Skip to Main Content

Dia de los Muertos 2021 (Collaboration with Northville District Library)

Welcome to our Dia de los Muertos guide page!

Picture Frame

, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

This should have a picture of the person (or people) you are honoring with your ofrenda. If your kit included a frame that is wooden, feel free to use your paints or pens to decorate the frame to your liking!

Papel Picado

Papel Picado - explanation

Papel picado is made of tissue paper, and can be cut into many different designs. You can achieve a "snowflake" like design by folding your tissue paper and cutting out sections to create designs (as demonstrated in the video on the first page of this guide). 

There are also plenty of videos online. Here are the results for a quick search done on YouTube.

Ofrenda video

What's included

If you received a kit from your library, there are a few pieces included to help you set up your ofrenda. Let's unpack your kit and explore the individual pieces.

Skull (Calavera)

Wikimedia Commons

Celebrations feature skeletons (calacas) and, especially, skulls, or calaveras. Skulls made of sugar, papier-mâché, wood, and clay are used to decorate homes and public space. The skulls represent both death and rebirth. Sugar skulls, for example, have the names of the dead painted on the forehead, and are eaten by relatives or friends of the dead. Celebrants sometimes paint their faces to look like skulls, or wear masks that, once again, represent the dead symbolically.

DeMello, M. (2021). El Día de los Muertos. The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience.


CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Candles are lit for your loved ones to be able to find your ofrenda, and guide the path to visit.


via Wikimedia Commons

Marigolds are used because of their bright color and strong scent to help guide those who have passed on to find your ofrenda, similar to the candles that light the way.