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Today, many Americans know the 5th of May only as an excuse to shoot too much tequila. Somewhere in the middle, Cinco de Mayo rose as a day for recognizing the vibrant Mexican culture in the United States—I tend to prefer that iteration of the holiday. Here are five DIY projects for starting your own Cinco de Mayo traditions.
First up: That party-maker (or breaker, depending on your swing), the piñata. Refinery29 offers a great step-by-step guide to crafting your own DIY version: If you can make it out of cardboard, you can make it into a piñata. Just dream up which animal, character, or sports insignia you're interested in vigorously beating with a stick this weekend, then get building.
Rainbow piñata cookies: For those averse to batting down large paper-mached effigies, these piñata cookies from She Knows are a more socially acceptable substitute. The key to replicating the look of the piñata's layered, frayed paper is to employ a wide range of food colors. If you don't have a rainbow's worth of dyes at the ready, you can use fruits and vegetables to get the right shades—check out this how-to care of From Scratch Club.
Papel picado banners. Papel picados—perforated papers carved into complex designs and phrases—are a Cinco de Mayo staple. For those of us not skilled in elaborate tissue paper engraving, this geometric Cinco de Mayo garland from Oh Happy Day offers a simpler fix to get the classic look. For a more traditional approach, download a papel picado design like this one from the Tacoma Art Museum.
Punched tin decor. Hojalata is a traditional Mexican art form in which tin or metal is punched into designs—the tin can be colored, oxidized, or left unfinished to create a range of looks. This punched tin project from Martha Stewart is a helpful intro to the punching technique. Try it out on these napkin rings—or make some candle holders or wall art that will stay lovely on the 6th and beyond.