Living on the border and being a Latina means that we’re pretty big fans of Dia de los Muertos in our house. For the month of October the kids and I usually set up a small alter with pictures of our deceased loved ones, handmade tissue flowers, and, of course, plenty of calaveras (sugar skulls.) I love that it gives us a great opportunity to talk about some pretty serious feelings/concerns my boys may be having about death while remembering great memories and stories of our dear family members!
This year we’re changing things up a bit and transferring our alter to Treetopia’s Stiletto Black Pencil Christmas Tree. Our house is on the small-ish side so figuring out what area to pack up to make room for the alter is always a difficult decision. But not this year! The tall and lean size of this pencil tree means I have plenty of space to add pictures and ornaments but won’t have to boot any furniture to the garage. The tree went together in three easy snaps and even has lights already strung up. The size of this tree is so perfect for our house we’re even considering buying another green one for Christmas!
I had tons of fun making the majority of the Dia de los Muertos Tree ornaments with supplies from Consumer Crafts. I revisited the Vintage Halloween Tassels I made last year and customized them a bit to become the calavera figurines you can see in the picture above. I used Oly-Fun to create the actual tassel strings because it comes in super vibrant colors and doesn’t fray when cut. The tiny little top hat and fabric flowers were actually suggestion on my T&T Instagram page and I absolutely love the finishing touch!
For the frames, I wanted to recreate the look of the traditional Mexican art of Repousse. Since I’m not skilled in the art of metal embossing, I created a really basic but fun frame with a bit of hot glue and some aluminum foil. These unfinished wood picture frames were a great size to fit perfectly on the tree, I love how the foil shines when mixed with the lights!
In addition to the tassels and frames, I also added some handmade flowers (made with tissue paper, of course!), brightly colored ball ornaments, a few sequined sprays, and some white pom-pom trim. This little tree is jam-packed with colors and decorations!
And there you have it, our new Dia de los Muertos tree fits great in the little section of our living room. We all love to turn it on while we sit around reminiscing and laughing about good times.This tree is all about accessibility and connections so the boys know that if the feeling strikes them, they’re always welcome to take down and enjoy any of the framed pictures. I want them to know that this is their tree, their culture, their family. I have a feeling we’ll be putting up our Dia de los Muertos Tree for many years to come!