PAPEL PICADO – THAT’S MEXICAN FOR AWESOME PAPER PARTY DECORATIONS

It’s my daughter Frida’s first birthday today and although we are not remotely Mexican, the date of her party is right on brand with her namesake. Cinco de Mayo is the 5th of May celebration which traditionally commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 (obvs!). These days it is barely celebrated in Mexico outside of Pueblo, but the Yanks have adopted it as a day to celebrate their neighbours. I see it as the perfect excuse to stuff my face with Mexican food and turn my garden into a cerveza fiesta.

If I’ve got one tip for party design, it is this: take one cool idea and do loads of it. Papel picado is a cool alternative to regular old bunting and although there are plenty of places selling it online, to make an impact, you need loads of it, so it’s easy to make a simplified version that costs next to nothing. It’s also really light, so it’s easier to hang than fabric bunting.
Watch the video to see how I did it:

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  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • A glue stick
  • Some string
  • A stiff piece of board to wrap it around to avoid tangles and tears.
A few tips:
1. Use no more than three colours to create a mood.
2. Make twice as much as you think you’ll need.
3. Use a new glue stick or the glue might be too dry and you will tear the paper.
4. For more party craft, check out our pinata tutorial.
Photography, video & styling: Emma Scott-Child