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Do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos – otherwise known as the Day of the Dead? In the United States there has been a mix between Day of the Dead and Halloween, with many people wearing costumes that feature their face being painted like a sugar skull. Below you’ll find tips on creating Day of the Dead crafts and how to host a fun party for kids. Plus, simple recipes for treats to serve.
When turning a Halloween party into a Dia de los Muertos celebration you can easily change up skull Halloween decor to resemble more of the sugar skulls you see for Day of the Dead. For this party I wanted to setup a craft station for kids to decorate their own skulls. In order to prep the station I had to alter the gray Halloween skeletons I found.
You can leave your skulls gray and black if you choose. I just wanted to lighten them up a bit so they were easier to paint with bright colors.
- Plastic Skull Heads
- Cream Colored Spray Paint
- Mini Fake Flowers
I spray painted all the skeleton heads and the black base cream colored. This way it was like starting with a blank canvas for decorating.
The orange flowers I found resemble marigolds which is a very popular flower for Dia de los Muertos. They were easy to pop right off the stems. I used them to decorate the spine by hot glueing them on. I had to cut the extra plastic stem piece from the flower so it would lay flat.
After painting a solid cream color and adding the marigolds, they were ready for party setup. I went ahead and decorated one as a sugar skull as an example for the craft station.
I used teal colored paint and bright teal sequins to outline the eyes. I drew a spider web on the forehead of the skull with pencil before painting. This way I had an outline to use when adding the glitter.
Since I had some left over marigolds I added one as a head piece.
I gathered several types of decorating supplies for our craft section of the party.
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Pens
- Colored Sharpie Markers
- Mini Marigold and/or Rose Flowers
While shopping at H-E-B for our party candy, I couldn’t miss their Halloween section. It is right in the front of the store and huge. I was impressed with all the options.
The first treat we put together were NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® cereal bars. To keep with the Dia de los Muertos theme, we cut them into skull shapes.
- Skull Cookie Cutter
- Mini Marshmallows – 4 cups
- NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® – crushed
- Butter – 3 tablespoons
- Toasted Rice Cereal – 6 cups
In a large saucepan melt your butter over low heat and add the marshmallows. Stir until completely melted. Add the toasted rice cereal and mix until well coated. Then press down into your baking sheet so it is all evenly distributed. Add the crushed NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® candy to the top. Lightly press the candy bar pieces into the marshmallow mixture.
Let it fully thicken – cool. To rush the process you can place in the refrigerator for a short time.
Use a skull cookie cutter to cut the NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® Krispie bars into single serving shapes.
The second treat we made for the party were candy dipped marshmallows. We used NERDS® Fun Size Candy and NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Morsels – pumpkin flavored since they are orange like marigolds – for dipping.
- Decorative Sticks or Straws
- Large Marshmallows
- NERDS® Fun Size Candy
- NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Morsels
I placed the NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Morsels in my candy melter while I added the marshmallows to the straws. Once the NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Pumpkin Morsels were melted I slowly dipped the marshmallows into the mix half way. Then I dipped the melted marshmallow into the NERDS® that I had poured into a bowl.
I prefer to serve bite size food at parties because it is easier to display and easier to clean up. Plus, when kids are involved it’s easier for them to eat.
While shopping at H-E-B I picked up a TOMBSTONE® Pepperoni Pizza and STOUFFER’S® Macaroni and Cheese. Food that kids love and is simple to prepare.
Since macaroni and cheese is not considered finger foods I baked the STOUFFER’S® in the oven and then scooped into mason jars for individual size servings.
This way it was easier to display on the table and guests could grab a jar and fork to go. I used half-pint jars since they were smaller in size.
To continue with the skull theme I used the same cookie cutter to cut the TOMBSTONE® Pepperoni Pizza. This made the serving sizes small enough to grab and eat.
When displaying food and treats at a party I love to set things at different levels so I can get them closer together. This saves space on your table.
I added the left over candy to a dish for guests to grab.
Look for a demo at your nearest HEB store, check out the list for locations and dates HERE. They will be sampling Pumpkin Cookie Butter dip with LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin and HEB Specaloos Creamy Cookie Butter!