DIY: the piñata

March 18, 2010

The piñata really was easy and my mind is reeling with all sorts of other paper-mâché projects. Us girls may be making another piñata soon, but this time it will be just for us to play with!

Here is what you will need to make it:

– balloon (I used a punch balloon because I wanted it big and took off the rubber band)
– 2 newspapers (cut the newspaper in long 1”-2” strips)
– 1 cup of flour
– 5 cups of water
– large bowl to hold balloon as you work
– old vintage book pages cut into 4”x4” squares
– glue
– 7” piece of wire
To make the paper-mâché paste:
1. Boil 4 cups of water.
2. While you wait for the water to boil, mix well the 1 cup of flour into 1 cup of warm water. This avoids any clumps in the paste. Set aside the flour mixture.
3. Once the 4 cups of water is boiling, remove from the heat and add in the flour mixture and mix well. If paste is a bit thick, add a bit more water. Same goes if the mixture is too watery, add a bit more flour.
4. Let the paste cool down before you start using it.
To make the piñata:
1. Blow up the balloon to your desired size.
2. Dip newspaper strips into the paste and place on the balloon.
3. Make sure to smooth out the strips on the balloon. Cover the entire area of the balloon with 2 layers of newspaper. Use the large bowl to help stabilize the balloon as you are covering it with newspaper.
5. Allow about 2-5 hours to dry. Rotate balloon as it dries to make sure that it dries evenly around.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 two more times to make sure that the piñata will be nice and thick. This will avoid the piñata caving in once the balloon is popped inside. Make sure piñata is completely dry before you start decorating it.
cover with paste and newspaperlooks like a giant egg
7. Make stacks of 10-4”x4” vintage book pages and roll. This is the give the pages a curl before they are glued on the piñata.
8. Start with the bottom of the piñata and apply some glue then add some book pages to the bottom.
9. Once the bottom of the piñata is covered, place back on top of the bowl. Make one row of glue, still working on the bottom, on the piñata and place book pages on top. Overlap each page slightly on top of each other. Rotate the piñata around as you place the pages on. Remember, all you need to do is glue down just the top of the book page. This will allow the curled page to flip out and give it the “flippy” look.
10. Repeat step 9 until the whole piñata is covered in book pages. This part does not have to be perfectly straight as you want it to have a fun, whimsical look.
11. Allow 4-5 hours for the whole piñata to dry. Make sure to place in a dry area as humidity may slow down the drying process.
12. Once piñata is completely dry, poke two small holes at the top about 3” apart.
13. Using a 7” wire, feed through each hole and connect the ends of the two wires together. This will be to attach the rope to hang the piñata.
14. Cut another small opening on the piñata to pop the balloon inside and fill with goodies.
15. Hang and play.
the vintage book pinata
Hope this all makes sense! Here is the pretty piñata that inspired the one we made. The piñata could also be covered in a pretty tissue paper or painted, the possibilities are endless. Fair warning though as it will break your heart a bit to see it go into smithereens!
Tomorrow, I will have a DIY for the flower garland and like requested by some of you, next week I will be sure to do a DIY for the cupcake in a jar. Stay tuned.
p.s. Totally unrelated to this, but for those of you living in southern California, my stylist sister is offering a special to get your hair done. I say go! Ben and I trust her with our hair, and Ben doesn’t just trust anyone with his!

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