One week to go...Picado's all a-glow | Week 42 | #52wonderfilledweeks

Another week down and we're suddenly a week away from our big double, Dia de la Muertos party.  I was determined this week to finish up everything we had planned for P's Coco bday party.  When you think of a Day of the Dead party you probably envision an out door affair with lots of lights, candles, food, marigolds (lots and lots of those!) and Papel Picado! We knew from day one that we would have papel picado and tissue marigolds as decorations at both parties...but we waffled for a while on how we would to the picado...I had settled on ordering tissue paper and having P help me cut them ourselves...but as the weeks went by and P's party evolved into a black light, Land of the Dead, theme we opted to still make them ourselves but with the Cameo.  The first problem we encountered was getting paper that was black light responsive.  I won't bore you with the details but let's just say not everything will glow under a black light...I went through no less than 5 different brands of highlighters (for a craft project I have lined up for the kids) until I found a brand that really popped under the lighting...well the same thing goes for paper...long story short, I ended up having to purchase bright neon poster board from Staples and cutting it down into 8.5 x 11 size sheets.  I spent about $15 dollars for the paper and I ended up getting just under 50 papel picado flags and a few other projects taken care of with the three packages of poster board I bought. 

Now Day of the Dead picado should probably depict skulls, etc...but since these are kids we decided to leave it light and used this free file from The House that Lars Built (HERE is a link). 

I really worked my Cameo this week ... and I should mention that I only have one cutting mat! So this took some time to get through.  My biggest concern was figuring out the perfect cut settings so that the thicker poster board would cut but not leave everything on the mat, leaving me to scrap off every last piece of paper before I could load the next flag.  It took some trial and error but I found the perfect setting where it cut the poster board but no so cleanly that it was left on the mat...instead it was more like a punch card you get in a  happy meal toy where you have to punch out the kids crown, if you know what I mean.  The only snag was when cutting the yellow...apparently the dye they use for the yellow makes that poster board MUCH thicker and so I had to tweak my settings a bit when cutting yellow. 

You can see the cut lines on this freshly cut pink picado.

My goal was to have as much of the cutting to stay with the paper as possible...I hate scraping up tiny cut outs off of my mat!

Most of the picado cut perfectly and came off the mat in one piece, then all I had to do was "punch out" the pieces.

I did get smart a few flags in and realized that using my offset tweezers made getting all the little pieces off SO MUCH EASIER than the little spatula they give you! Instead of scraping pieces off my mat while trying to not touch the mat with my fingers the tweezers let me scoop up and remove everything in one step.  This revelation really saved me some time and mental energy. Just be careful to not gouge the glue on  your mat when picking up pieces.

The finished flag! (And look at that pile of weeded material! I have a use for that too! I.  Save.  Everything!)

Next up I had to string the picado.  I was worried about using a hole punch on my perfect flags.  I didn't want the flags to be able to move easily on the line or disrupt the design layout of each piece of art so I thought on it...and came up with using a large needle and some foam.  

Poking holes in each top corner with the large needle was perfect.  The hole is discreet and was the perfect size for the fishing line I threaded through it.  The end result is pretty awesome...and then when you turn on the black light...WOW...Super likes it all so much he's hoping people coming to my party later will still want to enjoy the Land of the Dead basement!

What do you think? Isn't it a great effect? P has seen the picado hung up but not with the black light...I think she might lose her mind when she sees it all!

Now that the picado is done and hung I had a PILE of all the little pieces that were cut out.  I also kept vacillating on where I wanted the photo booth for her party.  My concern was that you wouldn't be able to see them (the kids posing) in the darkened room...but when we were playing around with the lay out I snapped a few photos and we figured we would make it work...we also figured parents can throw their flash on if they want...but then I was sort of stuck for a photo backdrop.  I had bought these pom pom garlands from Dollar Tree...but the didn't lay exactly the way I wanted and more importantly they were not black light I sat and thought...and it came to me...glue the weeded picado pieces to the back drop (which is just a black plastic table cloth from Dollar Tree -  so super affordable).  I had P help me and after I explained for the fiftieth time what "random" meant we got the pieces glued on...I love it...she loves it...and it cost us $1 and some time.

Next week is party week, so Week 43's blog may be posted late! But when it is loaded I'll show you everything we did for both parties! Have a great week!!


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