Day of the Dead DIY: Lifestyle Bloggers Do Día de los Muertos 3 Different Ways

October 26, 2016 - Article reads in
Dia de los Muertos ofrenda display from Kathy at Crafty Chica

Day of the Dead, known as “Día de los Muertos,” is a widely celebrated Mexican holiday that begins Nov. 1, ends Nov. 2 and honors family and friends who have passed. It may sound triste—sad—but the holiday is known for being a grand celebration that involves intricate decorations, delicious food, flowers, toys and tequila (for the adults, of course!).

Pattie Cordova of Living Mi Vida LocaYolanda Machado of Sassy Mama in L.A. and Kathy Cano-Murillo of Crafty Chica are three Mexican-American bloggers who go all out for Day of the Dead with arts and crafts, homemade recipes and more! See how they get ready for the holiday and try out some of their ideas, below:

Pattie CordovaLiving Mi Vida Loca
headshot of Pattie Cordova

Dia de los Muertos is a bittersweet holiday that my family and I celebrate year after year,” said Pattie. “This year, I wanted to do something different for our Day of the Dead altar. My home décor is on the calm side. There’s beige, gold, bronze, light blue and cream colors everywhere. I opted for the same color scheme in our altar. Of course, I needed a few things to get it started so I headed to Target and picked up some great accessories that I will be able to reuse after the holiday has passed.”

DIY: Day of the Dead Altar
modern day day of the dead altar

Shop Pattie’s Picks

“One of the most important factors for celebrating Day of the Dead is the altar,” said Pattie. “The altar is dedicated to loved ones who have passed away (and sometimes celebrities who have also passed away) and it has staples including marigolds, pictures of the loved ones, pan de muerto, a glass of water and candles.”

Yolanda MachadoSassy Mama in L.A.
Yolanda Machado headshot

“We go all out—from events to food to creating various crafts at home,” said Yolanda. “Día de los Muertos is our way to connect to a piece of our culture, and to honor my grandfather, and my uncle who passed away this year. Target makes prepping for day-to-day life easy for me, but it makes it extra easy to get everything I need for Día de los Muertos by having all the crafting supplies I need to make my version of papel picado stand out.”

Papel Picado or “Punched Paper”
Papel Picado

What You’ll Need:
Colorful Cardstock
X-acto Knife
Adhesive Spray

What You’ll Do:

  1. Find a Free Papel Picado template online. I used one from Mom.Me, but there are many to be found on Pinterest.
  2. Print free template onto cardstock paper. 
  3. Using X-acto knife and scissors cut out as many cardstock prints as needed, I used four for my banner.
  4. Punch two to three holes along the top of the cardstock.
  5. Spray adhesive to the cardstock. 
  6. Sprinkle with glitter to really dazzle! Or, you can also use markers and color in designs of your own.
  7. Thread cord through each hole and hang where you want it!

Kathy Cano-Murillo, Crafty Chica
Kathy Cano-Murillo headshot

“It doesn’t matter what kind of decorations you use—what matters is that you understand and appreciate this beautiful Mexican celebration that dates back more than 3,000 years,” said Kathy. “Use it as a time to honor your family and ancestors and let them know you are thinking of them!”

La Ofrenda or "The Offering"
The offering collage

“I bought a pumpkin kit and made a canvas with it,” said Kathy. “It says ‘La Vida Dulce’—the sweet life. Because when we see sugar skulls—calacas—the icing and colors represent the sweetness of life, and the skull represents that the body has passed on and that we don’t fear death. We accept it as part of the cycle of life, so we make the most of our days and celebrate the memories and lessons from our loved ones. This is why I love Día de los Muertos so much.”

Target’s Day of the Dead assortment is available now in all stores and on Click here to shop the holiday selection!

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