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All Souls Day Crafts – El Dia de los Muertos

October 26, 2010

Chers Amis,

I am republishing this post from 2007 and replacing the pictures that fell out when I migrated from Typepad to WordPress. It is a good reminder to me that I need to get back in a liturgical mode with Pippin starting with All Souls and All Saints next week!


Chers Amis,

After a crinkle and flurry of multicolor tissue paper and starry splatters of spring green and marigold paint, Liturgical Craft club came and went from le moulin. This month we focused on All Souls Day and the festive celebration of El dia de los muertos – the Day of the Dead. One of the goals of the club is for the children to better understand and love the rich truths of the faith and to integrate that through arts and craft into the family’s daily devotions.  All of us have some area in our homes designated as the family altar or prayer center.  We try to choose crafts that can be displayed throughout the month to remind and inspire us.This month the children brought a splash and flourish of color to the altars with three simple crafts:

Suzanne Starr/The Arizona Republic

easy tissue paper flowers These were very simple to make, even for the little ones.  Click on the link for directions.  This site has excellent resources, information and crafts for Day of the Dead celebrations.  There is also a down loadable teachers guide with coloring pages, crafts, a skull mask and more.  We made a huge bouquet of paper flowers for a vase on a little book table below the shelf. I considered placing them up on the main family altar but reconsidered –  candles and tissue paper don’t mix

papel picado banners –  I love the concept of cutting intricate designs from tissue paper, but given the age of the club members we decided to forgo the Xacto knife/template version for a variation on the accordion fold snowflake. The completed panels were hung from brightly colored yarn to decorate the table/shelves/altars.  For wonderful instructions on how to make your own patters for Day of the Dead papel picado visit Our Little Nature Nest.

Starry night memory frames. I got the idea for
these frames from the artwork in The Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston. Click on the link and page through the ‘inside’.’ You will see that each page of this lovely book is framed in black and accented by bright motifs such as marigolds (the traditional flower for this holiday), stars, leaves or even tamales!

I purchased inexpensive ($1!) wood frames and spray painted them a glossy black.  The girls used a marigold yellow, spring green, and pure white acrylic paints to add their own variations on the theme.  We placed a photo of a much loved family member who has passed away in one frame and a Little Litany of Saints in the other.   I found some  printable clip art in the Day of the Dead party kit at the HP project and overlaid it with the litany for a nice homemade 4×6 prayer card to fit the frame opening.   Little Litany of the Holy Souls marigold During the month of November we will pray in a
special way for ‘the dead’ of our own family and recite the litany for
souls in purgatory. While none of these projects are stunning or complex, my kids loved doing them and are excited about praying every morning at the newly decorated altar.


PS – Some of the other books we read were:

Father Philip Tells a Ghost Story

A gift for Abuelita : celebrating the Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (On My Own Holidays)

by Linda Lowery and Barbara Knutson

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2007 2:43 pm

    So, so lovely, Marjorie. Your post just makes this come alive with beauty. We will be doing some similar activities tomorrow with our group before visting the cemetery and joining the seminarians there for Mass at the Bishops crypt.

  2. yls permalink
    November 2, 2007 2:31 am

    So neat to read this tonight as I check your blog during my business travels which have brought me to Puerto Vallarta on the eve of DDLM. The restaurant we went to tonight (Cafe de Artists) downtown had their own lovely display and everywhere here there are signs of the celebration.

    All my love to you and yours,

  3. November 3, 2007 11:04 am

    Absolutely wonderful, you are so creative Marjorie, can I come to craft time, please!!! Your altar looks so beautiful!! Blessings!

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