How to: make a piñata

Piñatas were originally used to chase away bad spirits. Nowadays, these brightly colored objects are a tradition at parties in many Latin American countries. The birthday boy or girl hits the piñata while blindfolded until it breaks and a flood of candy is released.

What you’ll need: *Wallpaper paste (from a package) *A balloon *Old newspapers *Scissors *Craft glue *Small container (for the wallpaper paste) *Ribbon *Crêpe paper (in different colors) *Wrapped candy *Other decorations (such as feathers, glitters, pompons, etc.): optional

Here’s how to:

  1. Prepare the wallpaper paste according to the instructions and place the mixture in the container. Inflate the balloon (not too full).
  2. Cut or tear the old newspaper into strips and dip them into the wallpaper paste mixture.
  3. Lay the strips of newspaper on the balloon but leave the knot and the top uncovered. Repeat until there are five layers covering the balloon. Allow each layer to dry first before applying another layer on top. After you have added the last layer, let the covered balloon dry until it has hardened completely – this will take one or two days.
  4. Cut the crêpe paper (while it’s still rolled up) into five pieces. Make several perpendicular cuts up to the halfway mark to create fringes. Unroll the pieces of crêpe paper and glue the part without the fringes in an overlapping fashion to the piñata using the craft glue. Work from the bottom of the balloon to the top. The top of the piñata is where the knot in the balloon is. Glue other decorations to the balloon if desired.
  5. Pop the balloon and remove it from the shell carefully. A hole has now been created where the knot was. Fill the piñata with candy and cover the hole up with a piece of crêpe paper.
  6. Poke two small holes on either side of this hole and thread the ribbon through these. Now your piñata is ready to be hung up.

*This how-to can be found in Issue 27.

Text Caroline Buijs Illustrations Louise Lockhart

how to make a piñata