DIY Handmade Mexican Paper Flags

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Nothing says Cinco de Mayo party quite like a banner of brightly colored paper flags. Papel Picado- literally, "perforated paper", is the art of cut paper traditionally found in Mexico and throughout Spain. I decided to make my own this year and even though they might look complicated, these are surprisingly easy to make.  I did my own freehand designs, but you can find templates easily online.  You can also use several different colors of tissue paper, but all I had on hand was pink, so I went with it.  Check out the full tutorial below. Then grab a margarita and you're ready for a party!

You will need:

  • Tissue paper (one color or various colors)
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • String for hanging
  • Scotch tape

Start by folding several sheets of the tissue paper in half. Decide how big you want your flag to be and cut the tissue.  My flags are 10" wide x 11" high.  Next, take your pencil and draw your design on the top sheet of tissue.  Be sure to leave 2.5" at the top of your flag for hanging.  Then, using an x-acto knife, cut out the negative spaces of your design.  Be careful to leave enough room for the tissue to connect if your design is complex.  I got overzealous cutting out the rays of my sun the first time and had to start over- rookie mistake.  When your design is cut out, take your scissors and cut along the folded edge so all the sheets of tissue are separate.  Carefully separate each piece of paper, but be gentle because the paper is delicate.  Now you're ready to hang!  You can do what I did and hang them in between a string of cafe lights, although I can't guarantee they won't catch on fire.  Take one flag at time and fold along the top and use scotch tape to secure. Viva la Fiesta!

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