Bringing Día de Muertos to life with Cricut 

17 October 2023

Hello, lovely crafters! My name is Vanessa Barraza Brady, and I’m thrilled to be able to share two of my favorite things: Día de Muertos and crafting. I’m a proud Cricut Contributing Artist Program member, and you can find my creations on my Design Space profile. Today, I’ll take you on a colorful journey through the tradition of Día de Muertos, a beautiful and vibrant celebration that has a special place in my heart.

Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, originated in Mexico and has since spread to various parts of the world. Traditionally celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, Día de Muertos is a joyful celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have passed away.

The history of Día de Muertos dates back to ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Aztecs and the Mayans. These indigenous cultures had a deep connection with death. They viewed it not as an end but a natural part of the human journey. They believed that during particular times of the year, the souls of the departed would return to the world of the living to be reunited with their families.

Día de Muertos is more than just a colorful celebration; it’s a heartfelt tribute to the deceased. It serves as a way for families to connect and reminisce over memories of those who have passed. The belief is that their spirits continue to live on by honoring and celebrating the departed. It’s a beautiful way to cope with grief and find solace in the notion that our loved ones are never truly gone as long as they are remembered.

How we celebrate Día de Muertos

The heart of Día de Muertos lies in the intricate altars, or “ofrendas,” that families create in their homes. We adorn these alters with marigold flowers, sugar skulls, candles, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), and the departed’s favorite foods and drinks. It’s a visual feast for the senses; every element holds deep symbolism.

Communities also create stunning public displays, with elaborately decorated sugar skulls or “calaveras,” parades, and vibrant processions to cemeteries. It’s a time of sharing stories, laughter, and tears as families pay their respects to deceased loved ones.

Crafting tradition

As a longtime Cricut fan, I’ve used this incredible tool to bring the spirit of Día de Muertos to life. With my Cricut machine, I’ve designed and created intricate projects that add a unique touch to my celebration.

The gorgeous tissue paper flags you see at many festivities are called Papel Picado, which means “pecked paper.” Since they are usually incredibly delicate, I used my Cricut Maker to create miniature Papel Picado jewelry with my SVG files (#M4F1A1D22, #M4F14A9A0, #M4F149889) and shrink plastic. Now I can enjoy these beautiful and colorful flags year round!

Another one of my SVG files in Design Space is a customizable calavera or “skull” (#M3C40AFC6). Traditionally made of sugar, frosting, and sometimes foil, these beautiful calaveras have become very popular. I’ve used my calavera design to create a colorful wreath and custom water bottle.

Día de Muertos is not just about tradition; it’s about creativity, too. With Cricut, I can craft personalized, meaningful decorations that pay homage to my loved ones in an exceptional way. Combining my love for crafting with this beautiful celebration of my culture is truly a joy.

Día de Muertos is a holiday that transcends borders, cultures, and time. It’s a vivid reminder that love and memories endure beyond this life.