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Day of the Dead Craft: Kid Friendly Lanterns

Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead craft lanterns DIY As the Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos approaches my kids are getting more and more excited about it.  We have been reading books and talking about the significance of the day and about the traditions and foods that are eaten for El Dia de los Muertos in Guatemala and in other Latin American countries.

My little guy just loves crafts and he has been eager to do some Dia de los Muertos crafts. These are activities that we can enjoy doing together as a family. First we did some skull boxes and then we made an shoebox altar, idea that we took from a post on Spanglish Baby.  Altars usually include candles but I wanted a safer and kid friendly option for our altar so I would not have to be worrying about things like the house catching fire! I also wanted something that we could have fun creating with the kids.  I love sharing making things with my hands and sharing that with my kids, it’s one of the great things of being a work from home dad.

While looking for ideas on Pinterest I found some Halloween lanterns made with plastic cups and thought I would give those a twist and make calavera (skull) lanterns instead.

Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead craft lanterns DIY

All you need to make these are some white plastic cups, some LED tea lights (we only found orange ones but I kind of like the warm glow these give the lanterns) and Sharpie markers.

Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead craft lanterns DIY

We tried two versions of these, one using only the black marker and others using lots of colors, which the kids really enjoyed but I think the black ones better once you put the LED tea light inside.

Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead craft lanterns DIY

This was not just very easy and quick craft but also affordable as we already had the markers and only had to buy the tea lights and the plastic cups. I also like that these can be used inside or outside and they look great for Halloween as well.

Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead craft lanterns DIY

About the author

Cesar Diaz

Cesar is a freelance graphic designer with more than 15 years of experience in the advertising world. He is the creative force behind GrowingUpBilingual.com and 365thingsswfl.com. 2 year ago he gave up his steady job so he could spend more time at home and be more involved in his kid's lives. He loves sharing tips to maintain a healthier lifestyle both at home and while traveling. He likes to cook low calorie meals with a Latino touch, specially if they are on the grill. He is a techie, a carnivore and a fitness buff not necessarily in that order. During his free time he enjoys mountain biking, working out at the gym, watching movies and traveling with his family.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2013/latino-parenting/dia-de-los-muertos-kid-friendly-lanterns-craft/


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  1. Winter

    OH AM I HOOKED! My son just got home from school and I showed this to him and he’s hunting for the plastic cups right now. I have lots of LED tea lights and well what mom doesn’t have a Sharpie on hand. thank you for such an easy fun craft!

  2. Erica Collazo

    This is such a neat idea, I have never done this before but I am thinking about trying it out. It looks like a fun family activity and it lets kids get very creative. Thank you for sharing.!
    Erica Collazo recently posted…Kind Bar Healthy Snacks ReviewMy Profile

  3. Jessica Hehir

    I have been following your Pinterest Board… I love the ideas here. These Lanterns are so child friendly and so beautiful. I think my girls will have a ball re-creating these beautifully-frightening faces!
    Happy Dia de Los Muertas!
    Jessica Hehir recently posted…Sea Salt and Rosemary Pumpkin SeedsMy Profile

    1. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

      Thanks Jessica! I’m sure they would have a great time and you can make these with any theme. So easy ans quick.

  4. Jenn

    These are so cool! they might even replace pumpkins this year in my house. My hate the feel of the pumpkin guts so this is a great way to get their creative juices flowing plus still have scary effect.
    Jenn recently posted…Making wise decisions can be tough! Can’t Wait Willow #review #giveawayMy Profile

  5. Dana Rehberger

    Love this. I work for DCS and we always need little crafts for the kids that are in our office. I will definitely keep some of these on hands!!
    Dana Rehberger recently posted…Younique Monday FreebieMy Profile

  6. Jennifer Williams

    What a great idea. I love that it is easy and safe enough to do with my youngest.
    Jennifer Williams recently posted…Virtual Run for Melissa – Let’s End Domestic ViolenceMy Profile

  7. Shanna

    Those are super cute! I’m definitely pinning these for later!

  8. Sarah Bailey

    They are amazing – I love how family friendly they are and they could be used in any home as they don’t use real candles x
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Shawl Collar Cardigan from DamartMy Profile

  9. Sherrie W.

    I love your cup lanterns – so smart! I think it’s amazing that you’re teaching your kids about the traditions through fun crafts! Fun!
    Sherrie W. recently posted…Fun & Creative DIY Halloween CostumesMy Profile

  10. Eileen

    Great idea! I hate it when kids play with candles during Halloween and All soul’s day. Your plastic cup idea would create a spooky feel for the patio. I’d enjoy seeing this more than my children, who are all grown and has different interests now – girls. Hmmp! haha.
    Eileen recently posted…I’m a Sports Mom and I am loving it!My Profile

  11. Garf

    You are very creative. Those are cute!

  12. Sheila

    Very creatively artistic and not to mention the material used don’t cost money that much. all you have is your artistic talent and kids will have fun doing this crafty halloween decor
    Sheila recently posted…Autumn HueMy Profile

  13. Lexie Lane

    Ok, this is really cool. So simple to do, yet very cool!

  14. Tory Blum

    I hope you published this post on Pinterest because it’s a really simple but a huge idea! I have to recreate it 🙂

  15. Christine

    It´s our first year in a country we can easily find craft supplies! We´re getting ready to make the ofrenda and celebrate our Mexican heritage/remember our loved ones. We´re excited to do this and I am sharing with all of the families at my son´s bilingual day care via social media! Thanks for such a cute idea!

  16. jacqui

    This would be good with recycling kcups and using string lights.

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