|Calavera Press working on beautifully hand-cut papel picado banners, banderitas, and mini banderitas.|
Most of the outdoor celebrations seen throughout Mexico are decorated using papel picado. Panels of intricately pierced tissue paper are threaded on long strands of string, and hung in villages between rooftops, across porches, and inside ballrooms. Papel picado is a “must have” decoration for any Mexican themed fiesta.
During the 19th century, in the era of the haciendas, laborers purchased all of their necessities from the hacienda store. Most of these stores stocked papel de China, or Chinese paper, known in English as tissue paper. The laborers began to use the paper available to them to create elaborate decorations for their festivities, possible producing extra so that they could sell them to other haciendas. In time, the laborers developed into artisans, advancing the craft of papel picado to an art form, and passing the skill on to each new generation.
Today, the descendants of these laborers are still producing papel picado. Using straight pins, and metal chisels, the artisans carefully carve their designs into the paper, cutting away the unneeded portions to reveal their designs. Careful thought is given as to which portion of the paper should be removed, so that the design is clear, but the paper remains resilient.
Papel picado is truly an art and a creative way to decorate any festivity! Love is in the air, lots of baby shower and wedding orders are in the works. Congratulations to our fiesta clients on their upcoming special events. Que viva la fiesta!
Cheers y Salud,
Tony & Sandy
The Calavera Press Team