How to Make a Piñata
Having a piñata at your party is a great way to provide decoration and entertainment all in one. There's no need to go out and buy a pinata for your next party, though. With these simple steps you can build your own, and you might find that making pinatas can be just as fun as breaking them!
Starting Your Piñata
Choose a shape for your pinata.Make your pinata whatever you like! The easiest shape to make is an oblong sphere based on a balloon form, but you can make anything you want.
- To create a more elaborate shape, tape or glue cardstock, and cardboard onto your balloon form.
- Traditional pinatas are made with a ceramic pot as the form, but these can be messy and dangerous. Stick with a pliable form made from paper products.
Protect your work area.Making your pinata has the potential to get a little messy, so make sure you give yourself plenty of room to work. Cover your work area with layers of newspaper or a disposable plastic tablecloth. This will keep your tabletop clean, and make cleanup afterward a breeze. Keep yourself clean too by wearing an old shirt or apron as well as latex gloves.
Make the paper mache paste.In a bowl, mix 2 cups (473 g) of flour, 2 cups (473 ml) of water, and a tablespoon of salt. Stir the mixture until it starts to thicken like a batter. Don't worry about breaking down all the lumps; you want the batter to be relatively smooth but it will likely still have chunks of flour in it.
Prepare your paper mache strips.Tear some newspaper into strips that are about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) wide and 6 to 8 inch (15.2 to 20.3 cm) long. This will make the newspaper lay nice and flat on the balloon. You will need to prepare many of these strips of paper so that you have enough to cover your balloon in several layers.
Forming the Piñata Base
Inflate your balloon.This will form the body of your pinata, so make sure you make it nice and big. Round balloons are preferable because they will create a larger space for all of the candy. You may also use a box if you prefer a square shape for your pinata. Add any additional shapes to make legs, arms, tails, snouts, hats etc, using cardboard, newspaper or construction paper. Tape these shapes on with masking tape or clear tape.
Apply the paper mache paste to your paper strips.Dip the strips into your paste and remove any excess paste by running the strips through your pinched fingers or dragging them along the edge of the bowl.
Apply the paper mache to the balloon.Lay the strips down all over the balloon in a crisscross pattern until the entire balloon is covered. Leave the knot of the balloon uncovered to make removal of the balloon easier. Complete this step 3 to 4 times, allowing each layer to dry before adding another.
Let the pinata dry.Once you have finished adding layers of paper mache, let the pinata sit until it is completely dry and has hardened. How long this will be will depend on many factors, including how thick the paper mache is, and the humidity and temperature of the air. In general, plan on several days.
Decorating the Pinata
Paint the piñata.Use a single color to smooth out the paper and to create an even surface. It does not need to be especially well-painted, just enough to cover the paper. Choose a color that matches the decorations you'll be adding on or to match the animal or character that you're turning your piñata into, as it'll probably show through.
Glue crepe paper to the pinata.This will give your pinata a more traditional look. It is also a festive and inexpensive touch. Cut or tear strips of crepe paper and glue it onto the pinata. Leave the paper in strips, or bunch it up into small tassle-like balls and glue on.
Add finishing touches.Once you've gotten the base of crepe paper on, add other neat details to your pinata. Colorful cupcake liners and brightly colored tissue squares can be added as fringe. If you made an animal, add googly eyes for a fun look.
Filling the Piñata
Cut a hole for the candy.If the balloon has not yet popped, go ahead and pop it and remove it. Since you did not cover the knot of the balloon with your paper mache, you should have a small hole already.
Make the hole bigger if needed.If the candy doesn't fit, cut away at the edge of the hole until it is large enough to pass the candy through.
Punch two small holes around the main hole.Tie a string or ribbon to the holes to create a loop. This will come in handy later when it comes time to hang the pinata.
Put the goodies in.Start adding in candy, streamers, stickers, confetti, small toys or anything else you like.
- Avoid adding any candy that is not wrapped,
- Toys that might break easily or is also a poor choice.
