Art with Alyssa: Dia de los Muertos Nichos

nicho red glitter 1993

Celebrate Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) by creating a personal nicho. A nicho is a small shadow box filled with items that are special to the person who creates it (small photos of a loved one, a tiny piece of jewelry, a mini toy, etc.).

Discussion Points for Teachers/Parents

  • Talk about things you love. What might you want to put in a special place of honor?
  • Discuss recycled materials and using found objects to create art, collage and color.


Supplies

  • Mint tin or jewelry-size cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Small paper cup
  • Special items to put inside (small toy, photos of a loved one, a drawing, etc.)  
  • Decorative collage items such as buttons, beads, silk flowers, glitter, colorful paper scraps, lace or Washi tape


Directions

  • Pour a small amount of white glue into a paper cup. Using a paintbrush, paint the glue on the outside of the box and sprinkle with glitter.
  • Once dry, repeat step one for the interior of the box if desired (and allow to dry completely), or line with Washi tape.
  • Use glue to adhere flat collage items (paper scraps, lace and photos) to the interior.  
  • Glue chosen small objects (flowers, toy, jewelry) inside the box to create your display. Overlap with flat items, if you wish.
  • Glue desired decorative items (beads, lace) onto the outer edges or corners of the box.
  • Once it dries completely, put it in a special place in your home. 



Sugar Skull Mask
Learn how to make a “sugar skull” mask with white cardstock here.


Alyssa Navapanich is an art enthusiast who teaches art to elementary school kids in North County.

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