Sunday, April 15, 2012

Homemade Piñata - A "How To"

No party is complete without a piñata.  For real.  I recently made a piñata.  My cost out of pocket was $2.49 ($1 for a pack of random balloons at the Dollar Tree and $1.49 for orange streamers).  Everything else, we had in the house.  Your typical store bought piñata will cost you $16.  You will not spend as much time fartsing around with a store-bought piñata, but some of us freaks like doing this kind of stuff.  So if you want to take on the homemade piñata, here's how I did it.  It may help you, it may not.

This piñata was Azrael the cat from the Smurfs.  So I paper mached a big balloon for the body, a smaller balloon for the head and a funky shaped balloon for the tail.  Before, I used a paper mache glue that you had to boil and whatnot.  I tried a simpler approach this time:  Combine equal amounts of flour and water and a tsp. of salt.  I think I started off with two cups each of water & flour with maybe 2 tsp. of salt (the salt prevents molding or something).  If it's too thick, add some water.  If it's too thin, add some flour.  You really can't mess this up.  The consistency should be that of thick glue - but it's not sticky like glue.  This concoction was much easier and I thought stronger than the heated up glue that I've used in the past.  For best results, dry between rounds (could take up to 24 hours) and let dry completely before assembling/decorating (I recommend 2 days to just let it really be dried and stiff). 

Another note (trick) I learned - when paper macheing, use a different color paper for the second round.  That way, you can see what you did and didn't do.  So I started with newspaper, then used blue all-purpose paper for the second coat (scored that free at Staples a few weeks ago) and then went back to newspaper for the third round. 

After 3 rounds of paper mache-ing, I hot glue gunned the pieces together.  I made a bigger hole in the body end to sort of stick the head in.  Be very liberal with the hot glue at this stage.   

I got lazy taking pictures of the next steps.  I then painted the entire thing orange with the kid's paint.  This paint is cheap - Reg. $1.99 for a bottle at Michael's.  

I bought a package of Orange streamers.  $1.49 for that.  The Dollar Tree didn't have orange, so I picked up a single roll at Stop & Shop.  1 roll was sufficient for this piñata so you really don't need a lot of streamer (this piñata was actually pretty big).  Then you have two options.  You can cut 1" pieces and glue them on individually, or you cut a long strip, glue onto the piñata and cut about every inch once the long strip is glued.  

After the strips of streamer were glued on, we attached ears that we made out of an egg carton and the husband painted a face on it using Testors paints he had.  

I then saved 4 toilet paper rolls.  I painted them with orange paint and once dried, glued streamer on it.  I then hot glued the legs to the body.  Again, I used a lot of hot glue.  While making the piñata, I inserted a metal bracket into it so the rope could be attached.  We hung it up on the tree in a pulley system so that way, it was hanging there during the party as "decoration" for most of it.  When it was time to do the piñata, we adjusted it down to a kid friendly level.  

Homemade Pinatas:  The best way to spend 5 hours of your life so that 20 little kids can beat it to death in 5 minutes.  

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