Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Projects to make for all ages

These projects range for kids to adults.  Hope you enjoy.

Mexican Maracas

Check out the General Directions on how to paper mache if this is your first time working with this medium.

Materials:  balloon, paper mache and strips of newspaper,  Make paper mache with one cup of flour and 4 cups of water.  Boil the paper mache stirring frequently just long enough for it to thicken... take off the stove and put in a separate bowl.  Add 4 ice cubes and stir those in.  You can make cold paper mache with equal parts flour and water.  It takes more flour and isn't quite as smooth, but it works just fine.
 Dried beans or uncooked rice, cardboard tube (toilet paper ("TP") roll is best),     stickers, paint, markers, construction paper, etc to decorate, glue and masking tape.

Use a siphon (you can make one by rolling a piece of paper into a cone like we've done in the photo) and pour some beans or rice into your balloon.  Blow up your balloon (don't swallow any beans!)  Fringe the top roll.  Tape the tp roll onto the bottom of the balloon (use lots of tape)  stuff the top roll with newspaper and put some masking tape over the end.  That way the rice or beans won't fall into the handle or out the bottom.
At this point your maraca will be nice and noisy.  If you want to make one with younger children or if you want the project done FAST, just stop here.  It won't last forever, but good things rarely do.  Cover with paper mache and let dry. Decorate outside of as desired.  You can cut out shapes from construction paper or paint it or color with markers.  Add stickers for extra fun!  Shake your maraca!

Mexican Sombrero Craft

This craft takes a bit of help from an adult, but has a great end result.  It's great fun for dress up!

Materials:  3 or 4 sheets of newspaper, EITHER:  two sheets of solid colored gift wrap (same size as the newspaper), OR paint, masking tape, scissors, single hole punch, wool or string

Stack the sheets of newspaper if using gift wrap, put the wrap on top and bottom of the newspaper with the colored sides out.

Put the newspaper over the child's head (if doing this with a few children, have the child with the biggest head be the model for all the hats)   Wrap masking tape around the crown 2 or 3 times.
Trim the brim into a circle, roll the brim up and apply masking tape to hold, if using paint, paint the hat at this point -- a dark color like black is best as it covers the newsprint.
 Punch holes all around the brim of the hat, thread wool or string around to decorate the brim.
Punch holes on either side of the hat crown.  Wrap a piece of string or wool around the crown to make it fancy (sort of like a hat band) -- even ribbon would work.  Put the ends of the wool through the holes on either side of the hat crown and tie loosely under the chin.

Mexican Bean Bracelets

Materials:  toilet paper roll, construction paper (we used black) or aluminum foil  Aluminum foil looks more like silver, but it's a bit more difficult to glue things to it dried beans and/or lentils (we used a variety of different ones), scissors, and  glue.

OPTIONAL:  light blue paint.  OPTIONAL:  hole punch and ribbon.  OPTIONAL:  sequins


OPTIONAL:  Paint some or all of the beans light (turquoise) blue.  Let dry.  We didn't do this to ours.
Glue construction paper or aluminum foil around your toilet paper roll (or you could paint it if you prefer).  Slit toilet paper roll so it isn't a roll anymore.
Cut toilet paper roll shorter - it's up to you how wide you want your bracelet (we cut ours into thirds).
Glue beans onto the bracelet.  Smaller beans don't slide off the wet glue as much as big ones do.  You can also add sequins for extra sparkle if you like.  Let dry.

OPTIONAL:  punch holes in either side of the bracelet and thread a ribbon through.  Use this to tie the bracelet on when you slip it on your arm so it doesn't fall off as easily.

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at  I look forward to hearing from you!

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