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Decorate Your Home with Mexican Alebrijes

Posted on April 29 2024

Imagine a jaguar with butterfly wings, a dog with a horn, or a fantastical creature unlike anything you've ever seen. These aren't figments of a dream, but rather the whimsical world of Alebrijes, Mexican folk art that injects a vibrant burst of color and culture into any home.

Their Origin Story

In the 1930s, cartonero Pedro Linares fell ill and dreamt of a fantastical world filled with nonsensical creatures. Upon waking, he recreated these creatures from papier-mâché, coining the name "alebrije" from a nonsensical word he also dreamt.

Linares' creations sparked a creative fire. Today, Alebrijes are primarily crafted from wood, meticulously carved by artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. Each Alebrije is a unique masterpiece, hand-painted in a riot of colors and intricate patterns.

Finding Your Perfect Alebrije

Alebrijes come in all shapes and sizes, from miniature figurines to large, statement pieces and even fusions from two animals.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Animal Magic: Jaguars, owls, and dogs are popular choices, but keep an eye out for mythical creatures or fantastical hybrids.
  • Color Commentary: Embrace the boldness! Alebrijes are known for their vibrant color palettes. Opt for a fiery orange and teal Alebrije to add a pop of color, or go for a more subdued turquoise and silver combination for a touch of elegance.
  • Size Matters (But Not Really): A small Alebrije perched on a bookshelf adds a whimsical touch, while a large one can be the centerpiece of your living room.

Caring for Your Alebrije

Think of your Alebrije as a cherished heirloom. Here's how to keep it looking its best:

  • Dust Gently: A soft dusting brush will remove any surface dirt without damaging the paint.
  • Location, Location, Location: Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the colors to fade. Opt for a well-lit spot with moderate humidity.
  • Love, Not Water: Alebrijes aren't fans of moisture. Avoid using water or cleaning products, as they can damage the paint.

Alebrije Inspiration Beyond the Sculpture

Alebrijes aren't limited to sculptures. You can incorporate their spirit into your home decor in several ways:

  • Textile Takeover: Throw pillows or wall tapestries featuring Alebrije designs add a touch of whimsy.
  • Painting Power: A vibrant Alebrije-inspired painting can be a stunning focal point.
  • Dinnerware Delights: Plates, bowls, and mugs featuring Alebrijes make every meal an artistic adventure.

More Than Just Decor

Alebrijes represent more than just vibrant home decor; they embody Mexican folklore and artistry. When you bring an Alebrije into your home, you're not just adding a decorative piece, you're welcoming a piece of Mexican culture and a touch of magic.

So, the next time you're looking to add a unique and conversation-starting piece to your home, consider the wonder of Alebrijes. With their vibrant colors, fantastical creatures, and rich cultural heritage, Alebrijes are guaranteed to bring a touch of whimsy and joy to your space. offers a wide selection of Alebrije figurines.