Step 1: Inflate and hang the balloon
Step 2: Prepare the paper strips and glue
Step 3: Cover the balloon with paper
Step 4: Decorate the pinata
Step 5: Garnish and hang the pinata
Step 6: Have a stick to tap the pinata with
Step 7: Tap the pinata to release its contents
Originally a Mexican game, the pinata is a big hit at birthday parties. Each guest takes turns trying to break this playful object made of paper mache hanging from the ceiling. If the player is skilled, he or she may release a shower of candy and goodies hidden in the pinata.
Making a birthday pinata is not tricky, but since it takes several days to make, it is essential to plan ahead and not be afraid to get dirty. From 7-8 years old, children are invited to participate in this craft! This practical sheet details all the steps to make a colourful pinata, which will delight your young guests.
1. Inflate and hang the balloon
Inflate the balloon to the desired size of the pinata.
With string, hang the balloon between 2 pieces of furniture.
Cover the floor under the balloon with a protective layer that is safe to use, as the work will be messy: layers of old newspapers are perfect.
2. Prepare the paper strips and glue
Cut long strips of newspaper about 4 cm wide with scissors.
Do the same with white, coloured or brown kraft paper: you need half as many strips of kraft paper as the newspaper.
In a basin, dilute the wallpaper paste in water, following the proportions indicated on the box.
Note: you can also use homemade glue with 2/3 water and 1/3 flour. Thicken the mixture in a saucepan, constantly stirring, until you have a bechamel-like consistency.
3. Cover the balloon with paper
Wear clothes that don’t mind getting dirty and put on disposable gloves.
Cover the balloon with newspaper
Dip the first strip of paper into the glue tub to soak both sides, then stick it onto the balloon.
Continue in the same way until the balloon is completely covered with the crisscross strips, except for the knot in the balloon, where you will leave an opening just big enough to fill the pinata with candy and small toys.
Let the balloon dry for 24 hours.
Cover it the next day with a second layer of crisscross strips.
Let it dry again for 24 hours.
Cover the balloon with kraft paper
Cover the newspaper with a final layer of kraft paper strips to hide the newspaper without painting it.
Pop the balloon
Pop the balloon, then remove it or leave it in place if it’s stuck.
String it up
On either side of the opening at the top of the pinata, poke 2 holes with a nail.
Thread 2 strings of sufficient length to attach the pinata to the ceiling.
4. Decorate the pinata
Cover the pinata with fringed crepe paper
From different coloured crepe paper, cut strips about 6 cm wide and cut bangs on them.
Glue these strips on the pinata:
Coat the pinata with glue using a brush.
Starting from the “south pole” of the pinata, apply a first fringed strip going all the way around the pinata.
Continue with the second strip of another colour, overlapping the strips so that the pinata is well decorated.
Make a tail for the pinata
Still in crepe paper of different colours, cut strips about 3 cm wide and 20 to 30 cm long.
Glue them on the “south pole” of the pinata.
5. Garnish and hang the pinata
Garnish the pinata with candies, small toys and confetti.
Close the hole by gluing a round of kraft paper.
Hang the pinata from the ceiling using the strings provided. Be sure to place it away from any fragile objects or glass doors.
6. Provide a stick to tap the pinata with
A simple wooden broom handle will do.
If needed, saw it to a length that fits your guests and the height at which the pinata is hung.
Note: For young guests, a short stick will be easier to handle: the pinata will have to be hung quite low.
Optional: decorate the stick with coloured masking tape.
7. Tap the pinata to release its contents
Take turns blindfolding each guest (do not blindfold very young children) and give them 3 minutes to try to hit and, if possible, break the pinata with the stick to release its contents.
The other guests encourage the blindfolded player by guiding them to find and hit the pinata.
If you want to respect Mexican traditions, play a CD of “La Cucaracha” during the game and have the children sing along.
Variation: Prepare several pinatas, one filled with toys and candy and the others just with confetti. Each child chooses the pinata they want to try to break.
Materials needed to make a birthday pinata
Disposable latex gloves