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Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

Create this DIY sugar skull makeup bag using printable heat transfer vinyl and a household iron!

Learn how to easily edit a sugar skull graphic and customize it in any way, plus find out how to snag 20 FREE sugar skull graphics!

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

[Thanks to GraphicStock for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% my own, and I only share things I think you all will love too. Thank you for supporting the brands that support WTSHB!]

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

I’ve always been a fan of the bright and colorful sugar skulls that are used as part of the Day of the Dead celebrations every fall.

Hey, I like color, and these cutesy skulls just do it for me, even year-round (just check out some decor in my craft room!).

They’re a little edgy, but still cheery and cute (as opposed to the typical evil and scary skulls), and they come in all different styles and doodles and variations.

I’ve also had a black and white makeup bag that was just begging for some color, so I decided to personalize it with a customized sugar skull graphic…one that resembles yours truly!

Yep, I created a sugar skull version of myself.

Totally crazy and weird, I know.

I’ve just got a thing for personalized goodies of all kinds.  I can’t help it.

Keep reading to find out where to snag some great graphics, how to easily customize them, AND how I added one to create a personalized bag.

Oh, I’ve also got a collection of 20 totally awesome sugar skull graphics too.

So much goodness in one post!

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Supplies

Here’s what I used to customize a makeup bag with a personalized sugar skull graphic:

The Makeup Bag

Here’s the makeup bag I used for this project.

It’s a simple canvas bag with black and white stripes, and it’s just dying (haha!) to be jazzed up with a semi-personalized sugar skull version of myself.

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag: Drop Dead Gorgeous! | Where The Smiles Have Been

The Sugar Skull Graphic

I’m certainly not talented enough to draw anything that would remotely resemble a sugar skull (or even a straight line, for that matter), but luckily, I don’t have to be!

Nope, not with an awesome resource for all things digital called GraphicStock.

This site is basically a designer’s dream source for stock images, graphics, vectors, seamless backgrounds and papers, textures, and more.

They have over 250,000 images available with new ones added all the time, and the best part is they are royalty-free!

So once you download them, you have them for LIFE and can use them for any personal- or commercial-use projects for free, forever!

I first did a search for sugar skulls on GraphicStock which resulted in hundreds of images, and after perusing through them, I spotted this cute feminine one that had a nice profile.

I liked how it’s not your stereotypical sugar skull since it’s girly (and has hair), but I wasn’t a big fan of the coloring.

Not working for Miss Blondie here.

No worries though because that can easily be changed, and in that row on the far left I spotted this same image in black and white…perfect!

Sugar Skull Graphics!

Once I clicked on this image, I selected the file format I wanted (I chose a PNG to keep a transparent background) and then downloaded it onto my computer.

Free sugar skull graphic!

How to Easily Edit a Clip Art Graphic

Like I mentioned, I wanted to create a sugar skull that is more personalized and resembles me (since it’s my makeup bag after all), and this would be really easy to do in Photoshop Elements.

You can also probably do this same task in another photo editing program like PicMonkey or Canva, but I’ll be showing you how I did it in Photoshop.

First, I opened up my downloaded file.

How to edit a graphic in Photoshop!

I then duplicated the layer (so I wouldn’t paint over any of the black lines in the original), then using the Paint Bucket tool, I selected my various colors (and as you can see, I like BRIGHTS!) and filled in the different shapes/spaces.

I gave my gal some blonde hair, blue around the eyes, soft pink lips, and bright colors for the flowers and other embellishments.

This Paint Bucket tool took care of about 98% of the coloring.

For the remaining 2%, I then used the Paint Brush tool on the second layer and filled in any of the tiny little areas that the Paint Bucket couldn’t reach.

That’s it!

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

And here’s the final sugar skull result!

So easy, right?

When I showed my husband this he even commented that it really does look like me now…which I’m taking as a compliment. ;)

Although I certainly wish I had that kind of volume and body to my hair!

And makeup that was so quick and easy to apply and remove.

