What’s your creative outlet? Most of the year mine is taking + editing pictures, but come October/November I fully switch gears and start prepping for Dia de Muertos.

The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos), is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink, and celebration. We’ve been fortunate enough to get to witness the celebration of this holiday both on a low-key intimate level at the cemetery, as well as part of the town celebration.

One of the ways our Pueblo Magico, Todos Santos, celebrates this holiday is by putting on various competitions, for alters, Catrinas outfits, and Saints.

For anyone that has followed us for a while, you know that I love creating the outfits and makeup for our girls for the Catrinas contest. And the girls look forward to participating in the competition every year.

This Year’s Theme

Each year there is a theme for the Catrinas competition. This year it is “traditional Catrinas”. But they added a twist…that the outfit must include one recycled material.

As soon as I read that I was excited. Of course, I couldn’t do just one recycled element, so I decided to add a bunch in there. Not only does this get my creative brain working on how I can incorporate these everyday elements, but it’s more cost-effective and better for the environment.


Yes I make mood boards for myself. You should see my Pinterest boards and saved posts on Instagram! These were the initial inspirations for this year’s outfits. But they have now morphed a bit due to the supplies I had, and also just me not liking how certain things looked once I created them.


So Far 

I have to practice on myself because it takes me a while to figure out the design I want to make and the makeup I want to use, which the girls understandably don’t always have the patience for.


For Ellia’s crown I used a crown that I made 3 years ago and have adjusted each year to fit the outfit. I painted it a new color, added gems we already owns, and made Cempasuchil flowers out of paper.


I made roses out of egg crates for Ellia’s outfit.


Thanks to receiving a new mattress, I had A LOT of plastic on hand to create a skirt for her.


Arias’ skirt is made out of newspapers and LOTS of staples. I will also have a roll of tape in my purse on the night of the competition because any quick movement in this skirt and rippppppp.


Arias’ outfit is made out of zip ties Eben had kept when we bought our bikes, flowers I made out of paper, a gold headband the girls were gifted last year, a necklace I bought years ago for another costume, and a Milagrito that I made out of a beer can, spray paint and nail polish.


I still have some work to do on both outfits, and 20 days to do it in. So if I don’t post as much as usual or you don’t hear from me for a bit, it’s because I’m sitting at the counter with a glue gun in my hand, busily (and happily) working away.