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Paper Cloth – Día de los Muertos

My art group, The Pandoras got together on Monday to work with the paper cloth we all made ahead of time. (you saw mine in my post from last week).  We had talked about centering our project around Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. My understanding is that these skulls and skeletons are made to honor those we love who have passed on before us. I always thought Day of the Dead was celebrated on November 1st; the same day we know as All Saints Day, but I’ve also read that it is celebrated the day after All Saints Day on November 2nd. Skulls and skeletons are common images associated with Day of the Dead. So that’s why we chose to make skulls on Monday.

Our first step was to paint all the paper cloth. We used several different paints and inks and I found that they all worked equally well including the cheap-o acrylic paint I had on hand from craft projects years back.  We diluted the paint so that the texture and the paper would show through – we didn’t want to lose the look of the torn up atlases, hymnals, etc.

So these are the sheets of paper cloth painted, dry, and ready to play with. Once they were at this stage, we cut out a rectangle to use as our background. Then we drew images on the back side of the various colors, cut them out, and layered the pieces to make skulls.

Susan and Alisan busily working on their projects.

Trish working on hers.

Aren’t Alisan’s guys cool looking?

Susan’s pieces are very cool!

Once the pieces were layered and we liked the way they looked, we took them to the sewing machine where we free motion stitched all the pieces down with black thread.

My guy #1

My guy #2

My guy #3 — I also cut out flowers and used them to separate my skeleton guys when I hung them.

And here is my finished project hanging over my kitchen pass-through window.

Now I’m ready for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)


About delanequilts

Full time wife, mother, grandmother; friend to many; crazy aunt to a few. Avid lover of reading; 'making something from nothing'; karate! (Tang Soo!); nature and gardening though trying to cut back on time spent pulling weeds! Lover of essential oils!

One response »

  1. Love your finished “garland,” DeLane! Looks great!


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