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During the pandemic, we had to find creative ways to have gatherings outdoors in open space. We had to get creative. So why not party in our two car garage with the doors open? If it rained we could still keep the door open and get fresh air. For my daughter’s seventh birthday we transformed our garage into an incredible Day of The Dead party (also known as Dia de Los Muertos in Spanish).
What is Day of the Dead celebration? It’s a Mexican holiday that celebrates both life and death. Because it is celebrated on November 1st and November 2nd, and it usually involves calavera masks (skeletons), it’s great for Halloween parties. Since my daughter’s birthday is in October, we decided to do a Dia de Los Muertos birthday party.
Why should I host a garage party?
There are so many reasons to host a party in your garage.
- It is pandemic friendly.
- Guests don’t mess up your house.
- You might have more room in your garage.
- You won’t be paying hundreds of dollars for a party location.
- Kids are encouraged to play outside.
- Your garage will cover guests if it rains.
How do I throw a party in my garage?
Using your garage for parties can be really easy. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:
- Use tablecloths (can be plastic) to cover the walls and add bright colors.
- Borrow or purchase fold up tables to create the layout you want.
- The driveway and yard are perfect for games and activities
- Use signs and decor to point guests to the direction of the garage.
PIN FOR LATER!
Now let’s move on with the Day of the Dead party ideas!
The colors for this theme are so vibrant. You can basically use any color party supplies you already have at home. Also, these decorations double as Halloween party decorations. Finally, these party decorations can be pretty inexpensive. Can you believe we found most of the decor at the Dollar Tree? Here’s a checklist of all the party supplies we purchased for one dollar each:
- Skeleton heads (of all sizes)
- Skeleton hands
- Day of the Dead wood signs
- Long white candles
- Skeleton serving tray
- Long paper skeleton
- Fall wreaths (we painted black)
- Pom poms (can act as flowers)
- Flowers of all colors
- Colorful garland
- Black gift bags
- Tissue paper
- Water Bottles
- Party snacks
- Party Games & Activities (see details below)
Day of the Dead Decorations
Since we had the party in our garage, we wanted to turn the dark wood into a bright and fun party space. We definitely accomplished this by hanging large colorful fabric from a wooden beam. We also hung colorful pom poms and skeletons heads with black ribbon. These vibrant colors really impressed family members when they walked in.
The cake table was covered in a bright blue tablecloth. We decorated the table with colorful goodie bags, a large cupcake stand, black branches, candles, and wooden signs.
Black flowers in a vase is the perfect centerpiece for this theme. We simply added a skeleton scarf around the vase to tie everything together.
Custom Hand Painted Banner
The focal point of this kids party was this gorgeous hand painted scroll that we hung in front of the gorgeous colorful fabric. This was clearly “Amelia Day”. Danny first sketched the skeleton head and then painted it in beautiful colors. To add some depth to it, we glued on fake flowers. This really made it pop! We added additional pom pom garlands to the sides.
Ok we realize not everyone is close to an artist to create this amazing banner but we are happy to create one for you! Simply email us what you are looking for.
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Day of the Dead Party Food
We kept the party food really simple. Pizza & some fun snacks. The best thing to do is use a really large party tray so that you can add skeleton heads and hands. We hot glued flowers to the top of the skeleton head to bring in the colors of the party. The large platter sat on a small table with a black table cloth and a traditional Mexican banner.
Instead of a big cake, we made these simple vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting and used black cupcake paper. These cupcake toppers we made ourselves right on Canva.com. We used a combination of the birthday number, my daughter’s name, and pretty Day of the Dead skeleton heads.
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Day of the Dead Party Games & Activities
Even though this party was in our garage, we were able to put together a ton of fun games and activities for the kids.
As guests entered the garage, they were encouraged to sit at the party table to create paper flowers, decorate their own canvas bag (kit found at Dollar Tree) and color a wooden skeleton also found at the dollar store. We made sure the table had plenty of glue for the paper flowers and markers to decorate the other items. This is a fun party activity for girls. They got to take the flowers home to decorate their rooms.
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Then after the kids ate pizza, we had them play two different games in the yard. One was to pin the flower on the skeleton. All you need for this game is a large oak tag, small pom poms, and a way to hold the poster up on a wall. The idea is that each child has to try to get the pom pom at the top of the skeleton head while blindfolded. We used a Day of the Dead scarf to blindfold them.
We also created this skeleton hand challenge. For this game you need a large basket, lots of balloons, and plastic skeleton hands. Each kid will stand about 15-20 away from the basket. They have to get the balloon into the basket only using the skeleton hand. It can get pretty tricky (and fun!) if there is a breeze outside.
Sparkle Tip:Face painting is a great activity for this theme. Have the painter turn your guests into skeletons.
Dia de Los Muertos Party Favors
These DIY goodie bags are one of a kind and we love how they came out! The Dollar Tree had these dead masks that we initially thought we were going to put inside of the goodie bags but we had this idea to add it to the outside of a black gift bag. All we did was bent over the tag so you couldn’t see it. Then we hot glued the tag onto the bag.
Day of the Dead Costume for Girls
We had my daughter wear her Dia De Los Muertos costume for the party. This costume was great for this time of year because of its long tights and long sleeves. She matched the party perfectly!
Get the Costume:
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Dia De Los Muertos Photo Backdrop
This green wall was actually not planned. We had it on hand for another party the next day and we thought, why not use it? We added large paper flowers and these wooden skeletons and it created a really fun background. You don’t need to use a green wall but you can decorate any free wall like this for the kids to take fun pictures.