Mexican paper flowers are colourful, handmade craft items. They are generally used as decorative elements during a variety of Mexican festivals.
The items are used by communities to decorate the graves of their deceased family members and friends during the Mexican Day of the Dead.
The traditional craft items are seen as a cheap, inexpensive form of decoration during times of religious festivities and celebrations. Making Mexican paper flowers by hand can also be a fun activity for the family and something for the children to enjoy.
The process of creating colourful art and crafts is customary within Mexico culture, another example is the Mexican Pinata. The traditional pinata is a common feature of popular Christmas celebrations throughout the country.
Mexican paper flowers are relatively easy to produce.
It is common for school children to create the decorative
item as a popular arts activity.
Step One: To successfully create the paper
flowers you will need a selection
of brightly coloured crepe paper, some pipe cleaners and a pair of scissors.
Step Two: To begin with you should gather four to seven sheets of the crepe paper in a variety of colours. The top sheet will be the central colour of your traditional craft item.
Step Three: The next step is to cut the crepe
paper sheets to a manageable size. The size of the sheets will dictate
the size of your finished product,
so it depends whether you are making a large, medium or small item.
Step Four: You should then begin folding the stack of crepe paper by one inch indents until you create the shape of a fan. You then need to fold a pipe cleaner around the centre of your paper fan.
Step Five: For the next step in your
traditional paper activity you should begin cutting shapes at
both ends of the fan shape. It may be a good idea
to try and create a simple petal effect when cutting.
Step Six: Once you are happy with your shape,
you will need to bend the
fan in half and begin separating the individual layers of crepe paper.
Step Seven: As a finishing touch add a pipe cleaner to create a stem effect and you'll have your own handmade Mexican paper flowers.
As with any craft based activity, practice makes perfect. If your early efforts are not successful there is no need to worry. With some additional practice and experimentation you could soon be making colourful and creative Mexican paper flowers to be proud of.
In fact many people have perfected the art of creating the items to such an extent that they now run successful businesses selling their expertly produced products.
One of the reasons that the craft items became such an iconic part of cultural celebrations was because of the lack of availability and growth of real flowers and foliage at certain times of the year.
In previous years (and even today in fact) in a variety of locations on the map of Mexico there have been a distinct lack of available naturally grown flowers for people to purchase.
Consequently the flowers that were available would therefore carry a premium price tag. Communities have continued to embrace the ability to create colourful combinations of traditionally made paper flowers for the purpose of decoration and celebration.