Party Time Pinata

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Circle Weekend Crafts


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Invite a papier mache clown to your next kiddie or adult party and get ready for a swinging good time. Start with newspapers, balloons and cardboard, then finish off with colored tissue paper and you are ready to have a blast!


* 2 large round balloons * Newspapers * I package wallpaper paste * Two 6½”x9½” pieces of lightweight cardboard (for legs) * Two 4½” x 8″ pieces of lightweight cardboard (for arms) * 4 sheets each of red and white tissue paper * 2 sheets each of yellow, green and blue tissue paper * 2 or 3 sheets each of blue, red and white construction paper * Child’s party hat * Assorted small toys and candies * Masking tape; bath towel; utility knife; string or twine; rubber cement; scissors; black marking pen; wire

1. Inflate Balloons:

One balloon should be approximately 10″ in diame-ter, and the other balloon should be approximately 6″ in diameter. Tape balloons together with many strips of masking tape (FIG. 1).

Figure 1

FIG. 1


Tear (do not scissor-cut) the news-paper into 2″-wide strips. (Tear a suffi-cient number of strips so that you won’t have to stop and tear more after you’ve started using the paste.) Mix wallpaper paste according to package directions. Dip strips of newspaper into the paste, coating well. Roll the bath towel horizontally and form it into a circle to support the balloons as you work. Lay newspaper strips, varying the direction, over the two balloons, beginning at the neck joint (FIG. 2). Note: Paste may thicken as you work; thin with water, if necessary.

Figure 2 FIG. 2



Continue to place newspaper strips over the balloons to make approxi-mately five layers. (Be sure to keep the same thickness over the entire piece.)


Allow the papier-mâché to dry in a warm dry area for 24 to 48 hours. (Drying time depends on number of newspaper layers, the temperature and the humidity.)


Legs and Arms: Fold down one long edge (top) of each cardboard rect-angle 1″. Make 1″-long cuts approximately 1″ apart along the folded edge. Along opposite long edge (bottom), make 2″-long cuts approximately 1″ apart (FIG. 3).

Figure 3

Roll each rectangle into a tube, with cut ends at either end of the tube. At folded (top) ends, the card-board should overlap slightly; and at bottom ends, the cardboard should overlap more and narrow to make ankles and wrists. Secure the over-lapped arm/leg tubes with masking tape (FIG. 4).

figure 4

FIG. 4


Attach legs and arms to body, using a generous amount of masking tape (FIG. 5).

figure 5 FIG. 5


Using the utility knife, make a small cut through the newspaper layers on the back of the piñata. This will pierce the larger balloon, creating a cavity for filling later. Continue to cut, making a small trapdoor just large enough to insert toys and candies later (FIG. 6).

figure 6 FIG. 6

Encircle the piñata body with string or twine, crossing the string or twine at the upper back of the body (FIG. 7).

figure 7 FIG. 7

7. Make Tissue Ruffles:

From tissue paper, cut a long 3″-wide strip. Fold in half lengthwise. Make 1″ cuts along folded edge approximately ½” apart. Turn the tissue paper and refold in reverse direction. The ruffles will stand out as loops.

8. Pants:

Begin applying rows of red ruffles to the bottoms of the legs. Cut lengths of ruffles to fit around legs and work up to the body (FIG. 8). Secure tissue paper to papier-mâché with rub-ber cement. Continue to apply rows of red ruffles until you are halfway up the body.

figure 8

FIG. 8

9. Shirt:

Alternate strips of yellow and green tissue paper to create a striped long-sleeve shirt. Begin applying rows of ruffles to arms, working from wrists to shoulders. Avoid covering the area where you cut the trapdoor and the area where the string or twine is crossed. (The trapdoor will be covered last, after the piñata has been filled.) Finish with a row of green tissue paper at the neck.

10. Head:

Cover entire head with rows of white ruffles. Cut 8 dozen ¼” x 5″ strips of yellow tissue paper, divide them into two clusters and glue the clusters to either side of head (approximately where ears would be) to suggest hair. Cut 2 dozen ½” x 6″ strips of blue tissue paper and glue them to the tip of the party hat. Glue hat to top of head at a slight angle. A small tuft of yellow tissue paper can be added to the bottom edge of the hat, if desired.

11. Face:

Cut eyes and eyebrows from blue construction paper and mouth and nose from red construction paper. Use black marking pen to create mouth and eye details.

12. Hands and Shoes:

Using construction paper, cut out four white hands, two blue shoe tops and two blue shoe soles. Glue two hand shapes together, leaving wrist area open, to make one hand. Allow to dry. Crumple a large piece of white tissue paper; stuff open wrist end of hand with tissue paper, leaving a generous amount to stuff into the arm cavity. Stuff arm cavity until hand is flush with end of cardboard tube (FIG. 9). Repeat for other hand.

figure 9

Fold shoe top to shape it and glue at heel. Set shoe top over sole and glue together along outside edge only (FIG. 10).

figure 10

Allow to dry. Trim shoe top overlap. Crumple a large piece of blue tissue paper; glue one end of tissue paper into shoe top opening and stuff the other end into the leg cavity until shoe is flush with end of cardboard tube. Glue heel to end of tube to close cavity. Repeat procedure for other shoe.


Fill the piñata with toys and can-dies. Close and tape trapdoor. Cover trapdoor with rows of yellow and green ruffles, as needed. Attach wire to string or twine for hanging. Fill in around wire with tissue-paper ruffles, if needed.

Family Circle Weekend Crafts (26 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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