Making a piñata – 4 great ideas for children and adults
Originally from Latin America – Mexico and Spain, piñata has become an inseparable part of any children’s party. Traditionally, hollow figures are colorfully designed for Christmas and Easter and filled with delicious fruit. The filled hollow body is hung over the children’s heads with a rope. Blindfolded and armed with a stick, each child tries to hit them and break them so that all the goodies fall out. In the past, the figure was put together from clay pots and decorated with colored paper. Today, different materials can be used for this, but especially those with a low weight. Popular motifs for a piñata are mainly animals, such as donkeys, horses, llamas, unicorns, but also abstract and geometric shapes such as balls, cakes, hearts and many others. Instead of fruit, sweets, candies, small chocolates and other little things are usually used for the filling. You can make a piñata and give it to a child for a birthday, but also to an adult on a special occasion.
Making a piñata – what is needed for this?
The motif for a piñata and the materials used are freely selectable. There are no limits to your imagination. Traditionally, the figure was made of ceramic, but this could be dangerous for the children. Therefore, it is mainly worked with paper materials such as cardboard, paperboard, paper mache. Typical of a piñata is the fringed look, which on the one hand imitates an animal’s fur and on the other hand looks extremely decorative. To achieve this effect, colored paper is used and the edges are cut into fringes. Crepe paper rolls are wonderfully suitable for this and are also available in a wide range of colors. What the piñata is filled with is up to you. Small children are sure to look forward to chocolate, candy and gummy bears, and for a bachelorette party the choice will be other little things.
Make a piñata: horse, donkey, llama or unicorn
A horse, a donkey, a llama or a unicorn, all can be tinkered in a similar way. For this you can use cardboard or stronger cardboard and form all parts of the animal’s body from it. Tape them together with tape or hot glue if you have one available. You either fill up the animal’s belly beforehand or leave an opening so that the little surprises can be put in afterwards. Don’t forget to tie a rope to the figure’s back so that the piñata can be hung up later, for example on a tree.
Additional elements such as ears, eyes, tail, mane or the horn of the unicorn are added when the whole figure is already finished. An exact design of the selected animal is not necessary here. It can be represented very simply and. You can create the figure with the lamination technique and with the help of a balloon. You should plan a little more working time, because the whole thing also has to dry very well. Then the candies and the little surprises are poured in. Finally, the piñata is decorated in a colorful and atmospheric way.
In order to decorate the self-made piñata, a wide variety of craft paper and decorative adhesive tapes can be used imaginatively. We’ll show you two inspiring ways to decorate a piñata unicorn: traditionally Mexican – with fringed paper strips or typically girly – in pink and mint green with washi tape.
Make easy piñata out of a paper bag
A beautiful and imaginative piñata is really easy to make. All you need is a paper bag and craft paper of your choice. With these materials and our instructions, you will be able to make a great piñata cloud yourself quickly. First, you’ll create a stencil in the shape of a cloud. How big your piñata should be, you decide with the help of the paper bag that is used for it. The bag handles should point upwards so that they can be used for hanging up later.
Using the template, you can bring the paper bag into the desired cloud shape. Prepare several strips of white paper and cut fringes into them. Start by attaching the paper strips to the cloud from the bottom up, thus covering the whole area. For this you do not need a paste and it is best to use a double-sided adhesive tape. Additional elements such as colorful raindrops, eyes and maybe a smile can be cut out of cardboard as you wish and use them to decorate the cloud atmospherically. Your creative piñata cloud is already ready!
Make paper mache piñata
Mostly a piñata is made out of paper mache. We have reported on this handicraft technique several times and it is very suitable for children. In this case, we recommend using a homemade paste made from flour and water instead of a normal paste. A large balloon is also needed. For decorating, you can use strips of crepe paper or, as shown in the example in the picture above, you can use geometric figures to create a beautiful pattern.
First, the balloon is inflated and the small pieces of paper stick to it with the help of the paste. Repeat this process several times, attaching the new layer of paper to the dry one. For best results, let the pasted balloon dry for about 48 hours. Then burst the balloon, fill the hollow body with candy, confetti and other things to increase the surprise effect. Cover the opening with paper and start decorating. There are no limits to your imagination when decorating the closed piñata.
Great gift idea: make piñata for adults
A beautiful piñata can also be made for adults. You design these a little differently and fill them with different things than for children. Here we have a great idea for small gifts that complement the festive table decorations beautifully. Small boxes are atmospherically decorated as piñatas with strips of crepe paper and filled with chocolates.
In order to achieve the wonderful color gradient effect, as can be seen in the picture, get several strips of crepe paper in different shades of one color of your choice. Cut fringes into it beforehand and place them on top of each other. Work from the bottom up and from dark to light.
Design the whole box this way. Attach a loop of string or decorative tape to the lid so that the box can be opened effortlessly. For the filling, choose fine, high-quality pralines. If you wish, you can personalize each piñata with a name or design it individually in a different color.
A game is usually played with the piñata. The figure is hung up full of sweets so that you cannot reach it with your hands. Blindfolded and with a stick, every child or adult tries to hit it and break it. It goes one after the other until the piñata bursts and it rains candy. The winner gets to choose something first and then all the other children.
Have fun doing handicrafts and playing!