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About a year ago, I found this wonderful blog post with awesome step-by-step instructions with pictures for how to crochet adorable Day of the Dead skull motifs.  I’ve since brought the first one that I made to work to use as a coaster for my desk.  I’ve recently gotten many requests to make them for my co-workers (I don’t mind, they’re super easy to make).  Since I’m now making them fairly regularly, and I haven’t quite memorized the pattern yet, I’ve simplified the instructions into a regular written pattern because it’s just easier for me to glance at than paragraphs of instructions. I also kept getting tripped up at a few different spots, not exactly knowing which stitch I was to crochet into next, so this written pattern helped to clarify some of that for myself.

I’m echoing the disclaimer from the original blog post that this is not the only way you can do it, it’s just the way I did it.  I’ve also modified the original instructions a bit to make it so that you don’t have as many ends to weave in at the end.  So all in all, this is sort of my version of the original guide. You’re of course welcome to follow whichever one you like.  Also, keep in mind that this is the first pattern I’ve ever written (or translated from a written guide) so if you find any errors, please let me know in the comments!

Stitches Used:

  • ch – chain
  • sc – single crochet
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • dc – double crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch


  • Yarn (I use worsted weight, you may need to adjust your stitch counts if you use a different weight)
  • Scissors
  • Stitch Markers (optional)
  • Yarn Needle for weaving in ends

This pattern is worked in the round around the first round, which is two loops. With the exception of the last row, which is completed after turning your work.

Round 1: ch 12, sl st in first chain to form a loop. ch 13, sl st in 12th ch from hook.

Round 2: Note: I crochet this round around the yarn end so that I don’t have to weave it in later.
ch 1, sc in next ch, sc 20 times in chain loop, sc in bottom of chain between loops, sc 20 times in chain loop.

Round 3: dc 2 times in next stitch (the one between the loops), dc in next 3 st, hdc in next 2 st, sc in next 7 st, hdc in next 2 st, dc in next 2 st, ch 2, skip 9 st (should be 4 along each loop, plus the 1 in the center), dc in 10th st, dc in next st, hdc in next 2 st, sc in next 7 st, hdc in next 2 st, dc in next 3 st, skip 2 stitches and sl st in 3rd st to join.

Round 4: ch 3, dc in next 3 st, hdc in next 4 st, sc in next 4st, hdc in next 2 st, dc in next 2 st, dc 4 times in ch 2 space, dc in next 2 st, hdc in next 2 st, sc in next 4 st, hdc in next 4 st, dc in next 4 st, sl st in top of ch 3.

At this point, find the center of the bottom of the circle (center of the nose hole) and place a stitch marker in the 4th stitch to the left of the center stitch. It won’t be exact center, but get visually as close as possible.  You now have a choice of either fastening off your yarn and re-attaching it where the stitch marker is, or loosely slip stitching around to the stitch marker. I use the slip stitch around method to avoid needing to weave in 2 extra ends.

Round 5: Ch 4, skip next st, dc in next st, *ch 1, skip next st, dc in next st*, repeat from * 2 times, ch 4, turn your work.

Row 6: *Dc in dc of previous row, ch 1*, repeat from * 2 times, dc in second ch of previous row.

Fasten off and weave in end(s).

This project usually needs some blocking. I just get it wet, lay it flat on a folded up paper towel on the kitchen counter, place another folded up paper towel over it, and put a heavy cutting board on top and leave it overnight. The paper towels help soak up the water and dries it faster. Feel free to use your own favorite blocking method to get it to lie flat.