Skulls That Sparkle

Guess what, guys! Halloween is now just six weeks away. To most people, that probably means it’s almost time to start decorating. For me, it means I’ve already been working on my costume for weeks. Growing up, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. Now that trick-or-treating isn’t involved, it’s lost some of its appeal, but I still get giddy when October approaches.

A while ago, I came across a post on Cupcakes and Cashmere about Emily’s Halloween decor. Predictably, I fell in love with this black glitter skull from Z Gallerie.

via Cupcakes and Cashmere

I just had to have one, but the store near me didn’t have them yet. My extreme impatience led to ambition, and I decided to attempt making my own.

Apparently, Michael’s likes to give crafty holiday lovers some lead time on the decorations, because they already had plenty of Halloween pieces. I spotted a shelf of paper maché skulls, and I was in business. I also grabbed some black spray paint and gorgeous fine black glitter.

Creating a glitter skull seemed like a fairly simple process in my head. 1) Spray paint the skull. 2) Hit it with a buttload of spray adhesive (my favorite is 3M Super 77). 3) Dump a bunch of glitter on top. 4) Step back and admire.

I already owned a nifty funnel tray to catch and re-use the extra glitter. So quick and easy, right?


It looks all right in that photo, but trust me – in person, it ain’t pretty. The glitter was clumpy and uneven, and I couldn’t touch the damn thing without getting glitter all over my entire life. Even after a coat of Krylon Clear Sealer, the glitter wouldn’t stay put. Luckily, I had a back-up plan.

While I was at Michael’s, I had spotted a product I hadn’t seen before: Krylon Glitter Blast in “Starry Night.”

I had purchased it in hopes of adding some extra sparkle on top of the regular glitter. But when I tried it out on the ground (my expert testing area), I found that it was incredible on its own. I immediately ran right out to buy more in “Golden Glow.” I already had gold spray paint, because … duh.

I hit my next two skulls with Krylon Spray Primer, then coated them with some gorgeous, glossy spray paint.

Before I started spraying the glitter, I wondered to myself if it was actually made of colored paint PLUS glitter, or if it was just glitter with a clear coat. Being the genius that I am, I tested it out on … my hand. While wearing my engagement ring and wedding bands. Yeah, I still haven’t gotten the little black bits off. Not sure I ever will.

FYI: It’s just glitter with a clear coat. Good to know.

Anyway, I made one gold skull and two black skulls – one for me, and one for my fellow-glitter-skull-loving-friend, Jeff. I lined them up for a photo shoot with the jacked up original skull (all the way to the right) because I felt sorry for it.

I have to admit that the gold one is my favorite. I named him Disco Skull.

I intended to put the glitter skulls in my foyer with the rest of my Halloween decor, but I love them too much to be so far away from them. I think they’ll live in my office, where I spend most of my time when I’m at home.

I have to be honest: they’ll probably stay there all year long.


  • OMG SO AMAZING. Weekend project!!!

    I reupholstered my chairs this weekend (OK only half of them since I’m newbie and ran out of spray of paint halfway through) and felt like the goddess of DIY — but glitter and skulls totally upstages it!

    • Giiiiirl, you’re crazy! Pretty sure reupholstering chairs is a little more challenging than spray-painting paper maché. 🙂 Do you have a staple gun?! I really want one, but I think I need to actually have a specific project in mind to justify the purchase. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR CHAIRS! (You’re going to post about them, right?!)

      • I AM — when I actually finish. I ran out of spray paint halfway through and then the store ran out of the spray paint. Leave it to me to a pick a very rare color!

        And yes!! I just bought the staple gun — it was only $12.99!!! I was expecting something way more expensive!

        I did my skulls this weekend — I’m totally linking this post up like whoa and sharing it with anyone that will lesson because IT’S AWESOME. The skulls from my Michaels weren’t as awesome as these so mine are a little bumpy but alas — I love them.

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  • I’ve perfected my glittering by painting with a plain base color and then mixing glitter with a clear coat and applying layers of the glitter stuff on top. It uses less glitter, makes less mess but takes a little more time for a longer-lasting product. I’ve even topped furniture with a resin top coat for extra depth.

    • WAIT. You’ve glittered FURNITURE?! I need to see this!!

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  • Emily Daniels

    Thank you for this DIY lesson. I’m getting married on Dia de Los Muertos this year and wanted to make gold glitter skulls for decorations and your directions were perfect! I used Rustoleum’s Metallic Gold and Krylon’s Glitter Blast and they are perfect. Thank so much!

    • That sounds awesome! So glad I could help.

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