This is a sponsored post with Target, all ideas for this display and all these calacas are my very own!
When it comes to decorating for Dia de Los Muertos, there’s a lot to consider! Here are some basics to help you out, especially if you are nowhere near a source to buy authentic Mexican decorations. You can make your own or add a handmade touch to store bought items! That’s what I did here. I used a combination of pieces I bought from Mexico, from indie artists, as well as some crafts I made. My husband painted that mural on our porch window, by the way! Then I pulled everything together with some larger statement pieces from Target.
Here are two areas we have going on in our house these days. The first one is the ofrenda we have in our living room for our relatives who have passed on. It sits atop my husband’s Grandma Minnie’s vintage vanity dresser. It holds a lot of energy and love, it’s a family heirloom! From cousins to friends to grandparents, we collect little mementos and place them here. The felt flowers are from the Target dollar spot area.
This catrin and catrina are from Target, as well as the cute tulle marigolds that I found in the Dollar Spot area. The papel picado is from Mexico and the little skull jar is too! Patrick made that model car and has the little homies there to remind him of the good old days of cruising central with one of his cousins who has passed on.
We use battery-operated tealights, and I absolutely loved these sugar skull candles that are battery-operated. My husband has an art installation at Desert Botanical Garden coming up, and he went back to Target to get a couple for his display. That way the candles will be “lit” for the duration of the gallery exhibit!
Here’s how the ofrenda looks from the front, it’s pretty busy and lively, but so are we!
OK, they other area of our house that is decorated is our front porch. My husband painted a beautiful mural on our window front, so I put a table there to host a small gathering of friends for the weekend. I wanted to share the spirit of the season, a mini-fiesta, but still respectful to the tradition of Dia de Los Muertos.
I used one of Patrick’s paintings as the centerpiece, and then built out from there. See these calaca stands? I glittered them up!
Here’s how I did it – super easy. Simply outline with dimensional paint and quickly pour glitter on it and shake off the excess. Let dry, then use a dry brush to remove the strays.
I also like to make sure to incorporate items from Mexico, such as tin ornaments and ceramics.
I made cupcake toppers and party bags, I bought all the supplies from the handmade section of Target and I made the stencil myself.
This little lady is just too cute!
Sugar skull cookies, ready to go! I planned to make these but ran out of time, so I was so happy to find them at Target as well! I used Mexican papel picado to add more color.
NOTE: Don’t set out any open food beyond your party time, you don’t want ants!
I even used Fruity Pebbles in the skull mugs to add a pop of colorful texture! This is where people can place their cupcake toppers after they eat the cupcake! I made them all by hand and want to keep them, lol!
I made handmade cards to hand out to friends, and I used one for decoration, topped off with a clay catrina from Mexico, and a battery-operated candle holder from Target.
I also picked up this wreath!
Yes, I added my own touches to it as well!
Lastly, I bought this glass skull cookie jar and used dimensional paint to bring it to life!
Here’s the steps…clean the glass, then freestyle a happy design and fill with something bright.
I know I said “lastly” but if you know me, you know there is still more. I bought a pumpkin kit and made a canvas with it!
Here’s how I did it! It says “La Vida Dulce” – the sweet life. Because when we see sugar skulls – calacas, the icing and color represents the sweetness of life and the skull represents that the body has passed on, and that we don’t fear death. We accept it as part of the cycle of life. Just like everyone is born, each of us will take our turn leaving this world at some point, so we make the most of our days and celebrate the memories and lessons from our loved ones. This is why I love Dia de Los Muertos so much.
It doesn’t matter what kind of decorations you use or where you get them – what matters is that you understand and appreciate this beautiful Mexican celebration that dates back more than 3,000 years. Use it as a time to honor your family and ancestors and let them know you are thinking of them!