Monday, May 2, 2011

DIY Mexican Paper Flags: Easy Papel Picado Alternative

When I was planning my Cinco de Mayo Margarita Party, I immediately decided I wanted Mexican Paper Flags, also known as papel picado. If you've ever seen photos of these flags hanging over streets in Mexico, you know how festive they look. However, these can be kind of pricy to purchase, as they should be considering the intricate designs cut into the tissue paper by hand.

Cinco de Mayo Decorations
Photo by Sarah Brewer of Click Photo Designs

My easy alternative was inspired by a DIY Bunting Tutorial on Project Wedding. I love the clean lines! You can leave your flags blank or stamp a pretty design on them like I did.

DIY Mexican Paper FlagsHow to Make Mexican Paper Flags

Supplies Needed
  • Tissue paper in multiple colors
  • Lever-style paper trimmer or scissors
  • Rubber stamp (optional)
  • Ink (optional)
  • Glue stick
  • Twine


  1. Cut multiple sheets of tissue at once into 8x6" strips using a lever paper trimmer or scissors. Fold in half to create 4x6" flags.

  2. Using a rubber stamp and ink, stamp a design onto your folded flags. I stamped a flower in the upper left corner of all my orange flags, in the center of all my yellow flags, and in the bottom right of all my green flags for variety.

    How to Make Mexican Flags

  3. Unfold one of the flags, and run a glue stick around the four edges of the inside of the bottom half.

    How to Make Papel Picado

  4. Place a length of twine in the fold of the flag, and fold in half to adhere the flags edges together. I used Divine Twine in Lemon by Whisker Graphics.

    How to Make Flag Garland

  5. Leaving 2-3" section of twine from the edge of this flag, adhere the next flag onto the twine. Repeat with desired amount of flags.

    DIY Tissue Paper Flags

  6. Hang and enjoy!

Hanging Papel Picado

DIY Papel Picado

If you missed the photos from my Cinco de Mayo Margarita Party, be sure to check them out!

Hanging Mexican Paper Flags

I'd love to see photos if you make your own Mexican Paper Flags!



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