Multicultural Monday--Vive Mexico

Continuing with our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we read the book, Magic Windows or Ventanas Magicas by Carmen Lomas Garza. Like the book last week, this book was in both English and Spanish. All of the artwork is the author's own paper cuttings. Paper cuttings or papal picado are a Mexican tradition and considered folk art. For more information about them you can visit here.

In Magic Windows, Ms. Garza describes a bit of the process and much of the Mexican traditions that she is picturing as well as some personal family events. It amazes me that they do this with tissue paper and a craft knife and it has to all be connected. 

The last picture she shares if of herself with her nieces and nephew making papel picado or what she calls banderitas. So I did a little search and found a couple of websites with tutorials on making banderitas and thought Hazel would be able to do it with me.

The first is on Hubpages and is Papel Picado Tutorial for Kids. Basically the instructions have you fold a square of tissue paper into either fourths or eighths and then use paper punches to make designs.

The second is on eHow: How to Make Mexican Decorations with Tissue Paper. They have you fold the square of tissue paper in accordion style.

We tried some both ways. I ended up liking the Hubpages folding the best, but folded it into eighths. I cut eight-inch squares of some tissue paper. I did all the folding since Hazel's folds were not quite neat enough for this project and then we used all of our punches and scrapbook scissors to make fun designs.

Hazel did not quite get the idea of how the patterns were made, but had fun using all the special punches and scissors. You can basically tell hers form mine.
In Mexico the colors also mean something. Depending on the holiday or festival they are used for will determine the color used. There is more information at Hubpages.
Now I just need to attach them all to a string and hang them up for some festival!


  1. What a fun activity! I have seen these before but had no idea how to make them. Thanks for sharing at the Culture Swapper! I'll be featuring you on my FB page tomorrow:

  2. WOW! This is an amazing post! You are so good at these tissue paper designs!

    Thank you for linking up at Whimsy Wednesdays with The NY Melrose Family and Smart! School {House}

    Kelly at Smart! School {House}

  3. Thank you fro sharing this wonderful folk art. I am sure that Hazel will have a fond memory of sharing this project with you.

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  4. The mexican inspired decorations really turned out great. I would hang those up in my house. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  5. Very colourful and attractive, these could be use for all sorts of festive occasions.

  6. I didn't know that about the colors.


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