Paper Cempasúchil flower easy craft (10 min)

Paper Cempasúchil flower easy craft (10 min)

If you ever see imagery related to the Day of the Dead, you will notice that flowers, especially the Cempasúchil is very prominent. Vibrant yellow, orange and magenta in color, but particularly the yellow one was believed by the Aztecs to be the flower of the God Sun Tonatiuh and the Life God Huitzilopochtli, but also a symbol of light. It’s supposed to be like a light source (and perfume) that guide the spirits of the dead back home from the world of the Dead.

The Arch of Cempasúchil acts as a portal also from the realm of the dead into ours. You will often see, especially in smaller villages, that people leave paths of Marigold petals from the grave to the home door, to make sure our spirit visitors find their way home. A Día de Muertos without Cempasúchil  is almost unthinkable.

If you would like to learn more about the meaning of the day of the dead ofrenda and altar, you can read my blog Day of the Dead: what is it celebrating?

Cempasuchil paper flower material

Marigold is not always easy to find, here in Switzerland (or Europe) this non-perishable iteration of the season’s ubiquitous yellow and orange garlands is a good alternative to decorate your home, ofrenda, or Día de Muertos themed fiesta this year and for years to come!


  1. Orange or dark yellow..
    - paper Napkins
    - or Tissue paper
    - or Crêpe paper
  2. Nylon thread or floral wire
    or a pipe-cleaner
    or even the cookie bag closing plasticized wire
  3. Scissors


1. Cut the Napkin in half or cut paper so you have approximately the width of the flower you want (these are 15cm wide) is half of the length.

 Cut paper in half  Cut paper in half

2. Separate the 3 sheets of paper that make up the Napkin. If you are using Tissue paper or Crêpe-paper, use 6-layers approximately 15x30cm.

Separate tissue paper  Tear off paper lenghts

3. Tear off the length’s edges by hand (now or after the folding).

Tear off lenghts of paper

4. Make 1.5 cm wide accordion folds, creasing with each fold.

 Fold paper

5. Tie up the accordion of paper in the middle.
- Use nylon thread if the flowers will hang
- Use thin floral wire or a pipe-cleaner.

tie paper

6. Gently pull to separate the paper sheets from each other until you have the flower shaped.

Pull paper  Pull paper to create flower


Now you can use your paper Cempasúchil by hanging them, or make a garland. If you prefer to put them in a vase, use garden wire and cover it with green crêpe-paper to make the stem and leaf(s). Use them to decorate your Día de Muertos altar or party!

For more crafts and ideas, workshops and more, continue to follow this Blog or follow me on Social Media.

About our Author:
Marcela Rupli-Juin, Founder of ReCrearte Atelier

Marcela Rupli founder of ReCreArteFranco-Mexican Business Consultant during the week, artist and handy-crafts “workshoper” on weekends. She loves to share her Mexican cultural roots with friends and beyond, offering cultural evenings and workshops on topics such as Frida Kahlo, Mexican Muralism, Tequila, or the pre-Hispanic cultures. She does workshops for kids and adults on various crafts, mostly relating to Mexican traditions such as The Day of the Dead, Piñatas, Nativities, among many others. Avid reader, with a passion for Mexican culture and arts. She lives in Adliswil where she also has her Atelier “Recrearte” and her company “Cressentia”.

Follow Marcela's creativity on social media: @Cressentia_atelier / Facebook: Cressentia Atelier


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