Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DIY-How To Make a Pinata

   Pinatas are a fun and festive game for any party! Who wouldn’t love lining up to take a swing at a big hanging object that is going to explode and give them candy? Sounds like fun to me! But pinatas can be so expensive! Not only do you have to buy the candy and prizes for the inside, but the pinata itself can run you anywhere between $12-$30+. Well not anymore! You’re going to learn how to make your own pinata and WOW your party guests with how crafty you are!

Things you will need:

A Balloon
Crepe Paper (for decorating it)
Construction Paper (for decorating it)
Glue (craft or Elmer’s type glue)


1. Blow up your balloon to the desired size.
2. Make your paste mixture with the flour and water. The measurements should be 2 parts water to 1 part flour. For example, for a regular size balloon, I used a half cup of flour and one cup of water (I didn’t add the full amount of water because it was looking too runny, so my actual measurement may have fallen just short of 1 cup).
3. Tear or cut the newspaper into small rectangles (about 1 1/2 x 3 inches). Now you have your supplies. 

4. Place your balloon in a bowl to hold it. Dip your newspaper rectangles into the paste squeezing off the access liquid with your fingers and smooth it out on the balloon. Do this until you’ve covered almost the entire balloon. Leave a hole or bare spot around where the balloon is tied (this will be the hole where you put the candy in once you pop the balloon). 

5. Wait for the newspaper paper mache (or “Papier-Mache”) layer to dry completely (I waited about 2 days in between layers) and repeat steps 2-4. You will want about 3-5 layers depending on how strong you want the pinata to be and how much candy it will be holding.
6. Once you’ve completed all of your layers and they are completely dry, pop the balloon. You now have the basic shell of your pinata.  

   There are many different ways you can decorate or shape your pinata. I’ve seen people turn it into a horse or donkey by gluing on toilet paper holders and empty boxes. In my case, I was making a pumpkin so all I needed was orange crepe paper and some construction paper. To add the crepe paper, simply add a line of glue to the top of it and spiral it around the balloon. Once I completed this, I added some construction paper for the face of the pumpkin. Then I punched two holes on either side of the candy hole and strung a ribbon through it so that the pinata could hang. Then I added some construction paper leaves and a stem to cover up the candy hole. 

Some helpful tips:

1. Make sure you make the pinata somewhere that you won’t mind getting messy. The first time I attempted this, I was making it in my kitchen and the balloon popped while I was adding my first layer. The explosion got the white paste all over my kitchen cabinets and ceiling! After that, I decided to move everything down into the basement.
2. To make the string holes stronger, I added a piece of packing tape on both the outside and inside of the balloon shell before I punched the holes. This seemed to help the holes not to rip.
I once had my balloon pop between layers 1 and 2 while it was drying overnight (I think one of my cats may have been trying to play with it). This caused a big tear in my paper mache layer. I thought I was going to have to throw it out, but I was able to save it by putting a piece of packing tape on the inside of the shell, blowing up another balloon inside of the shell, and covering the rip with more paper mache. I then continued to make my paper mache layers.
3. This video http://video.about.com/familycrafts/How-to-Make-a-Pinata.htm is a great resource for making your pinata, especially to see how the crepe paper decorating can be done.

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