Papel picado is the Mexican folk art of paper-cutting. The colorful, lattice-like designs, traditionally cut into tissue paper, are made to celebrate religious festivals and national holidays. Mexican craftsmen use punches, knives, hammers, chisels, and scissors to cut holes in the tissue. Sometimes the result is a simple symmetrical design, or it may depict a scene from the Bible. The decorations are placed in windows and hung as banners. You can also use them as table runners and place mats for a Mexican-style fiesta.
10-inch-by-14-inch sheets of brightly colored tissue paper
If the thought of a cadre of frightful jack-o'-lanterns gives you the chills, opt for a lovely and luminous group of votive holders instead. These gently glowing lights, cut from pumpkins in pale hues, are easy to make: Simply slice off the tops, and scoop off the flesh.
Hand-drill fitted with a 1 1/2-inch-wide paddle bit
Sewing on paper is a beautiful -- and tidy -- alternative to tape or glue. On these cards, scraps of ribbon in graduating lengths are arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree; the sewn trunk secures them to the paper.