Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Make a Piñata With a Splash of Bright Colors

How to Make Easter Pinata © Katrena
When my 11-year-old daughter announced that her homework assignment for Spanish class was to make an Easter-themed pinata, I'll admit I was a bit apprehensive. Although I like crafts, this one was for a grade, and I certainly didn't want to steer my child in the wrong direction! My daughter wanted her pinata to look like a striped Easter egg, so we learned how to do this project together.

We rather rapidly learned what does not work. I would not suggest mixing rice flour and water for your bonding agent. Regular wheat-based flour might work, but rice flour does not have adhesive qualities like wheat-based flour. Our plan B had much better results as we tried plain old white school glue mixed with a little water. Frankly, I didn't measure, I just squirted about four tablespoons of glue and added a little bit of water. We covered the bowl of glue/water mixture each day and did not have any problems with the mixture drying or evaporating. We just stirred the mixture with a plastic spoon before starting each day.

If you are going to make a pinata, plan to work on it for several days. I banned my two younger daughters from touching the project and surrendered to a messy kitchen for a week, but we all survived and my 11-year-old was the proud creator of a colorful egg-shaped pinata at the end.

Supplies for Making Pinata © Katrena
  • Balloon
  • Yarn
  • Hanger
  • Large bowl
  • Large trash bag
  • Newspapers
  • Long container
  • White school glue
  • Water
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Packing tape
  • Hole punch
  • Toys, candy, etc. for filling the pinata

Steps for Making Pinata © Katrena
Step-by-Step Directions
  1. Blow up the balloon to the desired size and tie a knot to keep the air in the balloon.
  2. Tie the yarn on the balloon's knot, then create a loop in the yarn and tie again.
  3. Hang the yarn loop over the hanger and suspend the balloon over your work surface.
  4. Cover the bowl with the trash bag and place under the balloon.
  5. Line your work surface with newspaper - this project can get a bit messy.
  6. Mix glue and water in the long container.
  7. Tear the newspaper into strips and submerge each into the glue/water mixture.
  8. Place the wet newspaper strips onto the balloon in a criss-cross fashion, making sure to leave about three inches at the top of the balloon uncovered. (See photo below.)
  9. Let the first layer dry - it will take hours for each layer to air dry completely.
  10. Repeat the layering process until you have about three to eight layers.
  11. Cut the colored tissue paper in half and then fold in half lengthwise.
  12. Create a quick "fringe" look by cutting the tissue paper, starting at the open edge and leaving the top two inches with the folded side uncut. (See photo below.)
  13. Use scotch tape or glue to place the tissue paper onto the newspaper covered balloon, starting at the bottom, ensuring that you cannot see the newspaper.
  14. Continue to layer the tissue paper in whatever color pattern you wish.
  15. Remove the pinata from the hanger.
  16. Pop the balloon and remove the balloon from the pinata.
  17. Reinforce the top layer with clear packing tape.
  18. Use the hole punch to make two holes, each one about two inches from the top, ensuring they are directly across from each other.
  19. Tie a piece of yarn through each hole, creating a hanger. (See photo below.)
  20. Fill the pinata with toys, candy, etc.
Find printables, scavenger hunts, and more kid-friendly activities at Katrena's Wildflower Bouquets web site map. Readers may also enjoy my Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt with clues.

Directions for Placing Newspaper on Pinata © Katrena
How to Make Colorful Pinata © Katrena
How to Make Hanger for Pinata © Katrena

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