Mexican Shrine Box

Using a ready-made box is an easy way to make your own Mexican-style shrine or Nichos. Create a stunning design with a 3D skull and vibrant patterns.

Mexican Shrine Box

Skill Level


Time to Make

1 hour plus drying time for paint and clay

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Open a treasure box then cut along the hinge in the middle so you have 2 sections. Pull away the side strip from the edge of the bottom (deeper) box section then trim the card around the edge so it leaves a border.
  2. Carefully pull off the shallow box from the lid section. Cut the flat backing card lengthways into 2 pieces for doors. Place one door on either side of the box section, then tape in position so they can be bent forwards.
  3. Cut a 10cm diameter semi circle from the left over lid section then tape it onto the top of the box.
  4. Shape some air drying clay into 6cm diameter ball. Press the clay into a into an oval with a flat back then press the sides and smooth the clay into a simple skull shape. Leave to dry for 24 hours.
  5. Paint the box using bright colours. Fill in the eye sockets and a mouth shape on the skull with black paint. Leave to dry.
  6. Add patterns and details to the skull and box using Deco Pens and paint. Glue the skull into the middle of the box with beads in the eye sockets.
  7. Make a 9-10cm string of beads on a 30cm length of thread. Use a large needle to make 2 holes in the corners on each side of the box near the top. Tie the ends of the thread securely through the holes, so the beads hang across the middle of the box. Trim the ends if you need to.
Mexican Shrine Box Mexican Shrine Box Mexican Shrine Box

Top Tip

Try out some different colour combinations and patterns on rough paper before painting your finished box.