Creating Muertos Ofrendas

Ofrenda for My Father’ by Rhian Kempadoo Millar

For many of us, 2020 was the year in which we lost friends and loved ones, and without the opportunity to mourn them with others or to remember them publicly in any way. Together! 2012 CIC has worked with Callaloo Arts to create a way to remember our lost ones, both together and individually.

In Mexico, people create a shrine within their home to the person they are mourning, an altar or ‘ofrenda’, as part of the autumn Day of the Dead festival in Mexico (30 October-2 November). Ofrendas include a representation of the person, perhaps a photograph in a decorated frame or an object(s) associated with the person, and often butterflies, flowers and a lantern (use battery operated lights).

Callaloo Arts supported three Disabled-led arts organisations to create ofrendas for artists they have lost, using recycled materials and/or creating digital images and installations using free apps, working together. These ofrendas for our friends were presented at the launch of our Festival on 12 November: you can view them here.

Below you can view video or PDF tutorials below to learn how to create your own physical or digital Muertos Ofrendas, together with all of the digital resources that you will need. To download the PDFs and other image files, hold down the ‘option’ key or right-click when you click on the link. 

Create a Decorated Card Frame, by watching the video below or by using this PDF guide.

Create paper butterflies to decorate your frame, by viewing the video below or by using this PDF guide. You can also download the Paper_Butterfly_Template here.

Create a Muertos Lantern, by viewing the video below or by using this PDF guide. You can also download the Muertos_Skulls images here as a PDF.

Create a digital decorated photo frame using Canva (free version), by watching the video below or by using this PDF guide. The images you need are at the end of this page.

Create a digital butterfly GIF using Canva (free version), by viewing the video below or by using this PDF guide. The butterfly images you need are at the end of this page. Don’t forget to hold down the ‘option’ key or right-click when you click on the link to make an image download to your device.