Papel picado is a decorative item primarily made in Mexico and nearby areas. The item is made by craving out cuttings from colourful tissue paper. In the past, chisels were used to make these cuttings. Nowadays, however, times have changed and often special instruments are used to make them.
Papel picado has become an important cultural part of certain regions of the world. In regions like Mexico, they are used on a number of different occasions. Their designs can be anything depending on the event at hand. However, birds, animals and skeletons are commonly found on papel picados.
Although these are often made in bulk for commercial purposes, it is a good suggestion to start off by creating one papel picado at one time. For creating designs on these picados, people often use design templates which are available through various sources. Once they get good at the craft, they end up creating their own designs and templates.
Different Types of Papel Picado Template
Papel picado skull template
A skull is one of the most common motifs used in papel picados. However, it is often recommended to use templates for designing these papel picados because of the following reasons:
- Accurate designs
Without a doubt, using a skull template will help in creating designs which look more real. Experienced artists may be able to make good designs by hand too. However, even they will accept that creating complex patterns is best done using templates.
- Faster work
Once you use templates, you do not have to make any designs at all. Also, in case you have downloaded a template, you can simply store it on your computer and print one as you need. In case of drawing these designs, you need to go through the tedious task of making them every now and then.
- Access a wide range of designs
If you make designs on your own, it is natural that there will be a limit to how much you can draw. However, if you use templates, you can access thousands of designs at once.
Christmas papel picado templates
Papel picados are widely used in Christmas celebrations too. However, the way in which they are made is different. Firstly, the motifs used in these papel picados consist of pines trees, snowflakes and snowmen. Also, while any colour might work for snowflakes, pine trees are usually made using green coloured tissue papers. On the other hand, snowmen are usually created using white tissue papers.
Also, intricate designs using these motifs might include other relevant themes too. For example, many pine trees might be drawn together or birds might be drawn along with pine trees. Snowmen might be drawn along with hats, snowballs and the like.
With regard to Christmas, another special thing to note is that sky blue, pink and white colours stand for the Virgin Mary. Hence, these colours might be used more frequently in Christmas celebrations.
Traditional papel picado template
Papel picados have a rich history behind them. Initially, they were drawn by Aztec people on tree barks. In those days, those drawings were made using chisels and were intended to depict spirits. Even today, papel picados form an important part of Mexican culture.
However, they have certainly undergone a transformation. Today, simple papel picados using simple geometric shapes are created by many school children. At the same time, extremely intricate work done by experienced artisans using special instruments can be found too.
Traditionally, chisels were used to make the figures and they were made by hand. Today, cravings can often be made using machines to mass produce papel picados cheaply too. While the spirit of the tradition is intact, the method of performing it has definitely undergone a sea change.
Coco papel picado template
A common question often in the minds of interested kids is that where do they get coco papel picados from? It might have been a bit difficult to get them in the beginning. However, this is no truer. Today, there are a number of sources from where one can get high-quality templates and readymade papel picados at reasonable prices.
First of all, one can always check out online shopping platforms like Amazon and the like. It is pretty simple to find a seller of papel picados online. In case one wants to download templates, they are often freely available on the internet.
In case one does not wish to go online, he or she can pre order it at a local store. In case nothing else works, one can always make a coco papel picado for himself. It might take a bit of practice and patience but it will all be worth it at the end.
Papel picado template for kids
Papel picado templates for kids are different in many aspects from regular paper picado templates. Kids have a different world of their own and that must be kept in mind before designing something for them. The following points will be of benefit in this regard:
- Easy to make templates
Templates for kids must not be complicated or intricate. They must have clear geometric shapes or designs which kids can easily cut out.
- Relatable designs
Certain motifs are more popular with kids. Cartoons and snowmen would work better than abstract topics and designs.
Often, certain templates demand the use of a particular colour. However, kids are better left on their volition when it comes to experimenting with colours and choosing the one which suits them.
