There is an odd tradition in my husband’s family. (Or at least I think it is odd because I did not grow up doing it.) Anytime there is a special occasion where the entire family gets together, they bring out a pinata! Birthday parties, Christmas, Fourth of July…you name it, we have celebrated it with a pinata. Of course, the kids LOVE pinatas, so it is a fun tradition.
Pinatas are not hard to make. However, they are a craft that will take a couple of days from start to finish just because the glue has to have time to dry. I have made a few pinatas and want to share my “go-to” version of a basic pinata to make at home. You can tailor the concept and make any type of pinata you want. We used red, white and blue crepe paper to make our Patriotic Pinata.
Are you ready to get started on your Patriotic Pinata craft? The kids will love to help you. Please feel free to leave questions below in the comments section. Or, if you have an idea or suggestion, share it with us!
- Pinata paste (use my homemade pinata paste recipe)
- Large (10 to 12 inch) Balloon
- Crepe paper streamers
- Craft Glue
- Lightweight candy, trinkets and toys to fill the finished pinata
How To Make a Pinata:
1. Cut newspaper into 1 to 2 inch wide strips.
2. Blow up a balloon and set it inside a large bowl. The bowl helps keep it in place while you work. It also helps minimize mess.
3. Dip newspaper strip into the pinata paste and use your fingers to “squegee” the excess glue off of the strip. Apply the glue-coated newspaper strip to the pinata. Repeat this process until the entire balloon is covered in a single layer of newspaper. *Leave a small area around the part of the balloon where you have tied it closed free from the newspaper/glue strips. Allow this to dry completely for at least 10 hours or overnight.
4. Once the first layer of newspaper is dry, you can repeat step 3 and add a second layer to your pinata. Allow the second layer to dry completely (10 hours to overnight).
5. Use a pin to pop the balloon and carefully remove it from the pinata. Don’t worry if your balloon has already deflated on its own. We don’t need its help anymore. Now it is time to cover the balloon in crepe paper! Grab a bottle of craft glue and your crepe paper. You can quickly cover the pinata by unrolling the crepe paper and gluing it around and around and around until it is covered. OR try the way I do it. It takes longer, but I like the way it looks when it is finished.
6. To cover the pinata, I take the roll of crepe paper and unroll it at least a foot long so I can work with it. I add a dot of glue on the pinata and stick the end of the crepe paper on there, then fold it a couple of inches, then add another dot of glue and stick the crepe paper on the pinata next to where I folded it, then let out a little crepe paper slack so I can fold it and glue it again to inch my way around the pinata. I continue this process going around and around the pinata until it is covered. To change colors, I simply tear off the crepe paper and glue the end of it to the pinata and start the fold and glue process with a new color.
Tip: I do not cover the bottom of the pinata using the fold and glue method. I simply cut strips of crepe paper about 2 feet long and glue them to the bottom so they can hang down.
THE FINAL STEPS: Once the glue is dry, you can finish the pinata by carefully using a knife to punch a hole on each side near the top of the pinata and threading a ribbon through the hole. Tie the ribbon at the top so you can hang the pinata. Fill the pinata with fun candy, trinkets and toys. Be careful not to overfill or the pinata will be too heavy.
Tip: Don’t put chocolate or candy that may melt inside the pinata. We have done that before and it can be messy.
Let me know if I need to clarify anything in the instructions or if you have any questions about how to make a pinata. Leave your questions in the comment section. I am happy to help you!