Personally, I’m in the mood for Mexican food all day, every day. Huevos rancheros for breakfast? Sure! Tequila lime flank steak fajita salad with chile lime vinaigrette for lunch? Definitely! Chicken or pork taquitos with avocado sauce for dinner? (aka: my family’s #1 favorite dinner) Count me in! And if you’d like to throw in a margarita, a fresh strawberry daiquiri or glass of watermelon or mango agua fresca, you won’t hear any complaints here.
Cinco de Mayo is going to be here before you know it, so whether you’re planning a big fiesta party with all of your best pals, or simply having a meal at home with your family, I’ve got a few simple, easy + quick DIY projects to make your table festive.
MINI PAPEL PICADO GARLAND // Supplies: cardstock, Martha Stewart doily edge punch, scissors, baker’s twine, hot glue, bamboo skewers, mini tissue paper fiesta flowers (see below).
Cut 1 inch wide strips of cardstock in various solid colors. Use the Martha Stewart doily edge punch to create the scalloped doily pattern along one long edge of each strip of cardstock. Cut each strip into sections of 2 scallops, using the markings of the punched edge as your guide.
Using hot glue, adhere one punched piece on top of another to create a layered papel picado flag. Apply hot glue to the back of each flag and attach it to a 12-14 inch length of baker’s twine. Tie each end of twine around bamboo skewers, thin dowels or paper straws. Hot glue two mini tissue paper fiesta flowers to the top of each bamboo skewer. You can also make extra flags and hot glue them onto cards to create place cards or food signs, as I did below.
MINI TISSUE PAPER FIESTA FLOWERS // Supplies: tissue paper (I used this hot pink-lime-orange-aqua pack, plus a pack of yellow, from Party City), 1.5 inch (large) or 2 inch (extra large) Fiskars scalloped circle paper punch, mini hole punch, brads (mine happened to be shaped like little flowers, but any design with a semi wide head would be fine).
Cut out circles from stacks of various colors of tissue paper using a scalloped circle paper punch. You will need 7 scalloped circles of tissue paper for each flower. You’ll have to play around with how many sheets of tissue paper your punch will cleanly cut through, but I found that I got cleaner cuts when I had a stack of at least 10 sheets. The thinner the stack, the more likely your punch will shred the tissue or get jammed.
Create stacks of scalloped tissue paper circles for each flower: 4 for your base layer, 2 for your middle layer, and one for the center. Punch through the center of the stack with a mini hole punch and insert a brad to hold the layers together.
Working with one layer at a time, pull up the first layer of tissue paper and use your fingers to scrunch it upwards and in towards the center, like the stamen of a flower. Continue this process, lifting and scrunching one layer at a time, until all the layers have been scrunched and your flower is formed. The center layers will need a tighter scrunch, and the outer layers can be a bit looser–just play with it until you get a nice, rounded shape.
These mini flowers are SO FUN to create and the mix of bright colors is so joyful! You’re going to want to make extras and put them everywhere…on paper straws, food sign cards, gifts, party hats. I glued some onto toothpicks and tucked them into a terracotta pot filled with lemons, limes and baby oranges. They also make adorable cupcake toppers or skewers for fruit or bite sized desserts.
For step-by-step photos, I followed a tutorial at Tikkido. She used hot glue to adhere the layers of tissue paper together, but I found that a brad was quicker and easier. This technique also makes it safer for little hands if you’re planning to make the flowers as a kids craft project. Be sure to check out Tikkido’s fabulous Day of the Dead party to see more clever ways to use these mini flowers and mini papel picado garlands! She did such an amazing job.
FRINGED FOOD or TREAT BAGS // These fringed mini bags are simply the cutest! All you need to do is cut a few 1-1.5 inch wide strips of tissue paper about an inch longer than the width of your paper bags and fringe each strip with scissors. Apply lines of glue to a mini paper bag (Michaels) using a glue stick, and press overlapping layers of fringed tissue paper onto the glue. Use scissors to trim off excess tissue paper on each side.
These would be adorable filled with tortilla chips next to a salsa + guacamole bar.
TISSUE PAPER FESTOONING // Festooning pretty much makes anything an instant party, and this multicolored fringe tissue paper garland from Shop Sweet Lulu is no exception. I simply used double sided tape to adhere the festooning to blue mason jars and my cake stand–huge impact and tons of fun in seconds!
Now that you’ve whipped up some fabulous DIY party decorations, all you need are the food and drinks! This round-up of 70 Cinco de Mayo recipes from Foodie Crush (one of my favorite food blogs) has got you covered, from snacks and drinks to entrees and desserts. Need more options? Check out my EAT | Mexican Cuisine and Fiesta Party boards on Pinterest!