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.