Feb 18, 2013

How to Make a Homemade Pinata for Under 5 Dollars


A couple of weeks ago my youngest daughter turned 5.  She got to have her first ever friend party.  We celebrated with a candy land theme.  She, of course, wanted a pinata at her party too (what kid doesn't love pinatas???).  She is absolutely in love with horses these days, so a horse pinata was the obvious choice for her.  My original plan was just to buy her a horse pinata.  But I couldn't find a horse pinata that didn't look more like a donkey than a horse.  I'm also cheap.  So I chose to save myself twenty dollars or so and make a pinata for a lot less money than it would cost me to buy one.  

So first keep in mind that none of the pictures in this little tutorial are pretty or cute. I started out this project not planning to blog about it at all, but then changed my mind, thinking that maybe someone else out there might like a little pinata tutorial if they've never attempted a project like this before.

So here we go...

Step one:  Find/Buy a large piece of cardboard.  If you already have cardboard at home, this project will cost you less than five dollars!
I didn't have any cardboard around.  So I purchased a tri-fold piece of cardboard (like what you would use to display a science project) at Target for 1.99.  

Step two:  Trace your desired pinata shape onto the cardboard (make sure you have the room to do this twice because you will need a front and a back).


Step three:  Cut out your drawn out shape.  Then use your shape as a stencil and trace it onto the leftover cardboard.  Cut the second shape out too (this is your front and your back).  You should now have two identical shapes.  (Mine were the horse heads you see in the picture above.) 


Step four:  Cut out 5" wide strips of cardboard to fill in the gaps between the two shapes that were just cut out.  The strips can be as long as you'd like them to be.  If they're too long, you can cut the excess off and if they're too short, you can cut out another strip until you have what you need.


Step five:  Place the 5" strips of cardboard in between the two shapes that were cut out, and, using packing tape or even duct tape, tape the strips to both of the shapes you cut out (in my case, to both of the horse heads).


Here's my horse pinata all taped up.  

Step six:  Before you fill it up with candy or decorate the outside with tissue paper, make two small-ish holes in the top about 3 inches apart.  This is to slide the rope through when you're ready to hang it up for the party. 


Step seven:  Cut through the tape on the bottom of the pinata and fill the inside with candy and/or little toys.  After the pinata is filled up, tape the bottom back up with some strong tape.


Step eight:  Use some of those old skills from elementary school to tissue paper the outside of the pinata.  
(If you haven't done this in a while ...you cut tissue paper, in whatever color you choose, into one inch squares, put a pencil in the middle of a square of tissue paper, pull the tissue paper up around the pencil and dip the bottom of the tissue paper in Elmer's glue.  Then stick the tissue paper onto the pinata and pull the pencil out.   Repeat this step about a thousand more times, haha!)

This step takes a lot of time.  Like probably 6 hours.  If you have some children, ask them to help you with this step.  They'll probably think it's really fun.  Mine loved helping with this step.


I decorated the rest of my pinata with some colorful streamers for the mane and I cut the eye of the horse out of construction paper.  

This actually turned out to be a pretty fun project.  It was really inexpensive to make, but the trade off is that it does take some time to put together.  But if you don't mind spending the time doing it, it's a great money saver.  Personally I like doing simple projects like this while I listen to some mindless tv in the background anyway.  

My five year old loved her first-ever-pinata.  The next day when I asked her what her favorite part of her party was, she said the presents (of course) and the pinata.  She was pretty happy that she got to be involved with making it too.

And now I will end this post by saying that I am really tired of saying the word "pinata," haha.

8 comments:

Linnae said...

Robin, your pinata turned out really cute! We just gave Jacob his first ever friend party too (I forgot your littlest was the same age.) No pinata here. Maybe at his next (which will be when he turns 8.)
Take care!

Makayla said...

It turned out really cute. I like your method of doing it. We do it a little different, but I might try your way next time. It's always fun to try something new. Happy birthday Cali!

DomesticSuperhero.com said...

Wow this turned out so cute and it's so clever!! I would love if you would come share this, or another project at my link party today! http://domesticsuperhero.com/2013/03/14/sharing-with-domestic-superhero-thursday-link-party-2/ Hope to see you!

Sara pollovan said...

Ah I love this. my sister is graduating HS. and I am making a pinata for her grad party. the school mascot is a pinto (horse) I will stick a grad cap on it. Complete!

Liliana Lopez said...

its amazing! I had no money to contribute to my little nieces birthday party! And i googled home made piñatas. Your page came up, and now im making a butterfly piñata for my nieces 9th birthday! Thank u.

jennifer bell said...

Love this! Thank you for sharing! :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this save my life for my son's 7th birthday i had no money left but i had all these tools.. I thank you for sharing.

E l i a n a Thormann said...

Robin,
Thank you for the tips and instructions! I need to create a minecraft Creeper pinata for my son's birthday. I will follow your steps since it actually seems less time consuming than the papermache version (and less messier).
I was wondering how hard was for the kids to break it open. Do you remember?
thanks

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