Parties & Entertaining

How to make a pinata

By Sondra Crane
Info Guru,

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different colored pinatas
If you can’t find the right shape or design for your party, follow these easy steps to learn how to make a piñata
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When hosting an outdoor party for kids from ages 3 to 83, a hanging piñata will be the highlight of the day. Hang the piñata by a rope overhead or on a tree branch. Each guest takes a turn being blindfolded, then takes a stick or cane and swings at the piñata in hopes of breaking it open. The rest of the players try to help by shouting, close or far as the lucky guest attempts to locate, hit and open the treat-filled piñata.

Previously, in the U.S., Piñatas used to come only in the shape of a donkey. However, they're now available in countless shapes and forms. Making your own piñata allows your to customize the size and shape and enables you to add more creativity than ready-to-go piñatas.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 balloon
  • Newspaper strips
  • Paint, crayons, or markers
  • Tissue paper (optional)
  • Colored crepe paper
  • String

  1. Blow up a large balloon and tie the end securely
  2. Mix flour and water together until it makes a smooth paste
  3. Cut newspaper into long 1 inch thick strips and dip into the flour and water mixture, creating paper mache strips.
  4. Carefully place the strips of newspaper on the balloon in a single layer, patting the paper smooth until the balloon is covered, leaving only a hole at the top large enough for candy. Set aside and allow the balloon to dry completely overnight.
  5. Place another layer of newspaper strips dipped in the mixture over the balloon and let that dry. Repeat with yet one more layer, making sure you leave the hole at the top. When completely dry, pop the balloon, and remove any balloon bits that remain.
  6. Use wadded paper, lightweight wire shapes or smaller paper-mache covered balloons to create noses, ears, arms, legs or other details to make your piñata into the shape you want.
  7. Paint your piñata, or cover it with layers of bright tissue paper in colors to match your party theme.
  8. If desired, hang colored crepe paper from the sides and bottom.
  9. Punch 2 small holes in the top near the opening and string a large piece of string through the two holes.
  10. Fill your piñata (through the hole you left at the top) with candy, toys, or any other fun surprises. Mix the treats with strips of newspaper or small wads of tissue paper to keep the treats spread throughout the piñata.
  11. Tie your completed piñata in the air with the string and have fun!
A word of caution: those who know how to make a piñata have learned not to make the paper mache layers too thick, or the piñata will be nearly impossible to break!

You can be creative with this project – your piñata can be almost any color or shape you can imagine. Don't worry about your artistic skills, or craft experience. Anyone can learn how to make a piñata. It's a great class project, and a wonderful way for kids and parents to have fun preparing for a birthday party together.

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