El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), although it has a morbid sounding name, is actually a day to honor and celebrate those who have passed. Because of that, I wanted to share a fun craft that you can make together with your kids and possibly begin the conversation of this Holiday’s significance in the Hispanic culture.
Traditionally, families build altars, with at least two tiers, days prior to November 1st (to learn more click here). They include both personalized and traditional items meant to guide those honored on their journey. As a result, you’ll generally see photographs of the deceased and several of their favorite items (knickknacks, tools, etc.), including their favorite food and drinks . You may also find the traditional water, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), salt, and incense to help them along their journey. For decoration you’ll also see marigolds, papel picado (click here to learn how to make it), and sugar skulls to help add a lighter, festive feel to the occasion.
When I shared this with my extremely artful and talented niece, and explained that I wanted to create some Dia de los Muertos lanterns, she offered to help. She said she had created some calaveras/skulls for a Dia de los Muertos project at school last year and could recreate a few for this project. I jumped at the chance and this is what she created.
Beautiful if you ask me. If you too have artful kids in your family, feel free to make your own. If you’re art challenged like I am, feel free to use these.
Here’s how I brought this super easy project to life.
- white paper cups
- Sharpie Marker – one thick, one thin tip
- LED tea lights
Print out the enclosed printable and cut each calavera square so you can can outline the designs without ending up with marker all over your hand and/or all over the rest of the calaveras.
With the thick tipped marker outline the face shape and any other thick, dark lines on the calavera (place another sheet behind to keep the marker from bleeding on the surface).
With the thin tipped marker outline all the other intricate designs (feel free to make edits as needed – don’t feel you have to keep same shapes, etc. they’ll be hard to notice unless viewed closely).
Once done, cut around the face shape, add glue to the back and paste it onto the front of the cup (making sure to avoid the cup seem).
Place a lit tea light underneath and just like that, you have your very own Dia de los Muertos lantern to add to your alter and/or to decorate for Halloween.
Here’s a quick video to help.
What’s your favorite Dia de los Muertos or Halloween decoration/tradition?
For more inspiration, I invite you to check out my fellow crafty bloggers in this fun #MuertosBlogHop.
This post is part of the Dia de los Muertos Crafty Blog Hop sponsored by Tried & True and Crafty Chica! Make sure to check out all the other meaningful Day of the Dead projects that celebrate history, tradition, and culture!
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OMG! That is a white cup? It is so beautiful and so creative! I am impressed.
Thanks Dee, yup all you need is a white paper cup, the enclosed printable, markers, glue & an LED light & you’re set:mrgreen:
Those lanterns are gorgeous! I am totally in love with them.
Thanks Robin, I loved how they came out too! Happy celebrating 😀
I loved this post! Since I live in Mexico, I will be celebrating the Day of the Dead and your DIY ideas all come in very handy. Thanks a lot! I’m sharing and pinning this 🙂
Thanks so much Fabiola! Happy you found some cool ideas for Dia de los Muertos 😀
Those are so cool. It reminds me of day of the dead celebration.
Thanks Tara, they are pretty nice 😉
Amazing and so creative!
Thanks so much Ros!
So cute! I love lanterns, and this is such a cute and family friendly idea. Thanks for posting!
Totally, thanks for dropping by Marissa 😀
I’m always excited to try new crafts.
Me too, happy you dropped by Laura 😀
These are such a creative idea!
Thanks Melissa! We love them.
These are very creative, and I like that this craft doesn’t take a lot of supplies. Great idea!
Yes, great point Teresa and most you already have laying around the house 😉
This is such a great idea. I may share this with my daughter Spanish teacher so the class can do this for Dia de Los Muertos.
Oh that would be awesome Chanelle, thanks for sharing! 😀
I have heard of the Day of the Dead but I haven’t been to a celebration. I think it would be fun to attend a celebration.
It is definitely fun Beth – so much culture, colors, history – it’s definitely a great time 😀
I couldn’t resist pinning this idea. I love how it came out and how it glows so beautifully.
Thanks Liz, I loved it too!
I am so not a crafts person but you did such a great job explaining that who knows, I might try my hand. 🙂
Lol Claudette, you should. I tend to only like doing easy crafts myself 😉
Lovely DIY ! Looks fun and very easy to follow. Great for halloween
Wow this is look amazing! You’re so creative in just a paper cup you made it into amazing stuff. I am doing this for Halloween.
Thanks Victoria, it’s pretty amazing what you can transform when you put your mind to it 😉
I initially thought you’d draw on the cup, but that would make things a bit harder to do. Thanks for the instructions, sugar skulls are cool!
Thanks Elizabeth. If I was artfully inclined I may have just freehanded something, but having my nieces works on them just worked better for me 😉
I love your idea… Easy, cheap and still looks wonderful
Thanks Urvi – that’s exactly what I was going for 😀
Such a fun idea! I love that all you need is a cup! Very thrifty!
Thanks Krystal, I agree and that’s why I wanted to share it 😀
What a brilliant idea. I never would have thought of using white cups to make lanterns. I want to try this.
Yay, I hope you do. They’re super easy but pack a great punch 😀
I’m afraid these would scare my little guy. There’s not one artistic bone in my body either. LOL
Lol, tell me about it. Sorry they’re a bit too scary for your little one Tami.
This is such a fun idea, and one that I could actually do!
Yay Shannon – hope you do 😉
I had actually never heard of this holiday until I watched the episode of the show Community. I like that they celebrate those who have gone before us.
So happy you learned about it & came here to get a further glimpse on why we celebrate 😀
How cute!! I love it!! It’s so simple and yet looks so well done. I really want to decorate with a dia de los muertos theme this year! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, they are super easy to make and really do add a Dia de los Muertos feel to any altar or general Halloween decor. Hope you enjoy Anali!
Great idea! I hate it when kids play with candles during Halloween and All soul s day. Your plastic cup idea would create a spooky feel for the patio. I d enjoy seeing this more than my children, who are all grown and has different interests now girls. Hmmp! haha. Very creatively artistic and not to mention the material used don t cost money that much. all you have is your artistic talent and kids will have fun doing this crafty halloween decor
Thanks Mathew I agree, how can you go wrong with art on paper cups 😉