A traditional fixture in many Latin-American celebrations, a pinata is also a fun addition to many children's parties. While many party supply stores sell pinatas, they are also easy, fun and inexpensive to make at home. Making your own pinata also allows you more flexibility in the design and, best of all, you can involve your child or children in the fun production process. Of course, it may be hard to watch your creation be destroyed by candy-hungry children, but that is, after all, the fun of a pinata.
Things You'll Need
- Large Balloon
- 1 Bag Of Flour
- Construction Paper
- Wire Whisk
Inflate the balloon. The balloon will be the main body of the pinata, so inflate it to the desired size and tie it off. The advantage of a character like Pikachu is that his relatively round body will be easy to make out of a standard round balloon. You will later add other body parts with attached materials.
Make your papier-mache paste. Mix one part flour to two parts water in a bowl, using the wire whisk to make sure that the flour is fully dissolved. Heat the mixture for about 5 minutes until it begins to thicken. Be careful not to overcook the mixture so that it does not harden.
You can also use Elmer's glue and water to make your paste, but the traditional recipe is both cheaper and more environmentally sensitive.
Tear newspaper into strips and soak them in the paste. Make sure the paper is completely soaked before removing it from the mixture.
Completely cover your balloon in strips of newspaper and paste (papier-mache). Apply at least three or four layers to create a strong and thick surface.
You can also use scrap paper and old fliers for this step. This project can be an effective way to recycle.
Let the balloon dry. After about a day, the surface should be hard and dry.
Paint your pinata yellow to create a smooth, even surface for Pikachu's body. Allow the paint to dry.
Add details and decorations with cardboard and construction paper. For instance, cut out a tail from cardboard and tape it to the body. You can also use construction paper to glue on eyes and other features. Paint the pieces as desired.
Cut a small hole in the back of your pinata with a serrated knife. The balloon will pop, but the hard surface of the papier-mache will keep the shape and allow you to make a small hole through which you can insert candy. You can also make a small hole through which to insert the string. Tie off the string and cut a piece long enough to hang your pinata.
Fill you pinata with candy and have fun trying to get it out.
Your creativity is the only limit when decorating a pinata. Feel free to use other items, such as feathers, crepe paper and whatever else comes to mind.
When selecting candy, keep in mind that the candy will spill onto the ground. Avoid open candy that could become dirty before being eaten in favor of individually wrapped treats.
This can be a messy project, so lay down some newspaper before beginning.
Edward Mercer began writing professionally in 2009, contributing to several online publications on topics including travel, technology, finance and food. He received his Bachelor of Arts in literature from Yale University in 2006.