How to Decorate With Cinco de Mayo Crafts

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo is celebrated with what are called cinco de mayo crafts. These crafts include tissue paper flowers for the hair, jewelry, flag making, hand-made instruments and paper mache pinatas. Cinco de Mayo takes place on the 5th Of May and commemorates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. The Cinco De Mayo holiday is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which actually takes place on September 16.

Cinco de Mayo is a time to celebrate and dress up. Although most Mexican jewelry is made of silver and set with precious stones such as amber and turquoise you can make a facsimile of a silver Mexican bracelet by cutting a slit in a toilet paper roll so that it fits over your child’s arm like a silver cuff. You then wrap the cuff in aluminum foil or tin foil and glue colorful dried beans and sequins to it. You can paint the dried beans a sky blue to resemble the actual turquoise gems. This is one of the many easy cinco de maya crafts that you can find directions for on the Internet. This glittery project is sure to delight adults and children alike.

Maracas and rattles are also a big traditional part of Cinco de Maya festivities. During the celebration, the rattles are shaken to welcome generous spirits and drive away the unhappy spirits of the past. A very simple rattle can be constructed out of a Popsicle stick, a brightly decorated toilet paper tube, a few beans and some masking tape.

Really gorgeous Mexican Maracas can be constructed out of blown up balloons that are used as the forms for paper mache. Handles are attached to the paper mache bulbs and their receptacles filled with dried beans. Directions for creating this musical instrument and other sophisticated crafts can be found online.

Paper Mache is a large component of many Mexican crafts, particularly when it comes to making piñatas. Piñatas are typically animal shapes that are filled with candy, hung from a tree and then beaten with a stick by children until the piñata breaks open and spills its contents. You can find a great recipe for homemade paper mache paste as well as designs for animal armatures everywhere online.

The “Ojo de Dios” or God’s Eye symbol is also traditional among Cinco de Mayo crafts. This diamond shaped square made of green, red and white yarn is an ancient symbol that was first made by the Huichol Indians of Mexico. It is used to ward off evil spirits or the “evil eye.” You can make very large Ojos out of tree branches or tiny ones out of toothpicks. This is a perfect project for you to do with children.

Decorating With Found Sea Glass

Sea glass is lumps of broken glass that have been naturally tumbled smooth by the movement of water and waves. They are found in and on the reaches of oceans, bays, rivers and large lakes.

Very occasionally you will find a clear piece of sea glass but usually appear to be frosted with a clear white film. This “frosted” effect seems to go away when the stone is under water. They can be smooth or a bit stubbled on the surface.

The color of the glass depends on where it came from in the first place. The broken glass can come from jars, bottles, plates, ceramics, windows, windshield glass or pieces of pottery.

The most commonly found colors are green, brown and clear just simply because that is the color of beer, wine and soft drink bottles. These are types of bottles that seem to be thrown into bodies of waters the most. It does take a decade or two for some types of glass to actually wash up onto shore.

Jade and amber sea glass can come from medicine, whiskey and spirit bottles. The amber color comes from broken liquor bottles. Lime green comes from soda pop bottles sold during the sixties.

Forest green and ice blue sea glass comes from medicine bottles; ink bottles and fruit jar glass. These are the harder colors to find in chunks of sea glass.

Soft green sea glass is considered to be quite valuable and is from Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and RC Cola bottles. Purple sea glass is much coveted as is white (which comes from very old milk bottles) and cornflower blue (from art work, vases and early Milk of Magnesia bottles.) Aqua glass, from old jam jars, is also very rare and it is estimated that one piece is found per 1000 glass pebbles.

Other exotic colors of sea glass include gray and pink (from Depression era plates), black or olive glass (from 18th century lamps). Red sea glass comes from car tail lights, art glass and lamp glass.

Orange sea glass is almost never a casual discovery. An orange piece of sea glass only occurs once every 10,000 pieces. It is usually from a decorative piece of art or glass from the thirties to the seventies.

The best place to find sea glass is to comb shorelines for them. This is a definite hobby for some people. They are often made into ceramics, jeweler or into stained glass pieces.
The best places to find them in the world are the beaches of the Northeast Untied States. They can also be found in California, England, Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia and Italy.