How to Make a Piñata
Piñatas are a birthday party tradition for good reason: they're a ton of fun, and they can keep kids occupied and entertained for a whole 15 minutes (if not longer). Sure, you could buy one. But why not be crafty and put one together yourself.
Materials for the Paper Maché
Let’s get started! Here’s what you’ll need:
-One section of newspaper cut into 1 1/2-inch by 3-inch strips
-1 cup flour
-A blown-up balloon, tied
-An empty large coffee can (about 30 ounces)
Materials for Decorating
-Two rolls of crepe paper party streamers
-White craft glue
-16-ounce Styrofoam cup
-Two toilet paper rolls cut in half
-Sheet of craft foam in pink
-Pink acrylic paint
Make the paper maché by mixing 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. Set the balloon in a large coffee can.
Dip the strips into the glop, slide off excess with your fingers, then pat onto the balloon, slightly overlapping the strips as shown.
Layer It On
Leave the area around the knot of the balloon free—that’s where you’ll fill the piñata. Let dry completely overnight before adding the second layer.
Resist the temptation to add more or thicken them up—remember: kids need to be able to crack it open.
Take Out the Balloon
After you’ve put on the second layer, let the piñata dry for about five to six hours, or overnight.
Once it’s completely dry, slowly cut the tie off the balloon to release the air and deflate the balloon.
Wow—it's a Hole!
And there you go—the perfect container for goodies.
Oh, won’t the kids be surprised!
The Secret Stash
When filling a piñata, choose toys, candy, and treats that are not choking hazards (and it doesn’t have to be candy—think bags of chips, crackers, and fruit snacks). Make sure whatever items you use are lightweight so they won’t hurt the children if they fall on their heads.
Don’t overload the piñata or it could lose it shape when it hangs.
Once your piñata is filled, cover the hole with strips of newspaper.
There’s no need for paper maché—masking tape will do the trick.
All Strung Out
Now’s a good time to address how you’re going to hang the piñata.
Tie heavy-duty string around it as if it were a package. Knot the top and place a piece of tape on the bottom in an x-shape to keep the string in place.
That's So Crepe-y
Grap your rolls of crepe paper. Unravel one a bit, fold the paper in half, and make slits on the folded side about every 1/4 to 1/2 inch, working off the roll.
You won’t need to cut it unless it gets tangled or when you need to go under the string (which you’ll do in step 12).
Start gluing the crepe paper to the piñata.
Glue the non-folded edge, working in a spiral around the piñata as shown. Slightly pulling the crepe paper as you glue will make it ruffle slightly.
Make the Cut
When you get to the area with the knotted string (from which you are going to hang the piñata), cut the crepe paper. Then grasp the knot, pull it up, slip crepe paper beneath, and start rolling again.
Once the piñata is completely covered in crepe paper, it’s time to transform it into a pig.
Hot glue on the painted pink Styrofoam cup for the snout, and toilet paper rolls for the legs. Use the pink foam sheet for the ears, white paper for the big part of the eyes, a pipe cleaner for the tail, and googly eyes. Make nostrils with a black permanent marker.
It's Party Time
There you have it, the perfect pink pig!
Just pick a wide area to hang it in and be sure to secure it tightly. You can also feed the string through the hole at the top of a broomstick, and have your tallest guest hold it up high on the day of the party as kids have at it with a plastic bat.
About the Author
Cindy Hopper, founder of Skip to My Lou, loves to blog about her unending supply of ideas for gifts, parties, and rainy days. She has a passion for inspiring fun and meaningful creative projects for the whole family to enjoy.
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