Even though my dog Bluto, died over a year ago, I think of him often. So this year I decided to make Dia de los Muertos shrine in honor of Bluto. There are many websites that can explain the history of this holiday, I'd start here.
Creating a shrine such is this is not to be mistaken for worship of the focus of the shrine, but remembrance. To celebrate the lives of those we love who have died.
For this shrine, I started with an empty Pop Tarts box. I cut through the box so one half is deeper than the other. I cut a notch on two corners and removed enough cardboard so that the shallower half will fit inside the larger half. Then I glued any loose flaps down. I drew an oval on the shallower of the two pieces and cut it out, leaving a window.
I made tissue fringe for the edge of the opening by folding light green tissue paper in half and making small cuts along one edge. I used hot glue to adhere the folded edge of the tissue along the oval on the outside. Inside the box is a trimmed photo of Bluto with a small wood scrap glued to the back so the photo looks like it floats in the box. Fluffing up the tissue hides the box edges.
I raided the junk pile in my garage for wood scraps to add to the sides and top of the box. I painted the inside of the box black and the outside pieces bright apple green.
I took an old book plate and fitted it with a piece of orange painted paper. I glued on mini scrabble letters to spell out "BLUTO" I then covered it with glue and fine orange glitter. This was hot glued onto the top of the shrine. I added a paw print scrapbooking brad (Around the Block) and a mini pipe cleaner skeleton with a skull bead head.
I made the traditional marigold flowers from yellow and orange crepe paper streamers. Other details include a paper clay "chew bone" with wings made from plastic shopping bag colored red with a sharpie pen and dusted with mica. A bead that says "Love", aglass bottle that contained some of Bluto's fur, and a scrapbooking pinch tab (Karen Foster Design).
The old plastic rabbit represents the white stuffed bunny that was Bluto's favorite toy. I even added a small collection of paper clay "snowballs". Even when Bluto was old, sore, and half blind, he loved chasing snowballs in the winter! I added a candle in a spool holder that sits separate from the rest of the shrine for safety sake.
*********This shrine I made years ago to honor my father who died in 1994. Every material used has some meaning. Also a shrine made in a canning jar lid to honor my first ferret, Spud.
Shrines can be made out of virtually any container. I'd look first to whatever you have around the house. Use bright cheerful colors and decorate your shrine in a flambouyant fashion. Add to it objects of meaning to you and the deseaced. This is not the time to be sad but to think joyfully of your loved one!