Happy Sunday Greetings All!
I’m finally back with a new post and a new project! This is a project that I actually completed last April, but it has taken me this long to get the photos edited and posted. Last Spring was my 10 year high school reunion, and I was talking with my friend Elizabeth about the party we were going to have, and the topic of piñatas came up. She has her own awesome blog called The Occasionist and a while back she had done a post about amazing piñatas. We had both been really inspired, and realized that neither of us had ever made a piñata before, so we decided we had to try making one for our party. Now don’t laugh, but the mascot for our high school was a Beaver, so for our reunion party we made a Beaver piñata, who we nicknamed Pickle. (Why Pickle? Well apparently in the 80’s Pickle was the nickname for a typical student at our school, because someone had joked that they were always ‘getting into a pickle.’ And we thought it was funny.) Before I include a tutorial, here are a few photos of the finished Pickle!
1. Balloons. Build a form out of balloons, we chose to use two to make Pickle, one for her body and one for her head. We also filled in some additional shape with both newspaper and tape, for instance we filled in the neck with tape, and we also built a squarer beaver nose for the front of the ‘head’ balloon with some extra newspaper.
2. Papier Mache. Tear newspaper into long strips, and make a glue out of flour and water. We chose a no-cook recipe from somewhere online, 1 part flour to 2 parts water. Just mix the two parts together until the consistency seems right.
3. Cover your piñata with papier mache. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, just remember to leave an opening where you can add the candy later. We chose to leave a hole near the rear area of the beaver because it would be covered with the tail eventually. Overall we probably added 2 or 3 layers of newspaper on most of the shape, but we didn’t bother letting it dry in between layers because we wanted to get all of the papier mache finished on one day.
4. Adding Fur! After letting our papier mache dry for a few days it was time to add the tissue paper fur. We decided to just stick with a simple brown for the body, because we weren’t able to find other colors of brown to mix in. Each layer was two pieces of tissue, folded in half so that the strip was 2 inches wide, and four layers thick, with the folded edge at the top and the 4 open edges on the bottom which we cut into fringe. Then starting around the opening we had left for adding candy, we started wrapping our beaver with fur from tail to head. We also made hind legs and front paws out of newspaper wrapped in tissue, and added those as we went. Finally I made a big beaver tail out of cardboard which we covered with alternating black and brown tissue paper.
We had a real ball making our piñata, but it was also so much work! I can’t believe how cheaply you can buy them, even on Etsy where they’ve been handmade by someone. I now have a lot more respect for those handmade piñatas. So don’t look for me to start making and selling piñatas in the future!
Most importantly, don’t forget to take the time to make the little details like eyes and a nose (or big front teeth!) We had a lot of fun adding personality to Pickle, from her cute little front paws to her pretty red bow.
Pickle was a big hit at our party, though she was so heavy once we stuffed her with candy that we had a hard time figuring out where to hang her (inside an apartment in NYC.) So maybe our future piñata endeavors will involve a backyard and a tree…
Has anyone else made a piñata before? What shape or animal did you make? I always love hearing everyone else’s crafting stories. Ciao! Allison