• Rhiannon Popovic

How to Make a Pinata

Pinata (noun): a decorated figure of an animal containing toys and sweets that is suspended from a height and broken open by blindfolded children as part of a celebration.



Pinata's are often though of as a Mexican tradition. However they actually have a long tradition throughout the Americas, India, Asia and Europe. In fact they are not only used to celebrate birthdays, but also Christmas and many other celebrations unique to each culture.


Pinata's these days are a staple at most backyard children's parties around the world; and for good reason. They make a great decoration and a great game. Pinata are often thought of as colourful donkeys or lamas, often made from papier-mache of colourful paper, cardboard and balloons. Pinata's have come a long way in shape and design since they were first popularised in the modern-west, however building format has remained relatively the same.



In this tutorial we will give you 2 examples of how to make balloon pinatas.


Pinata #1:


Balloon Dog Pinata


You will Need:

Q660 Twisting/Modelling Balloon

Newspaper

Plain Flour

Water

Large Bowl

White Acrylic Paint & Paint Brush or Spray Paint

Hot glue gun and Glue Sticks

Ribbon or Twine

Tissue paper / Wrapping Paper / Metallic Paper

Stanley Knife (x-acto knife)

Scissors


Filling:

Small Toys

Wrapped Lollies

Confetti





Step 1: Inflate a Q660 balloon to 12” and knot. Repeat for a second matching piece***. These will be the face and body of the balloon dog. Inflate a Q660 balloon to 8” for the neck, and a 6” long segment toward the tip of another Q660 balloon, leaving a 2” nub un-inflated for the tail.


***If you would like to change the shape of your balloon dog to a sausage dog or giraffe etc, just adjust the amount of air you place into each piece. eg. a long balloon is required to make the body of a sausage dog.


Step 2: Inflate a Q660 balloon to near full length and leave it un-knotted. Let out some air so the balloon has less tension. Pinch the middle of the balloon and twist. Bend the balloon so the tail and tip meet and tie together in a knot. It will look like you have folded the balloon in half. The length should be 12”. Repeat for a total of 3 pieces. These will be used for the ears and legs.


Step 3: Paper mache all the balloons segments. We used a 1:2 mixture of flour and water. ** Paper mache a minimum of at least 10 layers, allowing each layer to dry completely. 10 layers will ensure the pinata does not break after the first few hits.


Step 4: Carefully cut the balloon tails off, deflating the balloons and leaving a paper mache shell. Spray paint each paper mache segment white.


Step 5: Cut a square door into the body of the balloon dog with a Stanley knife (x-acto knife). This is where you’ll fill the pinata with treats.


Step 6: Assemble the balloon dog with hot glue, using a photo for reference. Be sure to glue all around the contact points of the pinata for a complete seal. Paper mache around the new joints and let it dry completely.


Step 7: Make a harness for the pinata with ribbon or twine. Gather all of the strands at the top of the pinata and make a loop to hang it from later.


Step 8: Fringe the balloon dog, starting with the legs and working your way up with your tissue paper. Our fringe was roughly 2″ tall and 1 cm wide.


Step 9: Fill your pinata with goodies then hot glue the goodie door shut.


Step 10: Hang your pinata from a secure spot such as a tree branch or dedicated hook. You’re all set to play!




Pinata #2:


Emoji Balloon Pinata


You Will Need:

3' balloon (also known as a cloud buster)

Newspaper

Plain Flour

Water

Large Bowl

White Acrylic Paint & Paint Brush or Spray Paint

Hot glue gun and Glue Sticks

Ribbon or Twine

Tissue paper / Wrapping Paper / Metallic Paper

Coloured Card Stock (for emoji face)

Stanley Knife (x-acto knife)

Scissors

Duct Tape or Gaffers Tape


Filling:

Small Toys

Wrapped Lollies

Confetti




Step 1: Inflate a 3’ balloon. Tape down the knotted part of the balloon for a completely round shape.


Step 2: Paper mache the balloon. We used a 1:2 mixture of flour and warm water. Paper mache at least four layers, allowing 24 hours to dry between each layer. Then, spray paint white.


Step 3: Carefully cut a 4” square door with a Stanley knife (x-acto knife). This is how you’ll fill the pinata with treats.


Step 4: Make a harness for the pinata using twine and Duct Tape or gaffer’s tape. Cut three long strands of twine; long enough to go around the pinata. Knot the strands together at the bottom, wrap around the perimeter of the pinata, and knot at the top. Make a loop at the top with the loose string.


Step 5: Place strips of gaffers tape at the bottom, middle, and top of the pinata just below the knot to secure the harness to the pinata.


Step 6: Starting from the bottom of the egg, apply fringe with hot glue in concentric circles until covered.


Step 7: Cut out a face for your pinata from card stock. Once you’re happy with the placement of the face, hot glue it on.


Step 8: Fill your pinata with goodies then hot glue the goodie door shut. Hang your pinata and you’re ready to party!




Pinatas are a in-expensive DIY project that can be used for any celebration by altering your design. They are both decorative and a fun game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.


We hope you try a pinata project at home for your next celebration.



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