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art community craft culture Decoration event Mexico paper cut Party Vancouver

Dia de los Muertos party

DIY Day of the Dead decorations, skulls, calavera, photo booth
Luis rocking the calavera and Adeline with her newly-crafted headdress

I love an opportunity to decorate for a party, and even more so if I get the chance to make the decorations myself! The last few years we have hosted a Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) party, inspired by the Mexican holiday and the annual festival in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

So many faux candles and sparkles to use! I love this holiday

For this year’s party I used some foam core on which I hand-painted bright calavera (skull) motifs. I created a skull and lace backdrop with twinkly lights and garlands with faux marigolds and lace ribbon, with plenty of hot glue. I painted and collaged a large polystyrene skull and a vintage sombrero that Chris bought from a work auction, which were fun decorative items and photo props. Papel picado was the inspiration for some cut paper-style foam core signs.

Gabriela with over-sized ‘papel picado’-style signage!
More calacas

We also set aside a maker space and I led a craft session for my friends teaching them how to make calavera headdresses to wear, which was so fun even for the craft-reluctant!

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Los Angeles

Halloween haunted house décor

skull-themed table settings
Skull décor
Kitchen décor including the children’s craft table

It was a lot of fun spookifying the house for our Halloween party. I painted an antique effect on some plain frames and taped in some dollar store-bought lenticular pictures, which turned from innocuous portraits to gruesome visages!

Lenticular picture

The Edwardian haunted house theme expanded from there, adding ghostly projections and a sumptuous tablecloth layered with skull candle holders, tiered serving platters and sparkling glassware…

Eyeball flower arrangements and skull decorations
Autumnal headdress

We made coloured chocolate bones with purple candy melts in a silicone mould to decorate a cake, and baked calzones in the shape of skulls, with deliciously gory gooey centres with meatball brains!

Cutting open the skull calzones to reveal a meatball brain!