Cinco de Mayo Crafts

Cinco de Mayo Crafts

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the United States as a day to enjoy and learn all about Mexican culture and heritage. Traditionally celebrated on the 5th of May, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day that Mexico defeated France at the Battle of Puebla. Although this day is not a national holiday in the United States, it is still widely celebrated throughout the country.

If you want to take part in this day of festivities, you can try a few new craft projects and even try cooking some delicious traditional Mexican food. Cinco de Mayo crafts can range from complex to simple, but they are all colorful and fun.

Papel Cortado

One common decoration you will see at Cinco de Mayo celebrations are strings of cut paper. These are called Papel Cortado, and those examples made by professional artists can have amazing designs with animals and traditional designs. Your Papel Cortado does not have to be this complex -- in fact you can make your designs as simple as you want or as complicated. This is a great project for people of all ages.  The only requirement is that you be old enough to use scissors.

One pair of scissors per person
Solid colored tissue paper

Start by cutting your tissue paper into rectangles, slightly larger than you want your flags to be. You will need some extra space at the top of your rectangle so you can fold the top edge over the string.

Once you have as many rectangles as you want, it is time to start cutting the shapes out of your paper. Cutting the tissue paper is similar to making a paper snowflake. You fold the paper in half, then fold it in half a few more times. Once your paper is folded, cut random shapes out and when it is unfolded you have a beautiful design. One important feature of the Papel Cortado is that they have a solid paper border, so make sure not to cut the corners or all the way to the edge.

If you want a more intricate design, you can draw your pattern on the tissue paper and cut it out from your design. You can also find a variety of templates to use to draw a pre-designed pattern. However you decide to make your cut outs, your design will be unique and beautiful.

After all of your rectangles are cut out, you need to cut a piece of string that is long enough to hold all of your rectangles and long enough to hang on your wall. After your string has been cut, lay out your rectangles and get out your tape. To attach your rectangles to the string, lay the string on the back side of the rectangle about half an inch below the top. Fold the top edge over the string and tape the top edge to the rectangle.

While you are working on your Papel Cortado, be very careful not to rip your tissue paper. Tissue paper is very fragile and thin, so you need to be extra careful when handling it. Once you have all of your rectangles attached to your string, it is time to hang up your decorations. These homemade decorations will set the stage for a wonderful party - the next step is to get together some food for your Cinco de Mayo party. Check out some of the delicious recipes on