With the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, quickly approaching, you may find yourself looking to incorporate your own Day of the Dead celebration into your Halloween party or gathering. Or, maybe you’re even thinking about throwing your own Dia de Los Muertos celebration. Either way, the good news is that there are all kinds of simple yet impressive Day of the Dead decorations you can create on your own or with help from some friends.
Sugar Skull Masks
If you’ll have children attending your Day of the Dead gathering, consider printing out some pre-made sugar skull masks. You can simply cut them out and glue them to popsicle sticks. Then, arrange a decorating table for your guests to customize their own masks at your celebration. Set out colored pencils, markers, glitter, and the like. Children and adults alike will enjoy making their own masks, and they provide a great prop for photos as well.
In celebrating the Day of the Dead, many people like to set out paper lanterns with candles inside as an offering with the feast. However, these lanterns can be dangerous, especially when lit indoors with children present. Consider a safer and more fun alternative by taking some plastic or paper cups and decorating them with sugar skull drawings, using colorful permanent markers. Then, instead of candles, place flameless candles inside for the same effect without the hazard.
Marigolds are a huge part of Day of the Dead decorations, but for those on a budget, it might not be feasible to run out and buy bouquets of real marigolds. No worries; you can easily make your own paper marigolds by simply cutting rectangles out of colored tissue paper, stacking them, folding them, and holding them together using a small piece of wire. You can find a full tutorial on making paper marigolds here.
Painted Sugar Skull Rocks
Another fun, easy, and inexpensive project for decorating for your Day of the Dead gathering is to find some various sized rocks and paint them with sugar skull decorations. These can then be placed around the home or even on an offering table as a decoration. We recommend using an acrylic paint for the best results. This is also a great project if you have children who want to participate.
Custom Skull Mugs
The next time you’re at your local dollar store, pick up a few coffee mug kits that you can decorate and bake in the oven for a lasting design. You can draw sugar skulls or other holiday-appropriate images on each mug and then use them to serve beverages out of during your celebration. You could even write each guest’s name on a mug and allow them to take them home as a favor.
As you can see, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on decorations for your Day of the Dead celebration for things to look great; all it takes is a little bit of creativity to come up with some simple yet fun decor items.