Make a retablo about a meaningful place or memory!

Medium:Mixed Media
Ages: 8+
Safety Considerations: Adults should use hot glue gun
Time:1-2 hours 



Description: Get inspired by mixed media artist Nicario Jimenez and create a “retablo” or diorama about a meaningful place or memory. A retablo is a sophisticated type of folk art in the form of portable boxes filled with brightly colored figurines arranged into intricate narrative scenes. 

Conversation Questions: Journal about, think about or ask each other 

  • Describe a meaningful MEMORY to you: One that makes you smile, makes you sad, makes you laugh, etc. 
  • What is special about this MEMORY? 
  • How did you use your artwork to depict this MEMORY 














  • Wire + Wire Cutters + Pliers 
  • Masking Tape  
  • Newspaper 
  • Paint + Paintbrush + Paint Markers for details 
  • Box for objects to go in 
  • Scissors 
  • Hot glue if you would like to glue objects in 


  1. Use wire to shape the basic form of your memory. I’m recreating a memory of my favorite one-eyed, Siamese kitty named Mrs. Kitty from when I was growing up. I’ve been thinking a lot about pets and how I’d like one in quarantine to help keep me happy!
  2. Use tape to tape parts together
  3. Use newspaper to fill out parts like heads and bodies
  4. You can use tape to make thin parts like ears
  5. Cover your objects entirely in masking tape. Cut the masking tape in half lengthwise to cover smaller parts.
  6. Paint your objects one color as a base. Let dry. 
  7. Paint your background or box one color as a base. Let dry. 
  8. Add more detail with paint. 
  9. You can use paint markers to add small details. 
  10. Get an adult to hot glue your objects into their box.