Mi casa es su casa papel picado

Make a coloured papel picado framed print

I’ve been thinking of adding a colourful touch to our guest room for a while now. It’s a very white space, so bright colours will definitely add something to it. Also I wanted to make something that will make my friends and family that will stay with us feel welcome. That’s why I came up with idea to combine a colourful Mexican papel picado pattern with the famous Spanish saying ‘mi casa es su casa‘.

Papel picado

In Mexico you’ll see colourful papercut banners at fiestas or celebrations. They are used as decorations and usually have different designs depending on the occasion. I’m a big fan of the colourful banners, because they really add a party spirit to any place.

You can read more about papel picado and its origin on wikipedia.

Colourful Mexican papel picado banners

Photo by timlewisnm / CC BY

What you’ll need:

Materials

  • picture frame – I’ve found one at a second hand shop
  • spray paint in a bright colour
  • newspaper
  • bronce paint – this is optional, I’ve used it to give a vintage touch to the frame
  • masking tape
  • 1 sheet of thick coloured paper that will fit in the frame – you’ll use this one to cut out the design
  • 1 sheet of coloured paper – this will be the background in the frame
  • a print of the mi casa design – either on the coloured paper or on a seperate sheet

Tools

  • fine sandpaper
  • small piece of sponge
  • stanley knife or craft knife
  • a thick piece of cardboard or cutting mat

To cut out the paper design I’ve used tools that I already had at home: a piece of cardboard  – the back of a sketchbook to be exact – and a stanley knife. It worked for me, but it was hard to get the fine details right. If you want to have a perfect cut, you’ll need to buy the tools for paper cutting.

Instructions

Here’s how you paint the frame and cut out the papel picado paper:

For the frame

The 4 steps of painting a wooden frame

  1. Remove the glass from the picture frame. Get a piece of sandpaper and lightly sand over old paint to rough up the surface a little. This will ensure that the new paint will stick on the frame.
  2. Wipe off any of the dust with a dry cloth, then use a damp cloth to get rid off the last dust. Let it dry.
  3. Cover the area where you will paint with the newspapers. Follow the instructions of the spray paint and apply a coat of paint. Let it dry, this will probably take a day. If needed, apply one more coat of paint, and let it dry again.
  4. If you want to add a vintage touch, put a bit of the bronce acrylic paint on a damp sponge and dab the paint lightly on the frame. Apply the paint only on to a couple of places, such as the corners. Let it dry.

For the papel picado

Cut out the papel picado pattern

  1. Print the papel picado template on the coloured sheet of paper or on a normal paper. If you print it on the normal paper, attach it to the coloured sheet with masking tap.
  2. Place the paper on top of the mat or cardboard and start -carefully!-  cutting out the design. I found out it’s easiest to start with the details and then the larger areas.
  3. Once you’ve cut out all the pieces, check if it’s looking okay. If there are some bad edges, you can use a small siccor to cut away any excess. If you printed the template on a seperate sheet, you can remove it.

Now it’s time to put it all together: clean the glass and place it in the painted frame. Then add the papel picado, followed by another sheet of coloured paper and lastly the back of the frame.

¡Y listo! You now have a colourful and welcoming frame. Of course, you can play around with the colours and design to add your personal touch to it. Have fun making your own creation!

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