Make Your Own Party Pinata

Pinatas can be a fun addition to any party. Guests young and old enjoy taking turns whacking at a pinata to release the treats held inside.

Many party stores carry a selection of pinatas that may fit the theme of the party. However, store-bought pinatas tend to be expensive. It's relatively easy to make one's own pinata from some simple ingredients that may already be in the home.

Pinatas need to be constructed from a material that is both solid enough to hold together but fragile enough to eventually be broken open. Papier mache tends to be the construction material of choice when making homemade pinatas.

The papier mache process can be messy and time-consuming, but it's also a fun craft project to do with children. Plus, individuals can stretch their creative wings and create a pinata that truly matches their theme. Here's how to get started.

Supplies:

white glue or flour

water

strips of newspaper or other paper

bowl

old tablecloth

balloons

heavy-duty twine

paints, markers and other decorating supplies

1. Mix two-parts glue with one-part water in a bowl for a glue-based mixture. Or use two-parts water to one-part flour for a flour-based paste mixture. (Allow flour-based pastes to dry completely between layers or mold may grow. Some say adding a bit of salt to the mixture will inhibit mold growth.)

2. Tear up newspaper or brown mailing paper into small strips. Cut edges won't blend as easily, so avoid using scissors.

3. Blow up a balloon to your desired size and cover with dry newspaper. Tie the newspaper in place with the twine. Dip the strips of newspaper into the paste and apply, overlapping, until the balloon is completely covered, except for a small hole to add the treats. Allow to dry and place other layers until desired thickness is achieved.

4. Tie a piece of twine around the balloon to serve as your hanging string and cover with strips of papier mache. Allow to dry.

5. Use a pin to pop the balloon inside of the creation. Pull out the balloon, if possible.

6. Paint and embellish the pinata depending on your creature or theme.

7. Fill the pinata with your treats and then seal up with a little more papier mache or masking tape that has been painted to match the color of the rest of the pinata.

8. Hang the pinata and allow the party guests to take their turns.

Note: For less violent pinata parties, make the pinata with a small hatch that is rigged to a string. Put dummy strings of the same length in the bottom of the pinata. Guests can take turns pulling the strings, but only the right string will trigger the fall of the candy.

HOME CELEBRATIONS DINING TIPS RECIPES ADVERTISERS
Dining, Entertaining & Celebrations Online Special Section