Things You'll Need
- Large latex balloon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups water
- Plastic butter bucket
- Wooden spoon or stick for stirring
- 8 by 11-inch sheet of cardboard
- Scraps of cardboard to make boot straps, a heel or embellishments
- Tissue paper
- Crepe paper
- Paint, glitter and markers
- Hole punch tool
- Small toys
- Baseball bat or long stick
Piñatas are a tradition originating in Hispanic cultures. Children take turns trying to bust a piñata while blindfolded at parties or special events. Then they all rush to grab at the raining rewards after the piñata is knocked open. Make a piñata at home using common items for an inexpensive and entertaining activity, saving money on costly premade piñatas. Boot piñatas are piñatas shaped like boots and coordinate with a western, biker or mountain climber party theme.
Making the Boot Piñata
Tear the newspaper into strips half the length of the entire paper and 1-inch wide; set aside. Add 1 cup flour to the plastic bucket and stir in 3 cups water with the spoon or stick until the clumps of flour are completely dissolved, making a paste for the paper-mache.
Fill the balloon with air and tie a knot to close. Hold the balloon on its side, and use the marker to draw a circle that is at least three inches in diameter on the bottom of the balloon. The circle is the area you use to fill the piñata with treats, Make sure it has adequate space for your hand for easier filling, as well as for small toys.
Dip a strip of newspaper into the paste and squeeze off excess with fingers. Cover the entire surface of the balloon, except for the inside of the circle area, and let dry. Repeat this process with two more layers of newspaper.
Pop the balloon and remove the latex pieces. Roll the 8 by 11-inch sheet of cardboard around lengthwise so the side edges overlap ½ an inch, and secure the cardboard roll with tape.
Place the balloon with the open side up and place the rolled cardboard on the side of the balloon opposite the knot. Secure with tape so the bottom of the cardboard is flattened against the balloon and the bottom of the cardboard is closed. Stuff the cardboard roll with crumpled tissue paper and cover the top with a sheet of tissue paper using tape.
Decorate Your Boot Piñata
Decorate the balloon and cardboard to resemble a boot, using brown, black and gold paint and glitter. Add features, such as snake skin patterns or brand logos, to customize the boot piñata. Paint the heel and bottom side of the boot black.
Form boot straps by cutting two strips of cardboard measuring 2 by 4-inches each, folding into loops and taping to the sides of the top of the leg of the boot. Cut a 5 by 2-inch piece of cardboard and fold over into a ring, secure with tape and attach to the bottom of the boot for the heel.
Glue strips of crepe paper around the sides and bottom of the boot piñata so they hang down for a festive look. Cut ribbon and use the edge of your scissors to make ribbon curls by pulling the blade across a taut piece of ribbon in a fast motion. Form bows using several strips of the curled ribbon and attach to the sides and bottom of the boot piñata.
Use the hole punch tool to make two holes, one on each side of the paper-mache balloon. String a long piece of straight ribbon through each hole to use for hanging the boot piñata. Fill the paper-mache boot section with candy, small toys and loose strips of newspaper, and tape a piece of tissue paper over the opening.
Tie the boot piñata so it is hanging overhead and let children take turns hitting it with a baseball bat or long stick.
Mix the toys, candy and newspaper strips thoroughly before adding to the piñata so they scatter instead of falling in one area. Add more ribbons for hanging the piñata if two strings are not enough to support the weight.
Have an adult present while hitting the piñata to make sure the children do not hit one another.
- "Childcraft Volume 1 -- Make and Do"; World Book Inc.; 1987
- Bry-Back Manor: A Pinata for You to Make
Miranda Brumbaugh enjoys covering travel, social issues, foster care, environmental topics, crafting and interior decorating. She has written for various websites, including National Geographic Green Living and Dremel. Brumbaugh studied in Mexico before graduating with a Master of Science in sociology from Valdosta State University.