Today’s colorful craft is in honor of the Dios de Los Muertos holiday. Create a festive DIY gnome to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
– Thomas Campbell
To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Artist Ruth Johnson made these beauties and all of the handmade gnomes on this site. If you prefer to purchase a gnome, you can shop Ruth’s handmade collections at her Etsy Shop or visit her Facebook Group.
Day of the Dead 2023
The official date for the Dios de Los Muertos Celebration is November 2nd, but festivities begin around October 31st in Oaxaca and taper off on November 2, 2023.
Dios de Los Muertos
The holiday began thousands of years ago with central Mexico’s Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua, Middle American Indian populations.
Día de Los Muertos celebrates life and death because the Nahua people believed mourning the dead was not respectful.
The dead are considered to be valued community members and kept alive during Día de Los Muertos, when the souls of the dead return to visit their living loved ones.
Private altars (“ofrendas”), including favorite foods, photos, and sentimental items, are built for prayer and to encourage visits by the dearly departed.
Though the holiday was started in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America.
Today’s Día de Los Muertos festivity combines religious rites and Christian feasts.
How to Make Day of the Dead Gnomes
Ruth used the basic gnome pattern to create the Día de Los Muertos gnomes (available by subscribing to the gnome newsletter).
Then, embellish them with all kinds of fun trims.
Below are some of the craft items Ruth incorporated.
Day of the Dead Printed Fabric
Felt Skeleton Cutouts
Most of these items can be found at your local and online craft and hobby stores, such as JoAnn Fabrics, Micheal’s, and Hobby Lobby.
Day of the Dead Decorations
I’ve collected some images of the popular symbols of Día de Los Muertos that you may recognize above.
Use these to inspire your gnome creations.
Perforated Paper (papel picado)
Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead)
Day of the Dead Colors
Día de Los Muertos hues are fun and festive!
Embellish your gnomes with the main colors of purple, pink, red, yellow, orange, black, and white.
These colors are all used to represent and honor the deceased’s places, things, and moments.
All tributes hope to encourage the souls to find their way back home.
Free Pattern for Gnomes
Subscribe to my GNOME email newsletter for GNOME project ideas, inspiration, & a FREE gnome pattern.
After signing up, you will receive an email (in approximately 15 minutes) with a web link and a password to sign in to the free library.
When you enter the library, look for the small photo of the gnomes.
Click the picture to open the PDF, then press the download icon.
Download and print the pattern or any of the project downloads.
After you download and print the PDF, go back to the DIY Gnomes post and scroll down to the lower half of the post to read the gnome-making instructions.
Also, visit the DIY Gnome Posts Page for more imaginative ideas, fabric choices, trims, and embellishments.
How to Make a Gnome
Using the free pattern, start with the basic gnome body, then embellish with Dia de Los Muertos accouterments.
Next, click here to read this gnome-making beginner post for more ideas and step-by-step instructions.
For more inspiration, see these Gnome Posts for tips and tricks to learn to make them yourself.
How to Make DIY Gnomes
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I know you will enjoy creating your own festive Day of the Dead Gnomes.
Please share your makes with me when you do! 😁
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