Dia de los Muertos decor: bring color to your Halloween

Gabriela Cartaya

Get inspired by the traditions of the Day of the Dead while planning your Halloween party with these Dia de los Muertos decor tips!

It begins on October 31st and ends on November 2nd. Anciently, it was a celebration that lasted an entire month. Dia de los Muertos focuses on honoring all relatives that have passed away in a unique way. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular Latin holidays around the world, not only for its meaning but also because it coincides with Halloween.

If you want to throw a colorful bash, take note of these Dia de los Muertos decor ideas. Read on and get ready to transform your house just in time for next week!

Multi-colored altar

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The first thing you have to create is the main altar. All the ofrendas (offerings) are placed there to invite the souls of the dead to visit from sunset to dawn. After deciding where you will host the party –for instance, a garden, a large living room or the back porch–, set a medium-size table as the focal point.

Then, cover it up with a dark tablecloth and some green handloomed placemats on top. Remember, the idea is to display multiple colors to give a joyful feeling. Achieve this by using a combination of candles and stoneware candle holders on each side of the table, as well as paper garlands to frame the altar for Dia de los Muertos.

Flowers for your Dia de los Muertos decor

Marigolds are one of the symbols of this day, and an essential part of Dia de los Muertos decor. An easy way to replicate its natural yellowish hue is with handmade wooden platters with real dried petals –ideal to transport tequila shots and cups of water. Keep going with the flower theme with a couple of handmade bowls with real dried flowers for serving snacks.

Calacas and Catrinas

Probably the best well-known icon of the festivities of the dead is Lady Catrina, a female skeleton dressed in old aristocratic costumes. Make a décor statement by hanging a full body skull on the main door –to welcome your guests– and play with artwork, balloons or small figures distributed on shelves, mantles or benches as eye-catching accessories.

Print a number of Catrina masks (sugar skulls) in cardboard and get creative by decorating them with flowers, false gemstones, ribbons, hearts and bits of lace. Give one to each of your friends as a greeting present and start celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Keep in mind that they represent a joyful afterlife, so feel free to add lots of colors!

Halloween touches

Halloween

Take advantage of the coincidence of dates, and fill your house with assorted elements associated with Halloween too. For example, bats, ghosts or cauldron party banners. You can also make some one of a kind carved pumpkins –with bony skull faces–, or add some unusual jack-o-lanterns.

Of course, you have to have the necessary bags of sweet treats for the children and visitors. You can fill them with your favorite store bought candy, or make some homemade treats yourself, like skull milk balls or brigadeiros.

Finish theDia de los Muertos decor with an authentic Mexican ritual: light some copal incense, according to the traditional ceremony of the “Alumbrada”, and get ready to enjoy an evening full of mysticism.

¡Feliz Día de los Muertos!