Your Very Own Ofrenda?

As local celebrations of Día de los Muertos become more popular, it's easier to find altar-building materials in stock at several local specialty retailers. Some of these folks were busy building their own altars when we called to inquire about merchandise, and they'll be more than happy to give you some pointers about building an ofrenda.

El Interior (1009 West Lynn, 474-8680): Drop in to this attractive West Austin boutique to view their traditional Zapotec altar and to pick up such items as skeleton figurines and papel picado.

Las Manos Magicas (603 W. Live Oak, 416-1715): This friendly shop in the artsy section of South First Street's Mexican-food mile has an altar of their own and everything you'll need for yours: sugar skulls, copal incense, long-burning candles, skeleton figurines, masks, papel picado, and sources for fresh marigolds.

Cantu's Imports (1500 S. First, 448-2677): Cantu's regularly stocks candles and papel picado, but they were eagerly awaiting a hand-delivered shipment of Día de los Muertos items from Guanajuato including papier-mché statues and a special hard candy in the shape of Our Divine Lady of Death.

Tesoros Trading Company (209 Congress, 479-8377): We hit the jackpot here! In addition to ornaments, papel picado, candles, and all kinds of calavera figurines, these folks have a kit for making your own sugar skulls.

Green & White Grocery (1201 E. Seventh, 472-0675); El Porvenir (2217 Santa Rita, 469-0581): Both of these traditional Eastside yerberías carry a large selection of daily ritual items (santos, candles) rather than seasonal materials.

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