Halloween, Lifestyle, Party

How to jazz up your Dia de los Muertos decorations with mind-blowing ideas

Wondering about making your Dia de los Muertos decorations the best? Discover some fantabulous ideas in this blog and embellish your day of the dead party!

Dia de Los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, is celebrated every year from the 1st-2nd of November, right after Halloween. While it was originally a celebration in Mexico, it has also become popular in other parts of the world. 

Friends and family gather to remember their deceased loved ones and commemorate them with lively, colorful celebrations. They also honor and celebrate the lives of those that have passed away through cultural traditions by making sugar skulls, altars, favorite foods, and decorating their graves. The day is not meant to be scary at all – nor is it related to Halloween in any way. It is more sort of a spiritual celebration to show appreciation and respect for the dead. 

Families honor their deceased loved ones for three days. They visit cemeteries and build private altars which may contain some favorite food, photos, orange marigolds, and memorabilia of the departed souls. Some people believe that possessing the Dia de Los Muertos items can bring good luck. They are presumed to characterize the personality of the dead.  

A potential way to celebrate this day is by setting up special decorations in honor of the dead relatives or holding a party at your place with the families coming over. If your family holds this celebration every year, or you just want to start a new tradition, we have some innovative ideas for your Dia de Los Muertos decorations this year. 

Skull centerpiece

Skulls are everywhere in Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, as they are an important symbol of the departed souls. These are ornate and edible decorated representations of skulls made from sugar. These sugar skulls, also known as Calaveras, represent a departed soul and are often placed on an ofrenda – an altar – or a gravestone. 

Place a skull centerpiece on your table with glowing candles and flower petals around. They are usually decorated with the person’s name and sometimes even have small gifts inside them for the guests. Skulls are essential for Dia de Los Muertos decorations. Hence, make sure not to miss out and include skulls for your party decorations. 

Skull Centerpiece

Paper lanterns

Paper lanterns are a perfect way to decorate your place for the day of the dead party. Use large and colorful paper decorations and place them in entryways and garden paths, or cluster them together on hang-over tables. 

They are easy to assemble with different choices of colors. Choose your favorite ones and place lit tea lights underneath, place them wherever you like, and just like that, you can have your very own Dia de Los Muertos lanterns to add to your party decorations. 

Amazon.com: Beistle 6 Piece Day of The Dead Sugar Skull Paper Lanterns Dia  De Los Muertos Hanging Halloween Theme Party Decorations, 8" - 11",  Multicolored : Home & Kitchen

Luminary bags

There is no better way to welcome guests to your Dia de Los Muertos party than a pathway of luminary bags. They brighten up driveways, entryways, and sidewalks, and welcome trick-or-treaters and guests to celebrate the day. 

Add sand or a water-filled candle holder for weight and a battery-operated candle. Luminary bags add a decorative flair while lighting up the way for people. Whether you are lighting up your sidewalk or planning on some Dia de Los Muertos decorations, luminary bags enhance the festive tone and bring some light to Halloween night. 

Amazon.com: Outus 16 Pieces Day of The Dead Luminary Bag Halloween Luminary  Bags Candle Luminary Bags Paper Luminary Bags for Day of The Dead Halloween  Wedding Party Decoration : Home & Kitchen

Skull masks

Day of the dead traditional decorations include ornate and beautiful face masks. Skulls were used to honor the departed souls and during celebrations, people wear costumes or masks to scare the dead away at the end of the festival. 

The masks are traditionally molded from sugar with decorations made with glitter, feathers, or flowers. They are not only attractive but a lot less time-consuming than make-up. They make it easy for the guests to socialize and eat – while following the traditions of the day. Thus, include skull masks in your day of the dead party ideas and start preparing them now. 

Skull Masks

Marigold petals

It is not possible to not include Marigold Petals in your Dia de Los Muertos decoration ideas. Marigolds are flowers used in the Day of the Dead celebrations as display, typically on the altars or ofrendas where the departed souls are remembered. For their bright colors and potent fragrance, marigolds are thought to attract dead souls to the ofrendas. 