Happy birthday papel picado template
It is quite popular to have happy birthday papel picados made for parties and events. Also, there are many good reasons for making them. Firstly, papel picados are naturally colourful and add to the cheerful ambience of birthdays. Secondly, they are easy to make. Papel picados with cake or candles motifs would not be very difficult to design. In fact, there are thousands of templates available on the internet which can be downloaded and printed.
There is another reason why papel picados should be used in birthdays. They add a special personal touch which purchased decorations might never be able to add. Creating these for yourselves or for someone else leaves an indelible impact. Everyone knows about the time and effort which goes into making good quality papel picados.
Where are Papel Picado Templates used / Importance
Papel picado’s are used for both religious as well as non-religious purposes. However, the way in which they are used will depend on the event or occasion at hand. If they are being used for a religious festival, certain colours might be preferred and they will be placed in certain areas only. However, if they are being used for a non-religious or a national event, then they might be used in a different way.
In terms of religious occasions, papel picados are used on Easter, the day of the dead and even on Christmas. Besides these events, papel picados are used in baptisms and weddings too. Their significance varies from one festival to the other. Altar in Mexico showcases four fundamental forces of the Earth namely Earth, water, fire and air. On the day of the dead, papel picados are used in altars to signify air.
With regard to non-religious occasions, Papel picado’s in the Mexican flag colour are often used on Independence Day. Also, papel picados are used by shamans to change the direction of a person’s life. When a person goes to the shaman with regard to his life, the shaman would carve a figure in a papel picado and give it back to the person. This papel picado would then be kept in the family altar.
How to make papel picado template
First of all, it is important to take note of all the materials one would require in order to make papel picados at home. One would need tissue paper or thin table cover for the core material. Then one would need a craft knife or scissors, depending on his or her preference. Also needed would be hole punches, strings and glue sticks to tie the papel picados together.
Once all the material is ready, the following steps can be taken to make a good papel picado:
Step 1: Get a template or draw a design by hand
Two methods can be followed for making a design. Either a person can make the drawing on a paper or table cloth by himself or herself. Or, he or she can get a design template. For beginners, getting a template can be really helpful in making good designs. If you have a template, put it over the tissue paper get started.
Step 2: Cut the tissue paper or table cloth according to the design
Once you have the design over the paper, simply use your craft knife or scissors to cut through. It is advisable to be extra careful in this step as small mistakes here and there can destroy the overall look of the Papel picado. Another decision one has to take here is regarding the number of tissues he or she can take at once. Practically, there is no limit to this. However, as a beginner, you must start with one tissue paper and gradually increase the count as you become more confident of your abilities.
Step 3: Punch holes in the tissues and string them together
Once done, carefully open the design and remove the template sheet. Once all the Papel picados have been made, punch a hole at their edges. Then, take a string and make it pass through all these holes. This makes the Papel picados ready to be put up for display.
Step 4: Choose a good location and glue the string
Finally, all you have to do is glue the string to the desired location. Make sure you choose the location well. In case the location does not have a lot of light, the papel picados might end up seeming dull.
Question and Answers
What kind of paper is used for papel picado
Usually, papel picados are created using tissue papers. However, these tissue papers cannot be regular ones. Firstly, they need to be large so that intricate designs can be drawn. Also, large size papel picados are more appealing. These tissues also need to be of different colours depending on the occasion. Lastly, they must be relatively thick and durable so that they can be maintained for long.
However, that is not to say that any other material cannot be used to create papel picados. Many people end up using a lightweight table cloth to create Papel picados too.
How do you make Papel picado designs
Creating papel picado designs might seem like a daunting task to start with. However, the key here is to just begin. You do not have to create any kind of intricate design in the beginning. Use simple geometric shapes and their combinations to create something reasonably good. Once you become more confident of your abilities, simply upgrade yourself to making motifs or more intricate designs.
