Samhain Craft to honor our ancestors

In the Northern hemisphere, on October 31 (May 1 in the Southern hemisphere), we celebrate the arrival of the dark half of the year, known by the ancient Celts as Samhain.

Think of Samhain as your spiritual new year. Summer came and went in all its fiery glory, and now those blush blooms are shrivelling up and sent back into Mother Gaia’s belly.

On this eerie autumn day, the veil between the living and the dead is a tad thinner than your average Thursday.

In Mexico, many celebrate this time as The Day of the Dead, and create altars to welcome the ancestors when they cross the veil.

This craft honors the legacies of our ancestors, which paved the way for many of the luxuries we enjoy today. You come from a long line of courageous, brave and loving people. May this craft be a sacred reminder of that!


What You Need

  • White sage, palo santo or copal for smudging
  • Black and pink candles
  • Dried flowers or herbs that represent your loved ones who have passed and/or your ancestors
  • Family heirlooms
  • Small Samhain gemstones, including black tourmaline, jet, black sapphire, petrified wood, obsidian, smoky quartz, and howlite
  • A printed image of a skull
  • 9×12 canvas primed with gesso
  • Transfer paper, or regular carbon paper
  • Sketching tools: Pencil, pencil sharpener, white eraser
  • Brushes
  • Acrylic paint colors
  • Sharpie fine-tip black pen
  • Tape
  • Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, or other glue

Step 1

Cleanse your space and tools. Next, create an altar in remembrance of your ancestors using your family heirlooms and candles.

Open a circle of protection, and call upon the wisdom and presence of your ancestors.

Step 2

Let’s get crafting!

First, take a sheet of carbon or transfer paper to transfer your skull onto the canvas. Position and tape the carbon or transfer paper between the skull print and the canvas.

Step 3

Using a pencil, draw over the outlines. The pressure of the pencil will transfer the image through the carbon/transfer paper to the canvas.

Once the transfers are complete and you have checked that their are enough marks or outlines to your liking, remove all the papers.

Step 4

Time to paint! You may use orange and black colors for Samhain, colors that represent your loved ones, and/or colors to symbolise your ancestry. Let go of perfectionism, allowing your ancestors to guide your paintbrush.

Step 5

Finally, using the glue, decorate your painting with your dried flowers and gemstones. Keep adding objects and playing with the paints until you’re happy with the result. Place the painting on your shadow altar.


May this painting be a beautiful symbol of the incredible courage, bravery, and love of your ancestors. After all you wouldn’t be here without them!

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The featured photo was provided by Coral Antler Creative.

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