Day of the Dead Crepe Marigolds

We’ve had a rough couple years when it comes to death and while the loss would have been hard enough if it was just us two, Jim and I have the added pressure of trying to help a little two year old make sense of it all. In an effort to open up the floor to a casual dialog about death with Jack, we’ve decided to put up a small alter honoring our loved ones who have passed. Since we’re not religious, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is all about the beautiful cultural tradition of remembrance and not so much about the prayer/All Souls Day aspect.

If you’ve seen any traditional Day of the Dead altars, you’ve seen that there are usually very ornate and often decorated with marigolds. While I love how beautiful the real ones look, I thought I would also make up a few crepe paper marigolds to either string as a garland or maybe glue around a frame. Here’s the tutorial just in case you had a similar idea.

Crepe Paper Marigolds

– crepe paper streamers(all I could find was white but I’d like to see how orange crape paper just dipped in red would look)
– food dye
– scissors
– tape/stapler


1. Mix two bowls with water and food dye. The paper soaks up quite a bit of water so you’re going to need at least double what is shown in the picture.

2. Dip the flat end of the crepe paper roll into the orange dye first, allowing the water to soak the roll entirely. Next dip the opposite side into the red dye, allowing to soak about 1″ inward.

3. Your roll should now be a big sopping mess. If you’re not in a hurry, just set the roll outside on a bright, beautiful, sunny day and wait a few hours for it to dry. If you’re on a bit more of a time crunch, tear off a few strips and place those in the sun. They will dry much quicker!

4. Once your crepe paper is completely dry, cut off a strip that is approx. 45″ long. Make small wedge cuts out of the top edge, about .5″ from each other.

5. If you have them, use some decorative scrapbooking scissor (torn edge) on the tip of the paper. If not, you can use some old pinking shears.

6. Begin rolling the crepe paper in on itself, pinching the bottom as you go.

7. When you’ve reached the end of your strip and if you are happy with the size (simply add another strip if you’d like your flower to be bigger), use a piece of tape to seal the end and one staple to hold it all in place.

Hope you have a special Dia de los Muertos, remembering dear loved ones who have passed on.



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