How To Make A Pinata In Two Ways

How To Make A Pinata In Two Ways

How To Make A Pinata In Two Ways

One of the best birthday activities for kids is the breaking of a pinata and the release of the treats within! You can buy birthday pinatas and accessories from Spotlight, but did you know that making your own pinata isn't as hard as it looks? Learning how to make a pinata means you can create your own unique pinata suited to the theme of the birthday party or the likes of the birthday person - plus you can also choose the types of treats that await inside.

At Spotlight we have everything you need to make your own pinata, and we've created this blog to showcase two different ways you can do it at home. Both methods will make a colourful pinata perfect for birthday parties, so check out each one and be sure to put on your own spin when you create your pinata!

What Is A Pinata?

A pinata (traditionally spelled piƱata) is a container made from clay, cardboard, card or paper mache that is filled with treats, suspended mid-air and then broken with a stick to release the lollies inside. Their origin is unclear, but objects similar to pinatas have been historically found across Asia, Europe and the Americas, making the act of breaking open a pinata to get to the goodies inside a globally loved event!

Pinatas can be simple shapes like spheres or stars, or more complicated forms like animals, celebrities and pop culture characters. Making complicated shapes generally requires the pinata to be made out of a stiff, easy-to-shape material like cardboard, while basic shapes are made out of paper or paper mache.

Method 1 - How To Make A Pinata With Paper Mache

If you want to make a simple circular or globe-shaped pinata, then the paper mache method is the best way to do so. You will need:

  • Balloons (technically only one but have extras in case they pop early)
  • One large and one small mixing bowl, each made of glass or metal
  • Old newspapers
  • Paper mache paste made from PVA glue and water. More glue equals a thicker paste, so adjust to your desired consistency.
  • Craft knife or box cutter
  • Acrylic paint and/or coloured crepe paper or decorating
  • Cord or twine to hang your pinata
  • Lollies or toys to fill with

Step 1 - Prepare your balloon

Blow up your balloon to the desired size you want the pinata to be - we think the bigger the better! Place the blown-up balloon into your large glass bowl, with the tie facing down. In your other bowl, prepare your paper mache paste and rip up your old newspaper into strips around 6 cm wide and 20 cm long.

Step 2 - Attach your paper strips

Going one strip at a time, immerse each strip into your paper mache paste, remove the excess with your fingers and then lay it flat onto the surface of your balloon. Continue doing this until the whole balloon is covered in a single layer, leaving a small gap at the bottom around the tie. Make sure to apply your paper strips in all sorts of directions for a more durable pinata. Let dry, then create extra layers if you want a stronger pinata. Three layers are a good number to aim for!

Step 3 - Pop and remove the balloon

Once your pinata is totally dry, use a knife to pop the balloon from the small gap you left at the bottom and remove it. Don't stress if you can't get all of the balloon out, as it will just look like some extra decoration when the pinata is eventually smashed anyway!

Step 4 - Decorate your pinata

Now you can decorate your pinata! Paint over it with acrylic paint or use craft glue to add crepe paper for a textured and chunky pinata. You can also add streamers, stickers, glitter, sequins and other craft accessories to further embellish your creation.

How To Fill A Pinata Made Out Of Paper Mache

Your pinata looks done, but what about the insides? There are several ways to add treats to a pinata, including:

  • Through the gap you left to pop the balloon. This gap is quite small so you will only be able to get small treats in through it. Once the treats are in, cover the gap up with extra paper mache so they don't fall back out when you hang the pinata.
  • Cut a flap in the top of your pinata with a box cutter or craft knife. You can make this hole large enough for bigger treats, and you can even choose to do it before painting your pinata if you wish. Once the treats are in, close the flap and cover it with paper mache and paint/ crepe paper to disguise the edges of the hole.

