintage lace, pearls, rhinestones, fabric glue, sheer fabric, and the skull template,

You will need to provide your own T-shirt.

If you would like to enter this giveaway,
-subscribe to my Youtube channel
-share the video with a friend
-leave  a comment letting me know what you would like to see in upcoming tutorials.
I will announce the 10 lucky winners next week!

I have one final bit of news, I will be hosting a live chat on the Stampington and Company Facebook page  this Wednesday at 9 AM PST and again at and 3pm EST.

I will be answering crafting and painting questions and Stampington  is giving away 10 issues of their beautiful magazine, Handcrafted!

(Stampinton publishes several beautiful art magazines such as, Where Women Create, Somerset Life and Artful Blogging, just to name a few)

I would love it,  if you can make it to the chat !

It will be so much fun to talk to you live!
You can find out more details here, by clicking on the Stampington Blog


Thank you so much for all of your kind comment and support, it really makes my day!

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