Families often scatter the petals to form a path from their front door to the ofrenda within the home. You can also use yellow or orange silk flower petals to decorate tables and entryways for your party. They are considered traditional flowers and your day of the dead party decorations should definitely include these. 

Marigolds play large and fragrant role during Day of the Dead celebration |  The Sacramento Bee

Pillar candles

A pillar candle is usually made from paraffin wax so that it can stand alone without a holder. They can be made in different sizes and shapes, but they are mainly found in cylindrical shapes with one wick. 

Pillar candles are lit to welcome the spirits back to the shrine. They can be placed on ofrendas, gravesites, or next to the photos of the departed loved ones. They are usually clean and simple which allows you to use them for other holidays too. Get some pillar candles for your Dia de Los Muertos decorations and bring the spirits back to their altars. 

Scented Prayers: Copal & the Day of the Dead – The Death Scent Project

DIY tissue paper flowers

Although the day of the dead may seem scary because of the name and date it is celebrated, it has no relation to Halloween. Colors and abundant flowers are some of the few things that set the Dia de Los Muertos décor apart from the darker mood of Halloween. 

As this tradition is originally from Mexico, most of its decorations are from Mexico as well. Papel Picado is a Mexican decorative craft made by cutting designs into sheets of tissue paper. It is considered Mexican folk art, and tissue paper flowers are one part of this traditional craft. 

Use colorful tissue papers in different sizes to create beautiful airy flowers. If you do not know how to make them, search for a tutorial online. This decoration idea brings the traditional effect to your celebrations, and your Dia de Los Muertos party should have these for sure. 

How to Make Paper Flowers for Day of the Dead - ¡HOLA! JALAPEÑO

Catrina figurines

In the early 20th century, La Calavera Catrina also known as La Catrina, a lady in an elegant dress and hat, perhaps became the most popular and recognizable symbol of Dia de Los Muertos celebrations. It is an elegant woman skeleton that has inspired people to put on makeup and imitate the lady during the day of the dead celebration. 

Stitched mouths, hollowed-out eyes, and intricate flower wreaths are some of the distinctive features of La Catrina. Find your Catrina figurines and add that macabre elegance to your day of the dead traditional decorations. 

Artisan Crafted Catrina Day of the Dead Figurine - La Catrina Socorro |  NOVICA

Day of the dead backdrop

One thing that your party cannot be missing is the Day of the Dead Backdrop. It is a great addition to your Dia de Los Muertos party decorations that will create a sense of completeness to everything. 

The backdrop should be extra colorful with an option to be hung anywhere you like. It is perfect to welcome guests to your party and set the mood for everyone coming in. It can also be hung in the entryway, by the refreshments table, or across a backyard patio. The purpose is to set the mood and enhance your day of the dead decorations. 

Amazon.com : Avezano Day of The Dead Backdrop 7x5ft Vinyl Dia De Los Muertos  Photography Background Mexican Sugar Skull Dress-up Party Cake Table  Decoration Banner Photo Booth Props : Electronics

Dia de Los Muertos posters

Posters are like no other when it comes to the day of the dead party decorations. Although every piece of décor this day has a definition of its own, posters are something that can be used for any meaningful purpose. They can be used as invitations, placed for directions, or can be designed in a way to enhance your party decorations. You can also express your feelings using posters to share some things about the departed loved ones. 

As posters might not be one of the traditional Dia de Los Muertos decorations and may seem like something new, here is an easy way to get started with your day of the dead posters. Try these Dia de Los Muertos posters from PosterMyWall and design some creative posters for your party. Regardless of what you are using the poster for, these templates can be used for anything that can help you with your day of the dead party decorations. 


Decorate for the party while keeping the tradition alive 

Day of the dead is a traditional holiday dedicated to the deceased. Often mistaken as Mexican Halloween, however, the day is celebrated for the loved ones that have departed this world. If this is the first time you are holding a party for this tradition, make sure not to associate the decorations with Halloween. 

It might be hard to believe, but Mexicans are not the only ones to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos. People celebrate it all over the world. Traditions may differ from one place to another, but the core value of the event is the same. While decor is essential for this celebration, utilize the ideas described above and make your Dia de Los Muertos party exciting for everyone.