Budget project · DIY · Halloween · Holiday · Home decor · Wall Art

Giant Wood Skull DIY


Hi everybody, how have ya’ll been? The last couple weeks, the flu hit our house. About a week ago my youngest son got it, and a couple of days ago my oldest was hit with it. Ugh. I have been working on finishing up the Halloween decorations (I’m so late, I know) but honestly, with Christmas decorations flooding the stores my head is full of Christmas ideas and it’s hard to stay focused on Halloween. But I have a really cool, super easy DIY to show you and I wanted to make sure to get it out there in time for you to make your own if you’d like. (This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here.)


  • 1/8″ MDF (medium density fiberboard)
  • 1×2’s or pallet/barn/reclaimed wood
  • Black cloth
  • String Lights (33ft for $10!)
  • Minwax stain- I used this, this, and this
  • Wood glue
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill


This skull sign looks very complicated, but it’s really very simple and easy to do. First cut a piece of 1/8″ MDF board 3 feet by 2 feet. I started by sketching out the outline of a skull on the smooth side. This is actually going to be the back of your skull. Next, I took the 1×2’s and cut them at random lengths and sizes to make up the front of our skull. You could also use pallet/barn/reclaimed wood.If the pallet wood is too wide, you can rip it down by cutting it in half lengthwise, creating a board that is approximately 2- 2 1/2 inches wide.


Next I took those pieces of 1×2 and randomly colored them with different stains. For this skull I used Minwax Wood Stain in Expresso, Special Walnut, and Classic Gray. However, I tried to vary the depth of color by adding multiple layers of stain on some of the pieces and leaving just one light coat on others. This gives me some extra variation in color, without needing to buy more stain colors.


After the stain has dried, take some wood glue and glue all your wood pieces to the backside of the MDF (the bumpy side). So you have your wood pieces on one side and your sketch on the other. This is so you have an outline or guide when you cut the skull shape out. Anchor those wood pieces down (I used large rocks) and let the glue dry completely. The glue bottle says it’s dry after 30 minutes but not to strain the seam for 24 hours. I cut out my shape after about 3 hours of dry time and had no oopsies. And that’s what you do next!  After everything is dry, take your jigsaw and cut all around the outline of your skull. For the inside pieces I used a drill bit to make a hole for the blade to slip through before starting my cuts.


At this point you could call your skull sign done. It would look great as is. But I wanted to add some lights to my skull, and I also didn’t want my white walls showing through the eyes, nose, and mouth holes. So I took some black cloth, folded it in half to form a pocket and stapled each piece to the back side of the skull, covering each hole completely. This lets me slip my string lights into each pocket so I don’t have to staple them to the wood.


After that you can either use some hanging hardware to mount it on your wall or do as I did anlnd lean it against the wall on your mantle. I think it looks great. It would also look very awesome with reclaimed wood. If you want, you could paint or stain along your cuts after you are done. I decided not to, just because. 😁 People will be amazed that you were able to do this on your own. Be prepared for friends and family to ask for one for themselves.





I hope you enjoyed this Halloween skull project. I love projects that look a whole lot more complicated than they actually are, don’t you? Anyways, this Halloween+stay safe and get lots of candy! I like to charge my kids a “parent tax” for taking them trick-or-treating, 3 pieces from each, they can pick what but I have veto power. Works like a charm lol! As always, have fun! Go nuts! Get messy! Amazing things can happen when you do! XO-Caroline

P.S. Here are the fun parties I link to!

6 thoughts on “Giant Wood Skull DIY

  1. Oh my goodness… this is so creative! It must look amazing illuminated in your room, especially at night!

    Featured you this upcoming weekend on DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 351. Thanks for linking up! 🙂

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