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Papel Picado

Sent in by:
Ricardo and Jessica of Texas 


What you need for this ZOOMdo:
  • colored tissue paper
  • scissors
  • string
  • a pencil
  • a gluestick
What you do for this ZOOMdo:

  1. Papel picado means pierced paper in Spanish. In Mexico, people create Papel Picado banners to celebrate holidays and different occasions like the changing of the seasons.
  2. First, decide what colors of tissue paper you want to include in your banner. In Mexico, different colors are used for different holidays. For example, shades of purple are used at Easter time, and rainbow colors are used for Christmas and other holidays.
  3. Now, cut your tissue paper into squares. They can be any size you want. (A good size is 12 x 12 inches.)
  4. Fold one piece of tissue paper in half. Fold it in half again, and then in half again.

  1. To make your design, cut shapes into all four sides of the tissue paper. Make sure to leave a small space between each of your designs.

  1. You can also draw lines for your design before you start cutting. It's important to experiment with your designs because you don't know what they'll look like until you unfold your paper. In Mexico, people use all different kinds of symbols that are important to them in their Papel Picado.
  2. When you're done cutting out your shapes, open the piece of tissue paper to see what you've created.
  3. Once you have four or five panels, you can attach them to the string to make your banner. To do so, put some glue on the top of the first panel, and then fold it over the piece of string. Leave about an inch of space on the string between the panels. Also, make sure you leave at least six inches of string at each end so you can hang your banner up when you're done.

  1. When your Papel Picado banner is finished, you're ready for the party to begin!
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