MAKE YOUR OWN CATRINA DOLL for Day of the Dead Art Project unit




Day of the Dead Catrina Dolls

Celebrate The Day of the Dead holiday with a form-based art project that uses paper bags and cardboard boxes.

These festive Catrina Doll sculptures were a blast to create. The fifth grade students worked hard taping paper bags and paper towel rolls together, adding paper plate hats and trying hard to find ingenious ways to make the arms stay together. After completing the armature, paints were mixed, sequins gathered and the fun began…

What you’ll need:

– Cardboard food boxes of various sizes. Cereal and cracker boxes work great

– Paper towel roll

– Paper plates

– Brown paper lunch bags

– Newspaper

– Cardboard egg carton

– Lots of masking tape

– Embellishments (pom-poms, sequins, feathers, marigold silk flowers, tissue paper, etc)

– Liquid tempera paint without much water added.

Here’s what to do:

The Armature

For the body: Stuff the bottom of a lunch bag with newspaper. Place a paper towel roll inside the bag. Cinch top of bag around roll using masking tape to secure.

For the head: Use part of an egg carton cup and tape to the top of paper towel roll. Use a paper plate to cut a circle to be used for the brim of the Catrinas’ hat. Use an egg carton cup as the crown of the hat.

For the arms: Use newspaper or lunch bag paper and fold a length of paper until thick. Wrap this folded piece around torso and tape to the paper towel roll securely. These are the arms.

Tape the entire Catrina to the cardboard box stand.

Finishing Details

Using liquid tempera paints (or acrylics if you prefer), paint the face of the Catrina white. Allow to dry before adding black facial features. When paint dries, add embellishments and if you have the time, maybe add a few tissue paper marigolds.

The “Catrina’s” took three, 45-minute sessions. Constructing the armature was the most difficult but the students listened well and got busy after the demonstration. Painting and decorating was a huge amount of fun. I put supplies on each table and gave minimal instructions. This seemed to work well, as the kids engaged their imaginations freely.

Want another lesson idea for your Mexican art unit? Download this free PDF by clicking below and we’ll send you our Sugar Skull Drawing Guide!


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