Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! The special celebration began on September 15. From now until October 15, it’s time to celebrate American citizens of Hispanic heritage. That includes people whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Wondering how to join in the celebration? One way is to make your very own traditional Mexican decoration! Papel picado is a famous Mexican folk art. In English, the words mean “perforated paper.” The colorful paper flags are popular decorations in Mexico. Artists cut beautiful designs into the bright paper. The flags are frequently used for different holidays, such as Día de los Muertos and Christmas.
Traditionally, artists create papel picado with a chisel and hammer. That’s because it’s usually made in bulk — sometimes as many as 50 flags at once! But it’s simple to make your own at home if you just want to make a few flags.
What You’ll Need
∙ Tissue paper (pick your favorite colors!)
1. Cut the tissue paper into rectangles. The size is up to you!
2. Fold the paper two or three times. You can fold it however you want!
Optional: Cut off the bottom corners so they are round. Many traditional papel picado designs do this!
3. Cut small pieces out of the folded paper. Be sure to cut on the side with the folds, not the edge. You can cut out triangles, hearts, semicircles, squares, or whatever shapes you want!
4. Unfold the paper to reveal your flag. Then repeat the process to create even more flags!
5. Lay out the papers in a row, choosing any pattern that looks good to you.
6. Place a piece of string along the top of the flags.
7. Use your tape to connect the string to the backs of the flags.
8. Hang up your papel picado wherever you want to add a splash of fun and color!
And that’s all there is to it! You made your own banner of papel picado flags! Show off your beautiful banner wherever you like to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.
Updated September 27, 2019, 5:03 P.M. (ET)
By Zoe Steckler
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