How to Make Papel Picado at Home

    15 Mins

Papel picado, literally translates to “pecked paper” or “perforated paper”, it is a traditional folk art decoration made out of tissue paper and used to decorate the streets, plazas and churches of Mexico during holidays such as Independence Day and Dia de los Muertos.

Traditionally, papel picado is created with a sharp chisel that perforates 40-50 sheets at a time. This time, we are using scissors at home and scaling down the production to just a few sheets to decorate the mantle on our fireplace. Feel free to make the sheets smaller to add color to your Dia de Los Muertos altar. It’s a very inexpensive craft to create with your kids as they learn the meaning of the holiday.


  • 5-10 sheets of tissue ore crepe paper of various colors
  • Scissors
  • Thread or twine
  • Scotch tape


Step 1: Gather your supplies

Step 2: Cut paper into square sheets

Step 3: Fold paper in half, and a half again

Step 4: Cut out pattern of bottom half

Step 5: Open it and fold down

Step 6: Fold diagonally and cut out shapes.

Fold top side over twine and secure with tape. Hang and enjoy!

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