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Monday, May 3, 2010

Hit it, hit it, hit it. Don’t lose your aim.

Cinco de Mayo is coming soon...and you should be getting to the end of planning. We have one more craft idea.  Are you going to have a piñata? You can always go to your local party shop and pick one up, or you can put your children to some good use, and have them make one. Here's how:

Things You'll Need:
  • balloons
  • newspaper (lots of it)
  • water & flour (to make the glue) or starch
  • scissors
  • paint
  • crepe paper
  • string (to hang the piñata)
  • candy or small toys (for filling)
  • bat or wooden stick (to hit with)


  • Protect your work area.  Lay down newspapers.
  • Make your paste:  In a cooking pot, mix 1 part flour (or starch) to 2 parts water. Whisk the ingredients together and heat on the stove at medium heat for approximately 3-6 minutes. The paste should just begin to thicken. If you cook it too long the paste will be too thick and may not work. Remove contents from the pot and store in a container.
  • Decide on what you are going to make your piñata into.  Ideas include making an animal, a character, a shape etc.
  • Inflate your balloon to your desired size.  This will form the body of your piñata, so inflate it to the size you would like your piñata to be. A round balloon is best. If you want to go beyond the basic “round shape” you can add additional shapes: legs, tails, snouts, hats, etc. made with cardboard, newspaper or construction paper.   Make sure to tape the shapes on with masking tape or clear tape before you papier-mâché.
  • Time to papier-mâché your balloon:  Tear some newspaper into strips approximately 1 inch wide.  Coat your pieces well in the paste.   Savvy Tip:  As you pulled out the strip, squeegee the paper in between your index and middle finger, so the strip isn’t too wet.  Place the wet strips over the balloon until it is completely covered in a thick layer. Smooth your strips as much as possible.  You will want to place at least 3 layers of newspaper on your balloon base.  In between each layer, we recommend letting the previous layer dry for a few minutes.  This will reduce your ultimate drying time when you are finished.  Once you have at least 3 layers, let the piñata dry until it is stiff and no longer wet or sticky to the touch.
  • Painting your piñata:  First, you will paint your piñata a base color.  This step helps smooth out the paper and to create an even surface.  It doesn't need to be especially well-painted, just enough to cover the paper. However, you might choose a color that matches the crepe paper you'll be adding on or to match the animal/character that you're turning your piñata into, as it may show through.
  • Glue colorful crepe paper onto the outside of the piñata to decorate it.  If you want your piñata to look more traditional, cut out long, wide strips of crepe paper, glue them onto the piñata along one long edge, and cut fringe along the opposite edge.
  • Filling the piñata:  Using a serrated knife, cut a rectangular flap in one side of the balloon (Notice we said flap and not hole).  Use the knife to carefully pop the balloon (if it hasn’t already popped cutting the flap LOL).  Fill the piñata with candy, confetti, and/or small toys, and then tape the flap shut.
  • Secure your piñata:  For a long lasting piñata, punch two holes in the piñata and pass the string through the holes. For extra reinforcement, pass the string through a plastic lid from a coffee can or use a cardboard tube from an aluminum foil roll.
  • Savvy Ideas:
    Don't limit your decorations to crepe paper! Feathers, glitter, and fake flowers all make festive decorations for a piñata.
  • You can also use wallpaper paste for a stronger piñata.

    Do you know the piñata song?  You do now:

    Dale, dale, dale.
    No pierdas el tino.
    Porque si lo pierdes. Pierdes el camino.
    Ya le diste una. Ya le diste dos. Ya le diste tres. Y tu tiempo se acabó.

    Hit it, hit it, hit it.
    Don’t lose your aim.
    Because if you lose it. You lose the way.
    You hit it once. You hit it twice. You hit it three times. And your time is up.

    1 comment:

    1. How fun! I love crafts that my kids would enjoy doing with me like this one!


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