Paper Marigolds

Marigolds are the flower used to decorate for Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Latin America. The Marigold is also a popular flower in bloom in gardens in the United States during Autumn.

I decided I wanted to make some, but all crafts for making flowers involved tissue paper, which I never seem to have on hand. What I do have an abundance of is colored construction paper, so I set to work to figure it out. After a few false starts, I finally came up with this method. The result is so nice that I wanted to share it with you so you can make Marigolds with your niños.

Paper Marigolds
(caléndulas de papel)

What you need:

• construction paper (preferably orange colored)
• scissors
• a drinking glass
• a pencil
• a stapler


Use a drinking glass to draw 3 circles on a piece of orange construction paper.


Cut out all 3 circles. (It doesn’t have to be perfect.)


Hold all 3 circles together and fold in half, (so it looks like a little taco.)


Fold in half again. (Now it should be more of a cone shape.)


Place one staple in the pointy end to hold it together.


Cut slits, evenly spaced, into the rounded side. (You will want to cut a little deeper than what you see in the photo.)


Pinch your flower open. Use your fingers to pull the layers apart from each other and shape the petals.

Día de Los Muertos at The National Museum of the American Indian

Some people wouldn’t think that you can find Latin American art and culture at a museum for American Indians, but you can because Latin American culture is a mix of indigenous and Spanish culture. So, until Washington D.C. builds the much needed National Museum of The American Latino, this is a good place to look for a little Latinidad.

While the American Indian museum will have special events specifically for Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), they have many things on display year round.

“Day of the Dead rituals date back thousands of years. Early Mesoamerican peoples saw death as a continuation of life. They believed deceased members of their family could return to them during a month long celebration in late summer.

Spanish colonizers tried and failed to put an end to the ritual. Instead, to integrate it into Christian tradition, they moved its observance to the first two days of November: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.”

-Printed on a plaque at The National Museum of the American Indian

These women were sewing and I didn’t want to disturb them by snapping photos too closely or interrupt them by asking questions, so I’m not sure of their ethnicity, but their colorful embroidery reminded me very much of Latin America.

Also on display…

Yellow packages = felicidad

Yesterday the mail came and I went to the box to retrieve the bills and such, but this time on top of the bills sat a big yellow package. (Have I told you my love for yellow packages before? How I heart them!)

After reading about my love for Bubu Lubus, MJ thoughtfully offered to send me a whole box, and who in their right mind would say no? So I gave her my address and waited (im)patiently. Thankfully it was a little chilly yesterday so the Bubu Lubus made their trip unharmed, (though they taste good no matter what.)

But that’s not all! Inside the package I discovered extra sorpresas!

MJ is super creative and makes the coolest little things. She creates her own rubber ink stamps to look like papel picado and then uses them to make note cards! She sent me a few of these and they’re so pretty I don’t know if I can bear to write in them and give them away. I might frame a couple to hang on the wall here near my desk.

She also makes really funky jewelry. These Día de Los Muertos earrings and the Frida Kahlo bolsita they came in are super chidos!

Thanks so much to MJ for these sweet regalitos :)