Sugar Skulls Available at Casa Artelexia

Sugar skulls are an iconic memento mori placed on Day of the Dead altars. They represent both life and death, as they are placed on altars, but also given to the living.   Making them can be quite tedious and very messy.  So why not let Casa Artelexia make them for you?!  We have a variety of decorated (and undecorated) skulls available for purchase.  Call or email us to place an order for your Day of the Dead altar, craft or fiesta!!

Building a Day of the Dead Altar

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is celebrated on both November 1st and 2nd.  This is time when we celebrate and remember our loved ones that have passed with food, drinks and parties.  It is believed that on November 1st the souls of children return (because they are quicker) and adults return on the 2nd.  During this celebration the graves of the deceased are cleaned and altars are built.  Altars can also be made at home if the graves are too far.  Photos are brought out, stories are shared and the memories are kept alive.
Creating an altar is a fun Day of the Dead tradition that anyone can enjoy. There are many elements that go into creating an altar, including various food and objects specific to Day of the Dead, so we've highlighted a few basic items you'll need to create one and their significance:

Marigolds: Marigold flowers (cempasĂșchil) are used in altars for their scent, which guides the dead back home (supposedly, the scent of marigold flowers is reminiscent of bone, and that is why these particular flowers are used).
Candles: The purpose of creating an altar is both to celebrate the dead and to invite them back home, so lit candles are used to welcome them back.  One candle is put out for every person that you’ve lost and an extra for anyone that may have been forgotten.
Food: Because the dead will be hungry on their long journey home, it's fitting to add a few pieces of food. You'll see fruit, Pan de Muerto and other snacks on many altars. Pan de Muerto, or "bread of the dead", is traditional sweet bread baked especially for Dia De Los Muertos. You can usually find bone shapes and a "teardrop" (for sorrow) on the top of Pan de Muerto, to represent the dead.
Sugar Skulls: Sugar skulls are an iconic memento mori placed on Day of the Dead altars. They represent both life and death, as they are placed on altars, but also given to the living.
Water: Placing water on an altar helps quench the thirst of the dead, after their long journey home.
Papel Picado: Papel picado banners are festively strung across the altars representing wind and the fragility of life.
Photos and Mementos: Photos of the deceased are placed on the altars along with some of their personal and/or favorite items. If honoring your grandfather who loved his tequila, feel free to set out a glass of his favorite tequila for him to enjoy when he returns!  This is where you can get creative in how you remember your loved ones when building your altar. Put out as much or as little as you want.
Although Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday, I feel that all can appreciate its message and take joy in the holiday, tradition and celebration.  


Birthday Party Packages at Casa Artelexia

Looking for a fun and creative setting for your next birthday party?! Book one of our craft parties for you and your friends! We can do as much or as little as you'd like. Invite 15-30 of your closest friends for one of our fun crafts. We provide all materials and instruction while you bring the food and drinks! Pay for the group or have everyone pay their own way.  What's the cost?  Our basic 2-hour package starts at $20-$30 per person depending on the date and time.  Contact us to inquire about your next party!

Day of the Dead Photoshoots at Casa Artelexia

Wow. Wow. Wow. I can't even begin to describe how much fun we had with our Annual Day of the Dead photo shoot here at Casa Artelexia.  Debi Winger worked her face-painting magic on approximately 30 guests.  Isn't she fantastic?!  Once our guests were ready they had mini photo sessions with the super duper talented Dani Toscano.  Dani took their photos in front of various decorative walls located in the shop and around our neighborhood here in Little Italy.  Here are just a few of my favorite costumes that our customers wore for the photos.  Aren't they fantastic?!


Day of the Dead Pumpkin Painting at The Mingei Museum

I am super duper excited to have been invited back to the Mingei Museum to host another family day craft!  This Sunday we will be painting Day of the Dead pumpkin minis. Yay!  Bring the whole familia to the Mingei for just $5!!  You'll get to explore the museum's colorful exhibits with an interactive treasure map, get crafty painting sugar skull themed pumpkins and take home some fun prizes!!  Come spend the day at Balboa Park with Casa Artelexia at the Mingei!

October 18th // 12-5PM // $5 per family


Day of the Dead Pumpkin Painting at Casa Artelexia

Last night we had such a fun turnout for our Workshop and Wine Wednesday Pumpkin Painting Workshop. Students had the option to paint in the already outlined pumpkins or they were free to "wing it" and get creative all on their own! Bummed you missed the class?! Not to worry. We have 2 more coming up. Join our family friendly workshop on October 10th from 12-2pm or stop in on Oct. 7th for a Workshop and Wine Wednesday. Check out these and other upcoming workshops at Casa Artelexia.


Day of the Dead Portraits at Casa Artelexia

Back by popular demand!! We are having our Day of the Dead Portraits on October 10th from 9AM - 6PM at Casa Artelexia. Show up in your best Dia de los Muertos outfit and let Debi work her magic! Here are a few of my favorites from last year's photo shoot with Roxana Lopez Photography. Purchase your tickets before they're gone!!

Face painting by the super talented Debi's Doodles 
10 5x5 photographs mailed out to you in 7-10 business days 
High resolution original files emailed in 2-3 days. 
Props and backdrops 
Drinks and snacks
Price: $75 per person, 2 for $130, 3 for $180, 4 for $220
All photos shown below by Roxana Lopez Photography