Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day of the Dead mini Altars

I knew I wanted to make a Dia de los Muertos altar for my Grandpa and Grandma with Chiquita.  I am not chicana, but I like to claim a little Mexican heritage since my great-grandfather was born and lived most of his life in Mexico - my grandpa was his first child born in the United States (and he was the 10th child) and that was only because of the Mexican Revolution.  They still spent every summer in Mexico until my great grandfather died.

I went back and forth about how to make the altar because I wanted to have this be a craft we could do in Spanish for Preschoolers (which we did!).  I got great inspiration from Spanglish Baby's shoebox altar and I headed to the dollar store for supplies.  I got these cute baskets that I thought would make a fun alternative to a shoe box.

For decorations we made construction paper marigolds from Latinaish (she added this great tutorial to our Day of the Dead link-up) and Sugar Skulls from Dollar Store Crafts (note - even though this was written two years ago I bought these EXACT same molds from my dollar store this year, I made Halloween Gummies with them a few weeks ago).  Chiquitita decorated the skulls with glitter glue "all by myself".  Gorgeous!

Traditionally the altars include food for the spirits and soap to clean up.  I'm still planning on adding more, a mini bottle of tabasco sauce (my grandpa especially liked his food hot!), and maybe something for my grandmother's beautiful hair (it was perfectly white from the time she was 40 and always lovely).  However, I wanted the focus of this altar to be about who my grandparents were and what was important to them so I featured the two things that meant the most to them - missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and music.  I copied a few hymns in Spanish about missionary work from my mini hymn book and the cover of "True to the Faith" and glued them in place.

I'm excited to hang this in my home and have an opportunity to teach Chiquita about her great-grandparents and why I love them so much.


  1. Too cool.

    We were thinking about doing sugar skulls but just never got around to it. I'm not too worried, though. We feel their presence pretty often, actually, probably more so because this is one of Julie's gifts of the Spirit and she has always been very close to Grandma A. (Grandma A. was also the first family member I introduced her to before we got married... didn't have to explain a thing to her at all; she knew the score.)

  2. What a lovely project that your child can get involved in and learn about their family history. I love the orange flowers.