Kids

DIY: How to Make Punched Paper

Usually in Mexico we use “papel picado”, or “punched paper” as decoration in many of the festivities, so named for its artesanal production technique where paper is chiseled, not cut.

Punched paper is an important tradition in the “Altars of the Dead” that we use in our home the 1st and 2nd of November. Although the Day of the Dead is originally a pre-Hispanic tradition nowadays it coincides with the Catholic celebrations, All Soul’s Day and the Day of All Saints.  Today Mexican traditions are a mixture of foreign influences that have been part of the history but we still follow many indigenous pre-Colombian traditions that have also been a deep influence in Mexican culture. Punched paper is one of these pre-Colombian influences, symbolizing the wind and often the joy of the celebration.
Some common colors of punched paper used on the Altar of the Dead are white, black, yellow and purple, the last one is very important because it symbolizes mourning.

Decorating with Punched Paper  for the Day of the Dead and Halloween

Although I have not yet put the altar of the dead in my house, I got the idea of ​​using this technique to decorate my patio. I added some Halloween designs to make it  fun .

The traditional way to make punched paper with a chisel and hammer is not easy at all but I found a way to make it simple, decorating my home with paper is much cheaper than buying seasonal decor in from the mall, plus I enjoy the sound and way the paper moves, it makes me feel happy.

Whether you want to make punched paper for your Day of the Dead altar or prefer to use it as a seasonal decoration, here are some tips:

MATERIALS:

  • Colored Tissue Paper
  • Exact knife
  • Ruler
  • Cutting board

STEPS:

1. You have to divide the paper in four, just fold it do not cut it.

como hacer papel picado

2. Sketch a design with pencil in the middle of the paper, draw something, a pumpkin, a bat, a skull, a ghost, whatever you find interesting and festive. In this case I sketched a skull I found on the internet, you can super impose the paper on your computer or print the image and draw it.

como hacer papel picado

3. The important thing is not to cut where the image should be, but where the image is not, we want to cut out the whitespace. I know it sounds complicated but really it’s not so bad once you figure it out, you just have to think about it first.

Look at the picture below, I don’t cut the outline of the skull but the eyes, nose and mouth,then I cut the shape of the head with the squares and triangles around it.

como hacer papel picado

4. When you have finished the main figure, it’s time to decorate the border. An easy way to do it is folding the paper several times and cut shapes with the exacto knife, when you unfold the paper the figure is going to be repeat several times in the design.

como hacer papel picado

como hacer papel picado

como hacer papel picado

Another way is to fold the paper with your fingers in each space you think is empty and make cuts with the scissors.

como hacer papel picado

como hacer papel picado

como hacer papel picado

That’s really all you need to do.

como hacer papel picado

For every piece of paper you will have 4 small squares with the same design.

Tip. This is another design. Look at the exterior lines of the pumpkin, that is the only thing that gives it shape.

como hacer papel picado

como hacer papel picado

Alright I’m done, now what?

  • You can tape your designs with clear tape. Use it on windows or walls.
  • Another way is to tie a thread on the ceiling or walls and hang the paper on it with clear tape or a stapler.

como hacer papel picado

como hacer papel picado

como hacer papel picado

Now all I need to go buy some pumkins and make my altar of the Dead on November 1st!!! Excited! xoxo Elba

5 Responses

  1. fabiana ivonne says:

    woooooooooooooralesss hay si que padre

  2. […] / sweetsugarbelle / 1.  sweetsugarbelle 2. Cake 4. Pinterest  5. Flickr  6. LiveColorful  / Papel2120   […]

  3. El Don says:

    Me encanto :)

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