Throw the Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Party

Complete with tacos and tequila, of course.

Margaritas, guacamole and tacos — what's not to love about Cinco de Mayo?

Recognized in Mexico as the day the Mexican army claimed an improbable victory against the French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, the holiday rose to popularity in the United States to celebrate Mexican-American culture.

Ropa Vieja Tacos

Ropa Vieja Tacos

The only thing better than tacos are miniature one like these ropa vieja tacos. A variety of fillings and taco shells can be prepared ahead of time, then quickly assembled right before guests arrive.

Today, we're still carrying on that tradition by indulging in our favorite Mexican dishes and beverages. If you're planning on throwing your own bash to celebrate, take a look at a few of our favorite recipes and decorating ideas that will ensure your fiesta is a success.

Festive Tablescape

A bright arrangement of flowers and colorful, geometric linens and dishes set the mood for a fun-filled fiesta.

Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

Sugar Skull Place Cards

Easily make these place cards out of inexpensive aluminum pans.



Make Hammered-Tin Place Cards

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Sugar Skull Style

Mexican sugar skulls have been cropping up more and more often in decor. Instead of standard place-card settings, Mexican sugar skulls were used to identify the seating arrangements. They were made inexpensively using disposable aluminum pans, a leatherworker’s stylus tool was used to hammer out the design and add each guest’s name.

Tools and Materials

Tin can be hard to find, hard to work with and a little expensive. So we used disposable aluminum pans instead. To make these personalized sugar skull place cards, you will need: 1 foil oven liner, stylus tool, sugar skull template, a cutting mat or wooden cutting board, and scissors.

Smooth Aluminum Pan Ridges

We used a stylus tool normally used for leather working “hammer” our skull. But you could probably use a ballpoint pen, as long as you don’t press too hard and pierce the aluminum. Download our paper template of a sugar skull. There’s enough room in the design to accommodate a person’s name at the bottom. The aluminum oven liners do come with some raised lines and imprinted writing, so start out by smoothing the aluminum using a paint stirrer.

Trim Edges

Cut off the rolled edges of the oven liner to create on smooth sheet.

Trace the Template

Use a stylus to trace over the template once, pressing moderately hard to make sure the imprint are visible.

Cut It Out

When the outline is complete, cut out the sugar skull.

Deepen the Design

Use the stylus again to go back over the lines from the first tracing to make them deeper. This works best on a cutting mat because it is soft and will allow the stylus to create deep lines without piercing through the aluminum.

Personalize and Place

Add each guest’s name in the blank area.

Multi-Purpose Sombrero

Center the table with a sombrero to hold cupcakes or finger foods. Keep a second hat on hand for the photo booth.

Fiesta Table Setting

Fiesta Table Setting

What better way to celebrate summer than an outdoor fiesta? This table is dressed up with orange burlap layered over a red tablecloth for a bold, colorful touch. A large sombrero sits on a tall candlestick and acts as the table's centerpiece. The sombrero is filled with cupcakes topped with miniature Mexican flags for a festive look.

DIY Piñata

Create your own piñata for guests to smash. Fill it with a variety of candy and let the bashing begin. This is a good idea to incorporate for the kids to enjoy.

DIY Flower Pinatas

DIY Pinata

Colorful Floral Wreath

Welcome guests to the party with a bold wreath of multicolored paper flowers.



Tasty Tacos

Whip up some delicious tacos to serve as the main meal. Your guests will be begging for this recipe.

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

Bring the world to your table with famed chef Kevin Gillespie's recipe for Tacos al Pastor featured in the pork-centric cookbook Pure Pork Awesomeness.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World by Angie Mosier

Delicious Cocktails to Try

How to Make Lemon Champagne Ice Pops

Elevate the standard ice pop with a little bubbly. 

HGTV Happy Hour: Sip on a Frozen Spicy Mango Margarita

This blend of jalapeño, mango and coconut milk is not too sweet—and not too spicy.

Spicy Coconut Mango-rita

Jalapeno adds a kick to the sweet flavors of mango and coconut.

Tequila Cupcakes

Don't forget about dessert. These sweet cupcakes pair perfectly with a refreshing margarita.

Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes

Quick + Easy Guacamole

Mix up a bowl of appetizing guacamole and serve with tortilla chips.

Queso, Por Favor

Please the cheese-lover with a trio of queso dips to satisfy every taste bud.



Photo by: Jennifer Jane

Jennifer Jane

Incredible Cinco Recipes to Try

Delicious, Quick Cinco de Mayo Recipes

You may already have these ingredients in your pantry to whip up fresh and fabulous Cinco de Mayo fare.

Adorable Party Favors

Send your guests home with these fun cacti favors to end the night.



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