Cover the hole.Glue down some crepe paper on top of the hole, or use masking tape. The goal is to prevent the filling of the pinata from falling out before you've actually hit it.
Hang the pinata.Tie another piece of string, ribbon, or rope to the loop you've already made and use this to attach the pinata to whatever you'd like to hang it from.
QuestionIf I'm short on time, can I dry the pinata we are making with a hair dryer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA hair dryer set on "cool" would work, but it might be easier to aim a few fans at it from different angles.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do you need salt?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt stops the papier mache from getting moldy.Thanks!
QuestionDo I need to put paste on both sides of the newspaper?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You need to drown the paper strops in the paste, and then remove the glue by putting one finger on each side of the paper strop and pull down over the paste bowl to remove most of the paste. You basically just need the strip to be wet.Thanks!
QuestionCan I make a pinata with multiple layers?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You can stick on more paper mache layers or more layers for decoration.Thanks!
QuestionWill Mylar balloons filled with helium work?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You can simply use one from the dollar store. After placing one layer of newspaper on the balloon,it will stay on the ground.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have to use crepe paper?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is not necessary. You could have two three coats of color on the base, but it'll take time to dry.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use paper towels instead of newspaper?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Paper towels will not hold the liquid correctly and will fall apart when applying.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I'm making a different shape of pinata?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can make a frame out of wire to make more elaborate shapes. Or you can simply glue cardboard to the balloon.Thanks!
QuestionHow long does it take to dry?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on how much flour, water and glue you use; the more glue, the longer your drying time. It should take 20 - 30 minutes for 1 complete layer of paper mache mix.Thanks!
QuestionHow many hits can it take before it breaks?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis depends on how many layers of newspaper you've stuck on. The more layers, the harder and stronger the piñata will be so the harder it'll be to break it. I suggest at least 6 layers for a good strong one.Thanks!
Do you have suggestions for websites where I can find instructions on how to make a pinata in Spanish?
I don't know how to make a cloud pinata. Can you please provide me with some suggestions?
- Use a thicker string if you are making a heavy piñata, this makes the piñata stronger.
- Use a punch balloon for a bigger pinata.
- Fill the piñata with individually wrapped pieces of candy. Bulk candy may be cheaper, but keep in mind that the contents of the piñata will spill all over the floor and kids will eat them no matter where they have fallen. Buy cellophane and individually wrap bulk sweets if you choose this option.
- Instead of cutting a flap open, you can leave a hole at the top of the balloon (i.e., don't cover it with papier-mâché) and fill the piñata through this hole.
- You may also use a cardboard box if you don't have a balloon. Make sure the box is not so hard that it can't break.
- Use peanut free candies, you never know if someone allergic.
- Try making a themed piñata for your party. You could decorate a fish with shiny scales cut out of Mylar or tin foil or create a flower with petals made out of large pieces of crepe paper.
- You can make an easy heart piñata by taping the ends and rolling a piece of tape to stick the sides together (for stronger piñata use cardboard cereal boxes for the first layer).
- s an alternative to using the starch mixture; use glue and water mixed together, but only add a little bit of water so the glue won't be too watery.
- Use candy that will not melt or become damaged inside the piñata.
- Don't ever use duct tape to make a piñata, because it will be practically unbreakable.
- Make fewer layers for younger kids!
- You can tape a string to the top of the piñata in order to hang it, but this is not very secure. If you want the piñata to stay up longer, punch two holes in the piñata and pass the string through the holes. For extra reinforcement, pass the string through a plastic lid from a coffee can or use a cardboard tube from an aluminum foil roll.
- Don't limit your decorations to crepe paper. Feathers, glitter, and fake flowers all make festive decorations for a piñata.
Things You'll Need
Water, flour, and salt (to make the glue) or starch
Crepe paper (and other decorations if wanted)
String or ribbon (to hang the piñata)
Candy (for filling)
Wooden baton about 18 inches/45 cm (to hit with) or a big stick or bat
A brain with ideas
Sources and Citations
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