Add Papel Picado to your Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Papel Picado is considered a Mexican folk art. The designs are cut from colored tissue papers stacked together and folded then cut using sharp scissors. Papel picados are often strung together to create flags that are hung across streets or displayed in the home. Today I’ll show you how to make the traditional folk art using fabric for your Cinco de Mayo party! It’s simple with these easy steps!

Papel Picado Supplies using fabric

Supplies:

  • One yard each of cotton fabric (red, blue, purple, orange, yellow, green and red)
  • Sharp Fabric Scissors
  • Double-wide Bias Tape
  • Straight edge and rotary cutter
  • Pins
  • Brother Sewing Machine

Make it:

Using your straight edge and rotary cutter, start by cutting  9 inch x 9 inch squares of fabric. You’ll need one of each color per string of flags.  Each flag will be folded and cut into a beautiful design.

Cutting fabric 9x9

First fold the 9 x 9 inch square in half.

Folding Fabric 1st time

Fold it half again.

Folding Fabric 2nd time

And fold it in half one more time.

Folding Fabric 3rd time

Clip the corner of one end of the folded piece of fabric to make a point.

Snipping corners

Unfold the piece until it is just folded in half once.

Unfolding the fabric square to create a half piece

Fold the top down to the tips of the angled cut-outs you just made on the fabric.

Folding top edge down to meet the bottom

Take the right edge crossing it over to the left side to create a triangle.

Folded Fabric creating a point

Snip the tip with a chevron design.

Cut a design into the point of the triangle

And cut patterns into both side of the triangle. I made a heart shape on the inside and more triangles and rectangles on the outside.

Cut designs in to the folded edge of the triangle fabric piece

Cut designs into both sides of the triangle folded fabric

Unfold the square of fabric and you have a beautiful design.

Carefully unfold the fabric square

Unfold to reveal your design

Do this with each color of fabric.

Multiple fabric squares cut into papel picado

Open up the bias tape and lay the top edge of the square inside the folds. Pin in place. Leaving about 3 to 4 inches, add the next square. Continue adding and pinning in all the cutout squares.

Adding fabric piece to the bias tape

Fabric pieces all attached to the bias tape

Sew all the way down the edge of the bias tape to secure them in place.

Sewing the fabric to the bias tape for the final project

Sew along the edge of the bias tape

And there you have it, your very own Papel Picado!  Hang it on the wall and it’s time for the fiesta.

Now all you need is a margarita to sip on! Salud!

 

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