Tablecloth: Cover the table or surface on which the altar
will be built. Some altars are bright and cheerful, with colorful tablecloths and sheets as the backdrop, while others feature a more sombre black or dark colored cloth.
Photos of loved ones: Ideally, there should be at least one photo of each person being honored. Place photos in the center, as a focal point of the altar.
Candles: Set a candle for each deceased relative. White represents the purity of the soul, and the light is believed to guide the spirits on their journey back.
Papel picado: The delicate paper represents wind and the fragility of life.
Flowers: Marigolds are preferred, but they are difficult to
find. If you can't find marigolds then mums in oranges and golds make good substitutes.
Personal items of the deceased: Objects they used daily or were especially fond of.
Pan de muerto: Sweet bread in the form of bones or skeletons, to represent soil.
Skulls or skeletons: Generally brightly colored skulls made of molded sugar inscribed with the name of the honoree represent vitality of life and personality
Copal incense: The light smoke and aroma are thought
to carry prayers to God.
Water: Purifies, cleanses and quenches the thirst of the