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Gilded Maracas

Shake things up at your next fiesta with these modern maracas, embellished in two different styles: gold leaf and hand-lettered.

cinco de mayo floral fiesta table place setting

Photography: Brittany Gidley Photography

Source: Martha Stewart


This idea comes from Tara Berger of One Stylish Party. They were featured at her Cinco de Mayo Floral Fiesta in collaboration with Black Twine, calligraphy provided by Seaworthi, and linens provided by Wolf & Irving. "Whenever I am styling a party, I always like to come up with a DIY project to add to the décor," Berger says. "For my Chic Floral Fiesta, I decided to personalize plain maracas with fun fiesta phrases and a gold leaf finish. This project was simple, inexpensive, and helped to tie the party details together." These maracas can be passed out to guests as party favors or, if hand-lettered in their name, a fun take on a place card. If you're setting a formal dining table as part of the celebrations, a bouquet-style napkin fold adds to the presentation.


For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of Cinco de Mayo Ideas.


  • Maracas (Pictured: Maracas in Plain Coral and Plain Mint Green, $2.79 per pair,

  • Gold leaf sheets

  • Decoupage medium

  • Foam brush

  • Gold calligraphy paint pen

  • Cloth napkin for table-setting (optional)

  • Twine for napkin fold (optional)

  • Scissors for table-setting (optional)


  1. For gold leaf maracas: Use the foam brush to coat the maraca with a thin layer of decoupage medium; allow to dry until tacky to the touch.

    gilded maraca step 1
  2. Lay gold leaf sheet flat onto the surface of the maraca where you applied adhesive until it sticks. Smooth the gold leaf down, then use decoupage medium to seal the leaf on the maraca; allow to dry completely before use.

    gilded maraca step 2
  3. For hand-lettered maracas: Use a paint pen to write a party guest's name or phrase on the maraca; allow to dry completely before use.

    gilded maraca step 3
  4. Optional napkin fold: Lay napkin flat on a table. Pinch at the center and pull the napkin straight up, allowing the edges to drape naturally.

    maraca napkin fold step 1
  5. Slide your hand around the outside of the napkin to form a fan shape and lay on the table with the edges facing up. 

    maraca napkin fold step 2
  6. Place a maraca in the center of the napkin and tie loosely towards the bottom with a length of twine. 

    maraca napkin fold step 4

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