Oh my goodness! This craft was so much fun! I wanted to come up with a fun and relatively easy craft to make in the Spanish class that I am teaching at our homeschool co-op every week. Well, since Mexico’s Independence Day was coming up so soon (September 16th), I decided to make homemade piñatas. How fun is that?!
We made the sample piñatas at home the day before co-op so students could see what they are supposed to look like and then we decorated the piñatas in class. The students loved this activity. In this post, you will learn how easy it is to make piñatas at home and you can get creative and go big or be more ornamental with your piñatas.
- white liquid glue (about 1/2 bottle per child) or tacky glue
- a sturdy paper plate or bowl (one per child)
- a little bit of water
- child-sized scissors
- crepe paper streamers in different colors
- balloons (the size you prefer)
- foam brush (optional)
- confetti or small candy (optional)
- hole punch and thin rope or yarn (optional)
- Tear up the newspaper in small pieces (1-2 inches long or so).
- Pour some glue on the paper plate.
- Add the same amount of water as the liquid glue on the plate and mix them up well to create a more watery glue mix.
- Blow up one balloon for each child.
- Use fingers or a foam brush to slather the glue mix on the surface of the balloon. Do small sections at a time.
- Paste one newspaper square on the glue mix at a time.
- Continue covering the balloon until it is completely covered with newspaper squares.
- Make more glue/water mix as you need it.
- Leave the tip of the balloon uncovered so you can hang it up to dry when you are done.
- Let the balloon dry completely after the first layer and then go for maybe 2-3 more layers of the newspaper squares and glue/water mix. Let dry completely after the 3-4 layers are done. The newspaper should harden around the balloon as it dries.
TIP: Do not overuse the glue/water mix. Use only the amount you need. The wetter the newspaper is, the longer it will take to dry.
Decorating Piñatas Part 1
As the balloons dry, you can get started on the next step. That way, you can have this ready for when the balloons are dry.
- Take the crepe paper streamers out and have children pick their colors, patterns, decoration strategy, etc.
- Blow up one more balloon to use to measure the crepe paper.
- Take one streamer and place it around the balloon to see how long you need the streamers to be. Cut.
- Cut along the length of the streamer (about 2/3 of the way or maybe halfway) to create a frilly skirt effect. My son liked spreading the streamer on the counter and making one cute at a time. I like to fold the streamer several times and make my cuts on several layers so when I open it up, the entire streamer has the cuts.
- You will need about 10 “frilly skirts” per balloon (for the balloons that are the size we used). You might need more or less. 🙂
- Once the balloons are completely dry, bring them inside and use some crepe paper (about 4 streamers that are maybe 6-8 inches long). Glue these shorter streamers to the bottom of the balloons as to cover the newspaper completely. One layer will do, but you can do 2 layers if you want.
- Please remember this: when starting to glue the frilly skirts onto the newspaper piñata, YOU NEED TO START AT THE BOTTOM. Go bottom to top of the piñata.
Decorating Piñatas Part 2
- Place a line of glue all around the balloon close to the bottom and glue one frilly skirt streamer. Cut the excess.
- Place another line of glue all around the balloon about half an inch above the last streamer (see picture above) and glue a new streamer frilly skirt.
- Keep going like this until the entire piñata is covered. The very top frilly skirt is a bit tricky as it covers a small circumference and it is at a tricky angle, so help your child/ren with this one.
- Hang to dry and let it dry completely.
- Once the piñata is dry, if you want to actually use it as a piñata and not for just decoration, help your child pop the balloon inside and through the top hole, pour some confetti or small candy.
- Hole punch about 1 inch into the top of the piñata on opposing sides and thread the thin rope/yarn.
- Have fun hanging it up as decoration or play with it.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to share your ideas or pictures of your piñatas. I made the basic ones, but you can roll up your frilly skirts and put glue or tape at the bottom to create flowers. Then glue the flowers onto the piñata. Wouldn’t that look pretty?