How to Make a Paper Mache Pinata

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Children love swinging at a pinata until they are covered in a shower of candy or other prizes. The directions that follow let you make an inexpensive pinata for a birthday party. The basic ball-shape can be painted and decorated to look like the sun, the world, or a clown's face, perfect for your child's next birthday party or a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 mixing bowls, the same size
  • Newspaper, torn in 1 inch by 12 inch strips
  • Wheat-paste, school-glue, or paper mache paste
  • Bowl or pan for glue
  • Newspapers or plastic covering for your work-surface
  • Plastic food wrap
  • 1-1 1/2 inch-wide masking tape
  • Tempera paint
  • 3 crepe-paper party streamers (all one color or
  • a variety)
  • Glitter, if desired
  • Candy or other prizes for pinata
  • Ice-pick, awl or other sharp-pointed tool
  • String or ribbon, to hang pinata
  • Cardboard tubes or plastic bat to break pinata
  • Put bowls upside down on your covered work-space, with a sheet of plastic wrap under each bowl.

  • Dip newspaper strips in glue or paste and lay over bowls until they are completely covered. Usually two layers of strips make a good pinata (paper mache is always messy, so don't worry if it is!). Leave the bowls to dry all day or overnight.

  • Gently pry dry paper mache off mixing bowls, poke a hole in the rim of each paper-mache "bowl" and thread string or ribbon through the holes (this will help you hang your finished pinata).

  • Fill one paper-mache "bowl" with candy or treats and top with the other "bowl." Using masking-tape, secure "bowls" to make a ball-shape (do not tape over string or ribbon).

  • Cover paper mache and tape with paint or crepe paper dipped in more glue. Let it dry and decorate it as you wish.

  • Using more ribbon or string, hang your pinata just out of reach. Provide cardboard tubes or plastic bat, and stand back!

Tips & Warnings

  • If breaking a pinata is a much-loved family tradition, you may wish to look for commercially-made pinatas at party-goods stores. Remember, though, that this activity has become very popular, so commercial pinatas have become more expensive than they used to be.
  • Experiment with your basic design. Adding cones or tubes of paper or cardboard and other household "junk" can turn your sun into a whole zoo of fun animals.
  • Be careful in your choice of pinata-hitters, so that your party-guests don't hurt each other. Besides, a hitter that breaks the pinata right away shortens the fun!

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