Papel picado (literally, "punched paper"), or paper cutting is a traditional art from Mexico. It’s often used to make buntings for fiestas, but can also be used to make doilies, table runners, shelf liners and window screens.
Traditional papel picado usually features intricate designs, but you can make a simplified version using the same techniques you’d use for cutting paper dolls or paper snowflakes. Try your hand at papel picado with the simple buntings below.
You will need:
* Tissue paper in a variety of colors
* Sharp scissors
* Glue stick
* Flat iron and ironing board
1.Set aside a whole sheet of tissue paper which will be used when ironing the buntings later. Cut the rest of the tissue paper into rectangles, around 10 by 7-1/4 inches. Stack two to three sheets together.
2a. To make the accordion-fold bunting:
Fold the stacked sheets lengthwise, accordion-style, into eight sections. With the long edges of the folded paper on the left, cut shapes on the folds at the right, leaving a one-inch margin at the top and bottom. (Note: Cutting on both left and right sides of the folded paper will leave you with irregular side borders.) You may want to follow the pattern here. Round the bottom of the paper to form scallops; you may also want to cut it into a fringe. Carefully unfold the paper, without separating the sheets.
2b. To make the snowflake bunting:
Fold the stacked sheets into halves, then quarters, and then diagonally into eighths and sixteenths, as in making a paper snowflake. Make sure that the “shortest” section of folded paper is visible, so that you don’t cut into the border. Cut shapes on both sides of the folded paper. You may want to follow the pattern here. Carefully unfold the paper, without separating the sheets. Now accordion-fold only the bottom edge of the stack, and cut the paper to form a scalloped edge. Carefully unfold the paper again.
3. Lay the stack on an ironing board and cover it with the whole sheet of tissue paper. Iron the buntings on a warm to hot setting to remove the creases. Don’t forget to unplug the flat iron when done!
4. Separate the sheets in the stack. Lay the twine across the top of one bunting, leaving enough twine at the end for tying. Apply glue to the top of the bunting, and fold the paper over the twine, applying pressure to stick it. String the rest of the buntings in the same way. Let dry, and hang up the buntings. Have fun!