Understanding how patterning influences cell behaviors to generate three dimensional morphologies is a central goal of developmental biology. Additionally, comparing these regulatory mechanisms among morphologically diverse tissues allows for rigorous testing of evolutionary hypotheses. Zebrafish skin is endowed with a coat of precisely patterned bony scales. We use in-toto live imaging during scale development and manipulations of cell signaling activity to elucidate core features of scale patterning and morphogenesis. These analyses show that scale development requires the concerted activity of Wnt/β-catenin, Ectodysplasin (Eda) and Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signaling. This regulatory module coordinates Hedgehog (HH) dependent collective cell migration during epidermal invagination, a cell behavior not previously implicated in skin appendage morphogenesis. Our analyses demonstrate the utility of zebrafish scale development as a tractable system in which to elucidate mechanisms of developmental patterning and morphogenesis, and suggest a single, ancient origin of skin appendage patterning mechanisms in vertebrates.