How to Make a Glue and Water Mixture for a Pinata

A pinata is a hollow, papier-mache shape filled with candy or toys and dangled from a rope so that participants can take turns hitting it while blindfold in an attempt to get at the treats. As a Mexican tradition, pinatas combine a colorful decoration and an active game for parties. Make your own pinata in a shape that fits your party's theme.

Things You'll Need

  • Balloons
  • Masking tape
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • Newspaper
  • Craft knife
  • Cardboard
  • Acrylic or tempura paints
  • Rope
  • Crepe paper

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Step 1: Choose a Shape

Use balloons to create the pinata's main shape, taping them together with masking tape. A pinata can be a simple ball shape, or you can make it more complex.

Step 2: Making the Glue

Make your own glue for your papier mache pinata or pick up some liquid start in the laundry section of many grocery stores and superstores.

  • Stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl
  • Whisk the mixture to dissolve the ingredients
  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil; stir it into the
    mixture
  • Allow the mixture to thicken until it achieves a gel-like texture or
  • Pour the mixture into a pan and heat it over a low temperature until it thickens
  • Allow the mixture to cool

You can also use a white glue and water mixture, if desired.

Step 3: Make the Pinata

Complete this project on a sunny day, as it helps the pinata dry quicker. Allow each layer to dry completely before adding more.

  • Tear up strips of newspaper
  • Dip
    them into your homemade glue mixture
  • Lay them over the balloons, covering it completely, up to three layers
    thick
  • Allow the pinata to dry
  • Add smaller features to the main shape by taping on cardboard or smaller
    balloons. 
  • Add another three layers of newspaper strips and cornstarch mixture
  • Allow these layers to completely dry
  • Continue to add newspaper layers until you achieve the desired thickness
  • Paint the pinata using acrylics or tempura paints

Step 4: Adding the Rope

Once your final layer of newspaper is thoroughly dry, use a craft knife to cut a flap in the bottom of the pinata. If any balloons are still intact, pop them with the craft knife and pull the remains out from the inside through the flap. Attach the rope to the pinata to hang it after filling it with toys or candy.

  • Pierce the top of the pinata with the craft knife
  • Cut a hole in the pinata for threading the rope
  • Pull your rope through
    the hole, then tie a knot
  • Add a loop to the rope so that you can add a rope to dangle it from a tree
  • Fill the pinata with candy or small toys in the flap in the bottom

Step 5: The Final Touches

Close the flap and seal it firmly on all sides using masking tape. When the flap has been sealed, you can apply strips of crepe paper, dipped in your liquid starch, to decorate the pinata in your chosen colors. Add crepe paper streamers to parts of the pinata, if desired. It might take several layers to cover the newsprint. Once your pinata is completely dry, it is ready to be hung up and smashed into pieces.

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