Day of the Dead Craft: Papel Picado


Papel picado (perforated paper) is a popular Mexican folk art crafted out of tissue paper. This delicate and colorful art decorates home and streets during the Day of the Dead celebration.

While many of the designs can be very intricate, with skeletons, birds, angels, words, the sun, flowers, and more, you can make simple ones at home with your children in much the same way you would make snowflakes. They are a lot more colorful and no cold weather is required!

How to make Papel Picado Craft (Day of the Dead)

Papel Picado
Image Credit: Flickr


  • Tissue paper (orange, pink and purple are popular colors but you can use any colors you wish)
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Tape


  1. Fold tissue paper (approximate size should be 8 x 10 inches) at least four times but you can fold even more. It should be folded edge to edge, not corner to corner.
  2. Cut small shapes from the paper, but be sure not to cut off any corners as we want to keep the rectangular shape of the tissue paper to hang them after.
  3. Unfold. The edges may be straight, scalloped or fringed.
  4. Fold the top 1/4 inch of the papel picado over a long piece of string and tape it around the string.
  5. Add additional sheets to craft a long, decorative streamer that you can hang from anywhere in your home.

DLTK for Kids for the directions.

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