Tag Archives: make a piñata

Death Star Pinata

Pinata Tips #2

Death Star PinataMore tips from the ‘experts’ on how to make a piñata so you can easily be as creative as Sara Mason was with her Death Star pinata for her sons Star Wars party. It was, of course, a HUGE hit with the kids!

Pinata Boy recommends wrapping your balloon in newspaper before you start to add the paper mache. Hold the newspaper in place with masking tape. This extra step (1) makes it less likely that your balloon will pop too soon and ruin your efforts and (2) reduces the number of layers of paper mache needed for the piñata to hold it’s shape. Wrap as carefully as you can with as few bumps, although the paper mache will cover some of the bumps and lumps.

Use different size strips of newspaper for your paper mache– wide strips for covering big ares and narrower ones for smaller spots.

All your creative efforts will be for naught if your piñata hanger isn’t strong enough and the whole thing comes crashing down! Not to worry- I’ve found two different solutions for you. Pinata Boy suggests a cardboard reinforced coat hanger wire hook where the wire extends well beyond the hook out over the top (on the inside) of the piñata to distribute the weight. Hard to describe, but easy to understand once you see it (follow the link above). Another bit of great advice is to make the paper mache around the weight supporting top part of your pinata much thicker than down below where the kids will be hitting it to smash it open.

Another way to insure your pinata stays up in the air is to give it a cradle instead of a hook. Use fishing line or string taped to the newspaper wrapped balloon forming an “X” at the bottom, all 4 pieces tied together at the top. The paper mache will then cover the fishing line or string and it will be all but invisible.

Now that you’ve got all the info you need to make a pinata for this next birthday party, have some fun with this! Too bad it will get broken to bits when they play the piñata game, but that’s the nature of the beast.

Pinata Tips #1

Star PiñataYesterday’s Angry Bird pinata got me thinking more about how to best use this ever-popular birthday party game with a variety of  themes. So I did some research and found lots of good information to share with you.

Did you know that the traditional Mexican pinata is a 7 pointed shape, a bit like a sputnik satellite, but that the pinata tradition goes way back to Europe and probably to China before that.

You can, of course, buy pinatas to go with a multitude of birthday party themes, and they aren’t very expensive, although all the goodies to fill them with can add up.

But I’d like to suggest that making your own birthday party pinata together with your birthday child is a terrific way to get your son or daughter involved in the party prep and to have some fun together doing it. So here some great pinata making tips from the pinata fanatic over at pinataboy.com. Check out his site for many more helpful piñata hints.

The easiest pinata to make yourself is built around a balloon rather than an elaborate frame, but not just any balloon. Look for ‘punch ball’ balloons, and those with no ‘lip’ will blow up almost perfectly spherical  while those with a lip will be more oblong. Check stores like Dollar Tree for these balloons.

Use lightweight (ie cereal box) cardboard for taped on accessories like ears, tails, snouts or cut up wrapping paper tubes for legs. BUT- make sure the cardboard isn’t located where the kids will be trying to break the piñata because they won’t be able to break this stuff.

It’s a balance between enough layers of paper mache to hold the weight of the pinata plus the goodies inside and so many layers that it becomes too hard to smash open. Make your pinata more smashable by puncturing and slashing the dried paper mache with a knife in plenty of spots.

I’ll have more helpful tips for making a pinata here for you tomorrow.