Piñatas have become a party staple at children's birthdays all around the world, which is no surprise, as these colourful objects are filled with candy and toys - and they are designed to be broken!
Made of paper mache, the piñata is hung from the ceiling and birthday party guests take turns to hit it until it breaks - when the piñata will explode with sweets, toys and confetti.
Read on for instructions for how to make your own piñata - it is a great DIY craft project to make with kids, as well as being an opportunity for them to learn how to create shapes from paper mache. Kids will have great fun designing their piñata - using crepe paper, tissue paper and tinsel to create crazy characters and shapes - and even more fun destroying it!
What You'll Need To Make Your Own Piñata
- Balloon, preferably large and rounded
- Coloured tissue paper to decorate
- String or ribbon
How To Make Your Own Piñata
- Make a smooth paste from the flour, water and salt by mixing 470g flour with 470 ml of water and a tablespoon of salt. Then prepare the newspaper by cutting or tearing it into strips that are roughly 2-4 cm wide and 10- 15 cm long.
- Before starting the paper mache - cover your work surface with sheets of newspaper.
- Depending on your design, you can add other elements at this stage. If you want to add arms or legs then make these out of cardboard and tape them on using masking tape. If you don't want to use a balloon as the main shape, then you can also craft any shape you like out of cardboard - or use empty cardboard boxes, like cereal boxes or tissue boxes as the base for your pinata.
- Dip the strips of newspaper into the flour-water paste, taking off any excess before laying it onto the balloon. Lay the strips in the same direction across the entire balloon - from top to bottom or around and around - then change direction for the next layer, creating a criss-cross pattern. Allow the glue to dry between layers, and remember to leave the knot uncovered - as this is where you will fill the pinata with sweets when it has been completed.
- Once the pinata has been covered with several layers of paper mache, leave it to get completely dry.
- Now it's time to get creative by glueing on crepe paper in lots of different colours. Glue the paper on in stripes, or for a fringed effect - use scissors to make lots of small cuts along the edge of the paper before glueing on. You can also make 'tassels' or 'pom-poms' from the crepe paper.
- Add finishing touches like ribbons and glitter - colourful cupcake liners also look great glued onto a pinata. If you are making an animal or character, add googly eyes - or make your own using white paper and a black marker pen.
- Pop and remove the balloon. If the hole at the top of the pinata is too small to fill with sweets, cut a larger hole using scissors. Punch a small hole on either side of the main hole, and then tie a loop of string through them - which will be used to hang the pinata.
- Fill the pinata with sweets, confetti, small toys, stickers and streamers and cover the hole over with masking tape or paper.
- Hang the finished DIY pinata by attaching a long length of string or ribbon to the loop of string at the top. One by one, let the party guests try to hit the pinata with a wooden stick. To make it more fun - blindfold the player and spin them around a couple of times before letting them loose to try to break the piñata and win the prizes inside!
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