A basketball-shaped piñata can be made from materials found around the house. Old newspapers, flour and water are the basic ingredients for papier mâché, which forms the structure of many homemade piñatas. This is a craft that can be done by children, preferably with adult supervision. It may take a couple days to dry thoroughly, so be sure to make this well in advance if planning to use it for a party.
Blow up the balloon until it is large enough to serve as your basketball shape. Tie it. Place the balloon in a bowl or box, knot-side up.
Mix the flour and water in the large bowl until it becomes a smooth paste.
Tear the newspaper into strips 3/4 to 1 inch wide. Dip a strip into the papier-mâché mixture, wiping any excess clumps off with your fingers. Place the strip on the balloon, at an angle so it stays in place. Repeat with another dipped strip, overlapping the first newspaper strip slightly. Work your way around the balloon until the entire balloon is covered, leaving a small opening near the knot. Allow to dry thoroughly (may take up to 24 hours). Cover any left-over papier-mâché paste and save it.
Place another layer of papier mâché over the first layer, placing the strips at a different angle so you can tell the layers apart. Repeat until the balloon is completely covered once again. Allow to dry thoroughly. Add a third layer if desired.
Pop or untie the balloon to let the air out. Remove the balloon from the papier mâché piñata shell.
Place the hard candies in the piñata. Cover the hole with papier-mâché strips (alternatively, you can cover it with thin cardboard or paper, taping it in place). Allow to dry thoroughly if using papier mâché.
Paint the piñata to look like a basketball. Alternatively, you can glue tiny pieces of orange tissue paper onto the piñata using the mache paste. Paint the black basketball markings in place.
Poke two small holes near the top of your piñata and feed the string through. Tie the piñata up high in a location where it can be whacked at with a stick.
Be sure the holes for the string are placed outside the original piñata opening, for strength.