How to Make Decorations for Dia de los Muertos

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Things You'll Need

  • Marigolds

  • Vibrantly colored crepe paper

  • Sugar skulls

How to Make Decorations for Dia de los Muertos. The Dia de los Muertos celebration has a long tradition of focusing on artistic expression through the creation of altars, costumes, food and more. During this festive celebration dedicated to honoring and remembering those who have passed on, those who remain create elaborate and vibrant decorations to lure the spirits of the dead home. Here are a few ways that you can get into the spirit of the holiday.

Step 1

Fill your home and altars with marigolds. Marigolds are the typical flower of Dia de los Muertos. It is said that the strong scent and color helps call the dead back home. In Mexico, people will often scatter flowers from the grave of the departed all the way to the door of their homes, so that the spirits of the dead will not get lost along the way.

Step 2

Create crepe paper flowers in vibrant colors. In addition to marigolds, handmade crepe paper flowers have become a tradition. These flowers can be made by simply layering a few pieces of crepe paper cut into 8 inch squares. Fold the pieces like an accordion and use a pipe cleaner to twist and hold the center together.

Step 3

Make sugar skulls, a famous Dia de los Muertos tradition. These little skeleton heads are easy to make, and are fun to decorate. Use them to decorate your altar and table pieces, and then enjoy them as sweet treats. There is a link to an eHow article on making sugar skulls in the "Tips" section of this article.

Step 4

Organize offerings, or "ofrendas," for your deceased loved ones, a Dia de los Muertos Tradition. It is custom to decorate the home and an altar with photos of the dead, bread shaped and decorated like men, skeletons, toys and brightly colored flowers.

Step 5

Visit the graves of your loved ones to decorate their resting place. Bring them their favorite foods, again, to help lure their spirits back to the land of the living on this special day.


When decorating, vibrant colors are key to celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Yellows and reds are the most common colors, as they are thought to be the strongest tones and help to call the spirits of the dead from their resting places. For instructions on how to make Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls, see the related eHow article titled, "How to Make Sugar Skulls."