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Feliz Dia De Los Muertos (Happy Day of the Dead)-Kinetic

Tia's Tips: Napkin art is a fast an easy way to unleash your creativity. So when you see that napkin with amazing art or a cool design-grab it! You'll have a stash of cards made in lightning time.

Last October when my family went on vacation, we stayed in a mountain cabin. Prepping for the trip, I went to Costco to pick up disposable kitchen supplies, and that's where I spotted these amazing "Sugar Skull" paper plates and napkins. I loved the design so much, I made sure to sneak a few into my studio!

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 2nd is a fascinating traditional Mexican holiday. It is believed that the souls of the dead return to visit their living family members. Families plan all year for this reunion, they decorate loved ones' graves and offer gifts all in an effort to attract the souls from the cemetery to their family's home. The idea of an annual reunion seems to be filled more with a sense of hope than dread or fear. With this idea in mind-and having lost a family member this year, I set out to make a set of cards to celebrate.

the project:

This is what the front of the napkin looked like. Open the napkin and peel away the the solid backing. The inside of this napkin had multiple smaller sugar skulls, so lots of images to choose from.

You can cut out the image and then glue it to a paper backing or glue the entire napkin to the paper backing and then cut it. I chose to glue each image, I also felt like this helped to make sure that the image didn't wrinkle. I didn't use a heavy decoupage glue either-a simple glue stick worked just fine. Make sure you cover plenty of the paper with glue.

Tia's Tip: Make sure your hands are clean (glue free) when smoothing the napkin onto the paper. Any residual glue on your fingers can tear the napkin or cause wrinkles.

Begin smoothing the napkin down from the center of the image - smoothing outward.

You could glue your napkin onto design paper, colored cardstock or decorate the plain paper backing. For my project, I decided to cut out the skull and create a kinetic card!

For my kinetic card-I opted to have the skull swing rather than have a lever or tab to make it move.


  • A (base) piece of paper (black cardstock)

  • A (coversheet) piece of paper to hide the mechanism behind. (Design paper)

  • Focal Image that will be moving (Sugar Skull)

  • A strip of paper shorter than focal image.

  • A penny & glue to create a weight bearing pendulum.

  • Foam tape (cut into thin strips) or Foam adhesive strips ( To frame in the pendulum.

Pick a point on the focal image where you will have it attach to the foam pop-dot. (this is the point where it will swing from.)

I decided to make my swing point from the middle of the forehead flower. Punch a hole in the design paper where the pop-dot will attach to the focal image.

Attach the pop-dot to the top of the small strip of paper. Then feed it through the hole of your design paper. Don't attach your focal image yet.

On the opposite side of the paper strip, at the opposite end glue down the penny. Now you have created a pendulum on the backside.

Remove the paper-strip pendulum and get ready to create the foam frame. This way the swinging penny isn't in your way as you lay down the foam tape boarder.

Tia's Tip: I also recommend rounding the edge of the paper around the penny-again it gives it more space to swing!

Create a double layer frame of foam tape. You will need the space for the penny-pendulum to swing. If you use one layer it will stick.

Once the foam frame is complete attach the penny-pendulum. Turn over and attach to the cardstock base.

Now remove the paper from the foam pop-dot and attach focal image and watch it swing!

I had a blast making cards with this napkin. I created one with an embossing folder background and glitter. A background with a stencil and modeling paste. Before I knew it-I had a nice set of cards ready to send out.

I hope this has you looking at those fancy printed napkins a little differently! To check out more-this Thursday October 28th at 7pm MST/9EST, I will be live on Instagram with host Lisa or @luluvision for Art Throw Down! Come and watch us!


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1 Kommentar

05. Nov. 2021

Such a great project! Love your step outs! You make everything so clear!

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