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It’s Cinco de Mayo Time! 3 Colorful Crafts to Make Your Casa Fiesta-Ready

Photo by Akiyoko / iStock
Photo by Akiyoko / iStock

While Cinco de Mayo is observed in Mexico, the holiday is also widely celebrated here in the United States, especially in areas with large Mexican-American populations. The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world actually takes place in Los Angeles, CA, with up to 300,000 people attending Fiesta Broadway every year. Commemorating Mexico’s underdog victory over French troops at the battle of Puebla in 1862, Cinco de Mayo provides a great reason for all Americans to appreciate our Southern neighbor’s fooddrinkdance, and music. Embrace the holiday with these three traditional Mexican crafts that will have your house looking fiesta-ready!

Photo by Hoatzinexp / iStock
Photo by Hoatzinexp / iStock

1. Papel Picado (Cut Paper) Banners

Creating this form of Mexican folk art is similar to creating paper snowflakes for winter decorations. Instead of using white paper, however, this craft uses uses tissue- or crepe-paper sheets to create beautiful banners. This handy-dandy how-to video will show you how to make your own papel picado with pre-drawn templates. Once you’ve folded the paper properly, you can also grab your scissors and go free-form. (Older children can use craft scissors to cut shapes into the folded paper;  younger ones can draw shapes on the paper that you or an older sibling can cut out with scissors.) Once you and your little ones have finished a stack of papel picado, create a banner by folding the ends of each sheet of paper over a thick string—and hang it up. Gorgeous!

2. Tissue-Paper Flowers

In Mexico, ornate tissue paper flowers are used as decorations for weddings, birthdays, and just about any holiday—and they're incredibly easy to make. All you need is tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Simply cut a stack of colorful tissue paper into a square, and then fold it accordion-style, as you would to create a paper fan. Wrap one end of a pipe cleaner around the center of the folded paper to serve as the stem and to hold the papers together. You can then use use scissors to cut each end of the stack into petal shapes (be creative!) Gently pull open the tissue paper layers up toward the center to make the flowers “bloom”! Children can also decorate the tissue paper with markers before folding to create texture and add more colors.

3. Cascarones (Confetti Eggs)

These fun confetti-filled eggshells are found in Mexico during Carnival (you may know Carnival as Mardi Gras) and Easter, but they're pretty darn fun to make—and kids really love to crack them open! To make cascarones, open just the top of a raw egg, by tapping the pointed end of the egg on a sharp corner to create a small hole (the goal is to not crack ‘em completely, so go easy). Pour out the egg (be sure to use it in a yummy fritatta) and rinse out the eggshell with water. Once the eggshell has dried, your child can decorate it with watercolors, stickers, Easter egg dye, or finger paint, and then fill the inside of the eggshell with confetti. (A great way to make confetti is to use construction paper and a hole punch!) To close the eggshell again, glue a small piece of tissue paper over the hole. Display your cascarones as decorations or store them in a safe place until your kids are ready to break them open!

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