Ahhhh, a girl can dream…

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

Since I’d be placing this image on my black and white makeup bag, I decided to give my sugar skull a little purple outline to help it POP off the bag’s stripes.

To do this, I simply went to the Effects menu and chose a Stroke option, then changed the color to purple on the Layers menu.

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

Cutting out the Sugar Skull Patches

For this next step, I used my Silhouette Cameo since I’m totally obsessed with it (just check this out for lots of proof), but you could also easily do this part with a pair of scissors.

In Silhouette Studio, I opened up a picture of my makeup bag as well as my edited Photoshop file of my sugar skull to create my mockup.

As you can see, I flipped my sugar skull horizontally…I just thought it looked better that way for some reason.

Looking cute, no?

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

I then duplicated my sugar skull so I could place one on each side of the bag, then added registration marks to the page.

These marks would allow my Silhouette to cut the images out perfectly.

You can check out this post of mine for a full tutorial on how to use Silhouette‘s amazing print & cut function.

Next, I printed out my project on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of printable heat transfer vinyl…

[For more info on this printable heat transfer vinyl, check this out.]

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

…loaded it onto my cutting mat and into my Silhouette

Cutting printable heat transfer vinyl with a Silhouette Cameo!

…and finalized my cut settings.

Printable Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) Cut Settings:

  • Material: Fabric (Thick fabric like canvas)
  • Blade: 5
  • Speed: 5
  • Thickness: 33
Cutting printable heat transfer vinyl using the print and cut function on a Silhouette Cameo.

A few moments later, my sugar skulls were cut!

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

Super colorful and pretty!

Blonde sugar skull appliques!

Applying the Printed Heat Transfer Vinyl Sugar Skulls

I then pre-heated my iron to the Cotton setting (no steam) and ironed on one patch to the center of each side of the bag.

It only took about 10-15 seconds and the sugar skulls were permanently adhered.

Truly couldn’t be easier!

How to apply printable heat transfer vinyl with an iron!

The Finished Sugar Skull Makeup Bag!

And here it is!

A nice upgrade to the original makeup bag, right?

It’s, dare I say, drop dead gorgeous. ;)

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

I just love how bright and colorful it is, and the fact that we share a slight resemblance is just icing on the cake.

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

Now I want to add this sugar skull graphic to everything!

Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!
Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!
Sugar Skull Makeup Bag Using Printable HTV: Drop Dead Gorgeous!

UPDATE: I love it so much, I included this blonde girly sugar skull as the #1 item in my colorful craft room gallery wall!

Colorful Craft Room Gallery Wall!

20 Amazing Sugar Skull Graphics

Here are 20 other amazing sugar skull graphics that I also love!

These are all also found on GraphicStock, and to download them, just sign up for their FREE 7-day trial that allows you to download up to 20 images per day.

Then once they’re downloaded, they’re yours for life!

If you decide during your 7-day trial that you’re no longer interested in downloading super amazing digital goodies and you don’t want to enroll in the paid subscription, no worries!

Just cancel your membership before your trial expires.

You can still keep all of your downloads and use them any way you’d like!

20 Free Sugar Skull Graphics!

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 1011 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 |

If You Enjoyed This…

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for lots of other crafty creations, home improvement project, and freebies, like these other Fall and Halloween ideas!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.

Morgan Kempf

Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

Hi I would like to know what kind of fabric canvas you used to print the skulls on. Thanks so much!


Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

Hi Morgan! I have a link above to another post where I discuss this printable heat transfer vinyl in more detail. It's from Square1 Masterpiece. Thanks for stopping by!

Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories

Sunday 25th of October 2015

Wow, these are gorgeous. I love your creativity! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup last week. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you joined us again this weekend.


Monday 26th of October 2015

Thanks so very much, Tanya!

Katie Harvey

Monday 19th of October 2015

Great tutorial! I love that you made the skull look more like you :) too cute!


Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

Thanks so much, Katie! I love personalized things, and how many people can say they have a cutesy sugar skull that resembles them? ;)