Also, in the beginning, you can use design templates to make papel picados. Or, you can take inspiration from other people’s designs too. Once you have used enough templates and seen enough of designs, you will naturally start creating original ones.
What does Papel picado symbolize
Papel picados, first of all, symbolize a tradition which has been passed on generation after generation. Ancient Aztec people are believed to have started drawing on barks using chisels. From there, this concept emerged and is so popular today.
In terms of specific significance, there probably cannot be a blanket answer. It depends on the event at hand. In the case of Day of the dead, papel picados are used in altars to signify air. At other times, they might be used to convey cheerfulness.
Why is Papel picado made
Often, tradition and festivities are about expressing deeply held beliefs of people. Something similar can be said about papel picados. They help society in expressing how it feels regarding a particular occasion.
Papel picados are used in the colours of the Mexican flag too. Red, white and green papel picados can often be seen on Mexican Independence day. Hence, in this instance, we can understand that papel picados are being used to signify national pride. However, when papel picados are used during Christmas, they take religious significance.
How do you hang papel picado
Papel picados are not used singly. Usually, many of them are created and then used together. Once all the papel picados are collected, holes are made along their corners. Now, a string is passed through them to connect all of these different papel picados together.
Next, they need to be placed at the correct spot. Firstly, they must be clearly visible to everyone. Next, there must be adequate lighting around them. Also, care must be taken to keep them away from excessive human contact. Otherwise, they might not be able to last for long.
How do you make a small papel picado
Two methods can be followed in order to create a small papel picado. Either a small piece of paper can be taken. Or, a big piece of paper can be divided into many parts and used. Once this is done, designs or templates can be used to create papel picados as needed.
Also, a big piece of paper can be first designed and readied. Next, it can be divided into smaller pieces according to requirement. This method will probably work better as cutting intricate shapes on small pieces of paper would be a challenging job.
What do the colors of papel picado represent
Different colors used in papel picados are often taken for granted. People feel that colors have been chosen randomly. However, that is almost never the case. Each color has a particular significance. Yellow and white colors are used to represent patron saints while sky blue, white and pink colors are used to symbolize Virgin Mary.
Purple is often associated with Easter. On the other hand, pink, orange as well as purple are used for offerings on the day of the dead. Different colors might be used in Christmas while colors of the Mexican flag might be used during national events.
Who makes Papel picado
All sections of the society know quite a bit about making Papel picados. Hence, one can witness experienced craftsman making Papel picados using professional tools. They make intricate designs in bulk for commercial purposes. On the other hand, homemade Papel picados are common too. They are often made by children or adults.
What kinds of decorations are made for Day of the Dead
Skulls or skeletons are probably the most common items used for decorations during the Day of the dead. These skills might be available in a variety of positions. They might be simply grinning or might be involved in usual activities like drinking.
Apart from skulls, candles and flowers are used for decorations. Pink, orange and purple Papel picados can also be commonly found.
What is the traditional food for the Day of the Dead
Traditional food for the Day of the Dead varies from one region to the other. However, moles and tamales are pretty common in many places. Besides these, sweet bread made with a healthy dose of eggs can also be found. Often, sugar skulls are present so as to satiate children.
What is the name of the flower used on the day of the dead
Marigold is used on the day of the dead and there are often distinct reasons to use the flower. One reasoning is that marigolds represent the fragility of life. On the other hand, some people believe that this has to do with spirits visiting the house on the day of the dead. Marigolds, with their vibrant hues and a strange smell, help these spirits reach the altar.
How is the day of the dead different from Halloween
Though people often end up getting confused between the two, Halloween is very different from the day of the dead. Halloween was celebrated to ward off ghosts. On the other hand, the day of the dead is a celebration of the spirits of those ancestors which have passed away. Halloween is often associated with pumpkin heads while the day of the dead is more intricately linked to sugar skulls.
In conclusion, Papel picados are a unique cultural phenomenon seen in and around Mexico. It has a long rich history which continues to show its effects to the present day.