Holiday Crafts a perfect pinata

Published on May 23rd, 2011 | by Julie Finn

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How-to: Make a Fabulous Piñata with Upcycled Newspapers and Natural Glue

whacking the homemade newspaper pinataFor my daughter’s fifth birthday, she wanted a star party, complete with star invitations, star-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, star games, a rainbow layer cake with star sprinkles on top, star party favors, and a star piñata.

The amount of money that I was willing to budget for this party of a dozen children and their parents was, other than food (we do like our food!), exactly zero dollars.

The invitations were made with stash cardstock and acrylic paints and homemade rubber stamps. The games involved such major hits as “Pin the (Stash) Star Sticker onto the Giant Space Mural that You Painted Earlier in the Party (with Stash Art Supplies)!” The party favors were homemade star-shaped crayons upcycled from our old, broken crayon nubs.

The piñata, however–our family made that piñata all together, birthday girl included, with a week’s worth of newspapers, a balloon found in the junk drawer, a gallon of white flour glue, three pounds of candy from the store, and leftover spray paint from the garage.

In other words, it was a masterpiece. And here’s how to make it:

white flour glueThe form behind this particular piñata is a generic latex balloon. You can find perfectly round balloons as well as the usual teardrop ones, or manipulate your balloon into different shapes by tying twine tightly around sections, or even duct tape balloons together to create a pleasing shape. Don’t worry too much about making your balloon into the perfect shape, however–a little later is when you’ll get creative with cardstock and cardboard to make your piñata really come to life.

Along with the balloon form, prepare a big bowl of natural glue by mixing two parts water to one part white flour, and tear pretty much an entire day’s worth of newspaper into long vertical strips.

Set up outside or take care to cover your work surface REALLY well–this project is messy!–and you’re ready to get started.

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



8 Responses to How-to: Make a Fabulous Piñata with Upcycled Newspapers and Natural Glue

  1. Karen says:

    We just made a pinata – much less complicated than this cool star – last night. We’re waiting for it to dry but we glued all three layers at once! I hope it doesn’t take two days to dry because my daughter needs to take it to school tomorrow! Eeek!

    • Pumpkinbear says:

      It probably will dry, although it might be a little on the flexible side–have a closer ready to tear that baby open if none of the kids can whack a hole in it! One of the drying days for the last pinata that we made was really humid, so instead of keeping it outside in the muggy weather, I stuck the pinata in front of a box fan all day, and just kept rotating it whenever I went by. Worked fine.

      • Karen says:

        It did dry but not with some ‘help’. But still, when we popped the balloon to decorate, the sides started to get sucked in, I’m guessing because it wasn’t completely dry. So I straightened it out from poking a long stick into the inside of the pinata and carefully pushing the sides out.

        So one lesson learned for next time – start making it about a week before the due date just in case it doesn’t dry completely.

        Thanks for the tute!

  2. This is how we made pinatas when I was a kid. We thought about doing one for my daughter’s birthday this year, but we don’t have a place to hang one.

  3. This is how we made pinatas when I was a kid. We thought about doing one for my daughter’s birthday this year, but we don’t have a place to hang one.

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