I love piñatas. There’s something really satisfying about smashing a colorful sculpture to pieces as heaps of candy scatter everywhere. It’s been years since I’ve been to a party where a piñata was the highlight so this year, I’m determined to incorporate it into my Cinco de Mayo festivities. Although a piñata is not the easiest thing to make from scratch, I will say that the process was so much fun – I can’t wait to make more!
- fine crepe paper (cut into 2 inch strips and 1.5 inch strips)
- newspaper (cut into 1.5 inch strips)
- 7-8 sheets of thick cardstock
- punching balloon
- tacky glue
- masking tape
- utility knife
- thick rope
The first step is create the core of the piñata using paper mâché . Blow up the punching balloon and tie it into a knot. Take off the rubber band on the opposite side and place a piece of tape over the protruding section.
The paper paper mâché paste is made up of one part flour to one part water – I used about 3 cups of flour and 3 cups of water for this project. Mix thoroughly. The paste should be a rather thick consistency since it’s the flour that will help bind the newspaper together.
Soak the newspaper strips into the paper mâché paste and remove the excess paste before placing it onto the balloon.
It helps to add the newspaper while the balloon is hanging. Tie twine around the end of the balloon and suspend it from ceiling. Continue adding newspaper strips, making sure to overlap the strips. Allow to dry before adding a second and third layer. Dry completely overnight.
As the core is drying, the next step is to create the cones to attach to the piñata. Use this downloadable template, from Oh Happy Day, to cut out the shape. Or you can purchase pre-made paper mâché cones here.
Form the cone and tape the edges.
Pierce a hole into the balloon to deflate it. Place one of the cones over the hole and trace a circle around it.
Using scissors, cut a hole within the traced circle – but don’t cut it all the way around. Leave one side attached. Reach in to remove the balloon and shake out any dried paste.
Take a utility knife and pierce a small hole opposite of the opening. Tie the end of thick rope into a double knot and thread it through the small hole.
Fill the pinata with plenty of candy. Close the hole and reinforce with tape.
Cut several 1/4″ tabs into the bottom of the cone. Fold them in, add glue, and attach it to the piñata.
Reinforce with tape. Suspend the piñata before adding the rest of the cones.
Continue adding cones.
Take the 2″ and 1.5″ crepe paper strips and cut 3/4 of the way up into a 1/4″ wide fringe. It’s easiest to cut them while folded. Place a very thin line of glue onto the top of the crepe paper fringe.
Wrap the fringe around the base of the piñata, with the fringe facing downwards. Overlap the fringe as each layer is wrapped.
Continue wrapping. Cut the fringe as necessary to avoid the cones.
Once the base of the piñata is covered, use the smaller strips of fringe to cover the cones.
Trim and patch up any unruly areas.
Your piñata is done and ready to hang!
Step back and get ready to give it a good whack!
(images by HonestlyYUM)