Mexican pinatas have become very popular at birthday parties and Mexican-themed celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo. Traditionally they were made in the shape of a six-pointed star, but you can now find them in almost every shape you can imagine, from animals to popular television characters.
Making your own is easy to do using a basic paper mache technique and a little imagination. Get the kids involved with this project and enjoy your party pinatas at your next bash! Follow these directions on how to make a pinata.
What You'll Need for a Homemade Pinata:
- White glue or flour and water
- Old newspaper torn into strips
- Large balloon
- Small candies and toys
- Colored cardboard or construction paper
- Sewing needle and strong thread or fishing line
- Glitter, crepe paper, and other assorted trims
How to Make a Mexican Pinata:
- If you're using white glue, mix two parts glue with one part water in a bowl. For the flour and water paste, combine two parts water with one part flour and mix well.
- Inflate and tie off the balloon.
- Dip the newspaper strips, one at a time, in the paste mixture and make sure both sides are covered. Carefully place the strips on the balloon, leaving a hole at the top that's large enough to fit the candies and toys into. When the balloon is covered (except for the hole), set it aside for several hours to dry.
- Repeat this process two more times so that there are at least three layers of newspaper glued to the balloon. Make sure that each layer is completely dry before starting a new one.
- When the final layer is dry, pop the balloon at the top and remove it. Now you're ready to create the shape you want to use.
- Using the cardboard or construction paper, build up your pinata. You can create a head and limbs for animals or people, or make cone shapes to create a star. Use your imagination and create your own masterpiece! Glue each addition to the paper mache base, and allow the whole pinata to dry.
- Using the paint, glitter, crepe paper, and trim, decorate your pinata. Attach crepe paper streamers to the pinata if desired.
- Fill the hole at the top of the paper mache oval with the small candies and toys.
- Thread your sewing needle with the strong thread or fishing line and punch through the paper mache to create a loop to hang the pinata with.
Now you know how to make your own pinata. You're now ready to play! To use it, hang it from the ceiling away from any furniture or artwork. Blindfold one person and spin them around a couple of times, then give them a stick to try and break open the pinata with. Obviously you'll want to make sure the rest of the party goers stay away from the person with the blindfold and stick! Let each person take a turn trying to break it open to release the candy and toys inside. When the it finally breaks, there will be treats for everyone!