This article was commissioned by Scholastic, all opinions and ideas are my own!
Looking for something above and beyond the usual decorations for the season? Here’s a Dia de Los Muertos mural DIY than you can create for your front porch. My inspiration is from the new young adult graphic novel, Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier. I’m giving away a copy! Leave a comment below and I’ll randomly choose a name one week from today to receive a copy of Ghosts. See a sample excerpt here, and a classroom guide here!
This is such a special book for all ages. It’s about a little girl named Catrina (Cat) who has to move from her beloved home to a better climate for her little sister, Maya, who is sick with cystic fibrosis. As with all older sisters, Cat is very overprotective, almost a tad too much. Maya, is a free spirit who loves to explore and take risks. She believes in ghosts and even befriends them, which really tests Cat’s nerves. She thinks the ghosts are trying to take Maya to the afterlife. Cat eventually discovers for herself that not all ghosts are scary, many are just as sweet as when they were alive. At the same time because of the season, their parents tell the girls all about Dia de los Muertos, and Cat ends up discovering first hand how wonderful it is!
This book is sweeter than a churro, but also has so much depth and spirit when it comes to addressing death, illness, and the afterlife. There are spirits – or rather ghosts – of all ages, from all decades who come together to pay respect to the living. It’s upful and loving!
I was asked to create a project tutorial to celebrate the book and I loved it so much, I thought a ginormous mural for our front porch would be perfect! My husband is the master muertos illustrator in la casa, so he gladly stepped up.
This is the general sketch we came up with. The end result came out a little different, because that what happens when you create, right?
Crafty Chica Muertos Mural Pattern Here is a PDF pattern you can enlarge and use to paint your mural. Measure your window size and enlarge the image into printer paper sized sections that you can tape together. Tape the entire pattern inside your window facing out, then you simply paint all the sections like a coloring book, start with white or black outlines and fill in.
What kind of paint to use? Here’s the deal – tempura or regular water-based craft paints are perfect and easy to remove after the season with soapy water and a sponge. However, you DO NOT want to use glass paint. It will stay permanent!
Have an assortment of brushes on hand, as well as cups to hold your paint.
If you want to freestyle your own design, use a dry erase marker to outline your design.
Here is Patrick’s method. Clean your window so it is free of dust and debris. Paint the background colors, then use white to paint the items that you want to stand out. The white will ensure that the colors on top will be nice and bright!
Once you have all of the white filled in, it’s time to bring it to life. Add the colors to the designs. About two coats will give a nice opaque look.
Use black with a thin liner brush to outline each items. It really helps to look at a picture, take it one step at a time!
Here’s a shortcut to painting the marigold flowers. Create a large area of orange, then use black to paint circles. You can use touches of white to give them highlights.
Then add more white areas to add more designs, just keep working in layers, and outline in black! I loved this scene in the story when Cat not only attends a muertos fiesta, but she ends up joining the band as well! So we added her in the mural!
After all your designs are filled in and outlined, add highlights or other designs to really give them personality! Then set up a fun reading area so you can read more awesome books by Raina Telgemeier and other authors!
I love our porch so much, I think this will become a tradition!
I even made a little area for books!
From the publisher:
By Raina Telgemeier
In stores September 13, 2016
ABOUT THE BOOK: From Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of Smile, Drama, and Sisters!
@ScholasticInc on Instagram
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.
Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.
ABOUT THE CREATOR
Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile, Drama, and Sisters, all #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club series. Raina’s accolades include two Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Notable lists. Raina lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Love & light,