The important part for both of these methods is to cover and disguise the point of entry when finished so no one can tell how the treats got inside the pinata! Extras layers of newspaper are the easiest way to do this, although can just paint over them a few times if you don't want to add more or you've already thrown out your paper mache mixture. And if you're wondering what to put in a pinata, make sure, if your pinata is on the more delicate side, not to add treats that are too heavy and that could break your pinata!

How To Hang A Pinata Made Out Of Paper Mache

Hanging your paper mache pinata can be tricky once it's been covered, so the best way to do this is to take advantage of the flap made in the step above. While the flap is open, cut two holes a few cm below each side of the flap and thread cord, string or even ribbon through the middle and out the other side.

If you didn't use the flap method, you can make two small holes at the top of your pinata to thread a stiff cord through. Because you won't be able to see the inside of your pinata as you do this, it's important to use a stiff cord like fishing wire so it goes straight through to your other hole and doesn't sag and get lost inside your pinata.

Method 2 - How To Make A Pinata With Cardboard And Tissue Paper

This method was brought to you by Australia's Queen Of Craft herself, Tonia Todman! Check out the video below for a visual walkthrough on how to make a unique and colourful pinata out of card and crepe paper. You will need:

Step 1 - Create the body of the pinata

Choose what colour cardboard you would like the body of your pinata to be. Tonia has chosen a gorgeous metallic gold, but you can use cardboard of any colour! Place a strip of double-sided tape down the long side of the cardboard, then roll over the opposite long edge of the cardboard and stick to the tape, forming a tube shape.

Step 2 - Create the ends of the pinata

Take three sheets of different coloured tissue for each end of the tube. Following the process from the video, fold each of the tissue sheets into a triangle shape and then glue them to the base layer. Repeat for the opposite side then fold the tissue into quarters and cut a circle shape around the edge to create one large circle. Pleat the outer edges of the tissue circle so they're a similar size to the end openings of the cardboard tube. Fasten the pleats with glue and leave them to dry.

Step 3 - Cut flaps and holes into the pinata

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a three-sided opening flap in the middle/top of the cardboard tube that's big enough to fit your hand inside. Insert the knife blade point into the cardboard near this opening to make four holes for threading the cord through to hang your pinata once it's finished.

Step 4 - Attach the ends of the pinata

Use the opening you just cut to access the tube ends and glue the pleated tissue circles in place, sealing both ends of the tube.

Step 5 - Create and add crepe paper fringes

Now it's time to decorate your pinata! Fix several rows of double-sided tape around the ends of the tube. Fold some crepe paper in half lengthwise and cut into the centrefold (but not fully through) to create a fringed piece of crepe paper. Position the crepe fringe onto the double-sided tape at each end of the pinata. Repeat with different colours.

Step 6 - Create and add tissue paper flowers, leaves and streamers

For the flowers, fold a tissue sheet three or four times diagonally. Tuck one end downwards, then roll and pleat the remaining tissue around the centre of itself to create a flower shape. Wind florist wire around stem to hold in place. Repeat to create different sizes and colours of flowers. Cut 6-8 leaves randomly from green tissue paper and then glue the flowers and leaves onto the pinata as shown in the video. Glue more tissue paper streamers below the flowers on both sides to finish.

Step 7 - Add hanging cord and lollies

Measure out two pieces of durable cord for hanging and thread through your previously made holes and tie ends together. Fill the pinata with lollies or trinkets, then hang it in place ready to use!

Create The Ultimate Pinata With Spotlight

Now that you know how to make a pinata, it's time to grab what you need at Spotlight! You can get all the craft supplies you need online, where you can safely pay and have your order home delivered. Otherwise, visit your nearest Spotlight store and our friendly team will help you find all the pinata supplies you need in person.

For more fun birthday party ideas, check out our blogs on throwing the ultimate kids' birthday party, creating a stunning birthday cake and 5 ways you can use fairy lights at home. And make sure you are making the right purchasing decisions by reading our buying guides on kids' party decorations, gift wrapping and cake toppings.




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