Friday, July 27, 2012

How to make a Pinata

We went to a birthday party for a friend the last week and they had a pinata for the kids to hit.  My kids came away thinking that was the coolest thing ever!  Me, being the cheap-o that I am, thought... "We have a birthday coming up next week, I think I can make one."  And we did.  
I would give yourself 4-5 days to get the whole thing accomplished.

What you will need:
old newspapers (only a couple depending upon the size)
large bowl
crepe paper

Seriously, besides time, this cost me maybe, maybe $2.50 vs. $20-25 in the store (not including the candy)

 The first step is to make your "glue" or paste.  I used 1 C. flour to 2 C. water.  Mix it really good with a fork or whisk.  Cut newspaper into 1 1/2"- 2" strips.  
Now comes the messy part.  I would lay out extra newspaper underneath your work space, I found out the hard way how fun it is to clean the goop off the counter when you are done.  Not fun!
Set your balloon in a large enough bowl that it can set the balloon inside, but still be able to have balloon to work with. You will just take one strip of newspaper at a time and dip it all the way in the paste.  When you pull it out place it in between your first 2 fingers and swipe them down to clean off most of the paste.  Then start placing the newspaper all over the balloon.  You can overlap if you need to, but mostly this time you just need one good layer.  Leave a space at the top that you can pop the balloon (later, much later).  After the whole balloon is covered you let it dry.  I let mine dry for a whole day in between layers.  

 You repeat this layering of the newspapers dipped in paste 2 or 3 more times.  The harder you want the pinata to be to crack open, the more layers you need.  I did 3 layers and it lasted through 3 kids smacking it hard 6-7 times each.  I thought it was perfect.

Pop the balloon when the whole thing is totally dry.  
Paint your pinata a color similar to what you are going to decorate it with.  We were making a baseball, so I painted it white.  This just helps when you are putting the crepe paper down you won't see any newspaper through the spaces.
 Draw a design on the pinata.  Cut up the crepe paper into 2" pieces (or around there, my kids cut ours and there was a wide range of sizes, which is fine)
I started with the stitches on the baseball since the rest would be white.  You take the eraser end of the pencil, take a square of the crepe paper and stick it on the end like this picture below.
 Dip it in a little glue, real glue this time (Elmer's) and start sticking them on the pinata.
 I am not trying to talk you out of doing this, but it does take longer than you think to stick all this crepe paper on, but I loved the final result!!!  And so did my little birthday boy!  
My kids all helped, mostly my older girls, so this can be a family project.
The last step is to fill it up with candy, then stuff more newspaper into the top to fill it the rest of the way.  Cut 2 holes on either side of the top and tie a string about 40-50" connecting the two.  Now find a spot to hang it up and let the kids have fun!!



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