We love a good old fashioned pinata in our house. Well, not IN our house (yes, we have learned that preference from experience) but within the confines of our family unit and the celebrations that involve us. Get it?
I have made traditional pinatas in the past. Remember this cat pinata from Sis’s 4th birthday party? That was one giant feline head of paper and flour. It was great and all, but sometimes you don’t have a few days to make a pinata. Sometimes the party starts in under 12 hours and you kinda forgot you promised your kid there would be a treat filled shape that they could beat with a stick at that party. The one day pinata is for “sometimes.”
This one day pinata can be made in a few hours, with most of that time going to decorating. If you are really short on time make the shape simple and small and keep your decorating to a minimum. My how to is for the red cross shape I made for Sis’s birthday, but you can use this same method for pretty much any shape you want.
- Poster board
- Hot glue/gun
- Crepe paper
- Glue stick
1. Draw your pinata shape on your cardboard and cut it out.
2. Repeat step 1. This will give you the front and back pieces of your pinata.
3. Cut your poster board into strips. The width of your strips will determine the final size of the pinata from front to back. I made my strips 7 inches wide. If you are putting big prizes inside, you might want to make the strips bigger. If you are in a rush, make the strips more narrow so the overall pinata isn’t as large.
4. Trace the outer edge of your cardboard with the poster board. If you have any corners, bend the poster board and create the corner creases. You are just making sure that you are ready with the poster board once you start the gluing process.
5. Put one cardboard piece flat on the ground and run hot glue along the outer edge of the shape. If your pinata is large, do this part in sections.
6. Place your poster board in the glue line and hold until the glue cools. You are creating the walls of the pinata! Wahoo!
7. Continue gluing the poster board until you have attached all the sides of the pinata.
8. You need to work quickly on this step so get ready. Lay the other cardboard piece flat on the ground and run hot glue around all the edges of that piece. Flip your other pinata half over and press the poster board into the glue. Ta-da! You have a big shape!
9. Pick a spot on the top of your pinata and cut out three sides of a square. This will create an opening that you will allow you to insert the prizes in the pinata.
10. Poke four holes in the top of the pinata and run zip ties or string through the holes. This is how you will hang up your pinata. I put some clear tape around the holes to keep it from ripping.
11. Fill up that pinata and then tape the flap closed. I used clear packing tape for this.
12. To make fringe out of crepe paper, pull a chunk of paper off the outside of the roll of crepe paper and cut it from the rest of the roll.
13. Cut the bottom 2/3 or so of the crepe paper roll into strips.
14. Unroll the crepe paper and run some glue along the uncut edge of the crepe paper.
15. Starting at the bottom of the pinata, stick the fringe on the pinata in rows. You will overlap the glue edge with the fringe of the one on top as you move up the pinata.
16. If you have any flat areas in your pinata you can just cover them with plain crepe paper or even construction paper. For mine, I did this on the top and bottoms of all the flat areas.
17. Once you get the entire thing covered, go over any seams with a little bit of extra fringe. It just covers any exposed areas and makes it look a bit more finished.
18. Beat the crap out of that pinata!
- Do NOT use liquid glue to attach the fringe to the pinata. It is a nightmare of a mess and it takes way too long to dry. Glue sticks only for that part.
- If anyone can find the perfect balance between making a pinata strong enough so that every kid at the party can hit it a couple of times but that isn’t so strong the adults have to step it, PLEASE let me know. I haven’t yet found the perfect strength and we always end up “helping.”