Make Hammered-Tin Sugar Skull Place Cards

Create a causal and colorful setting for your next fiesta with these Latin-American inspired decorations. They can be used for the Christmas, Cinco de Mayo or any time of year.

Sugar Skull Style

Mexican sugar skulls have been cropping up more and more often in decor. Instead of standard place-card settings, Mexican sugar skulls were used to identify the seating arrangements. They were made inexpensively using disposable aluminum pans, a leatherworker’s stylus tool was used to hammer out the design and add each guest’s name.

Tools and Materials

Tin can be hard to find, hard to work with and a little expensive. So we used disposable aluminum pans instead. To make these personalized sugar skull place cards, you will need: 1 foil oven liner, stylus tool, sugar skull template, a cutting mat or wooden cutting board, and scissors.

Smooth Aluminum Pan Ridges

We used a stylus tool normally used for leather working “hammer” our skull. But you could probably use a ballpoint pen, as long as you don’t press too hard and pierce the aluminum. Download our paper template of a sugar skull. There’s enough room in the design to accommodate a person’s name at the bottom. The aluminum oven liners do come with some raised lines and imprinted writing, so start out by smoothing the aluminum using a paint stirrer.

Trim Edges

Cut off the rolled edges of the oven liner to create on smooth sheet.

Trace the Template

Use a stylus to trace over the template once, pressing moderately hard to make sure the imprint are visible.

Cut It Out

When the outline is complete, cut out the sugar skull.

Deepen the Design

Use the stylus again to go back over the lines from the first tracing to make them deeper. This works best on a cutting mat because it is soft and will allow the stylus to create deep lines without piercing through the aluminum.

Personalize and Place

Add each guest’s name in the blank area.