Learn how to make a paper mache piñata! Have you ever been to a kid’s birthday party or a Cinco de Mayo party if there was no piñata? While these candy-filled sculptures seem to have originated in Mexico, their history is rooted in China and Italy. Piñatas are very reminiscent of celebrations with their vibrant colors and their unique shapes.
- Paper Mache Piñata – Paper Mache Basics
- How to Make a Paper Mache Piñata
- Simple Round Paper Mache Piñata
- Colorful Strawberry Piñata
- Traditional Paper Mache Piñata
- How to Make a Paper Mache Piñata – In Conclusion
Paper Mache Piñata – Paper Mache Basics
You can find them pretty much in every party store in your area but making one yourself, especially in a pandemic, is a great way to unleash your creativity and add your flair to a traditional piñata. You can make a lot of different shapes and add whatever your heart desires. Paper mache is fun to do and at the end, you'll get a colorful piñata to break up.
Whenever you start a new craft, having a list of supplies handy can help you make your trip to the art store a lot more efficient. Once you have all your supplies, you can get ready to start making your piñata in any shape you want. First off, you’ll want to get everything ready for the paper mache base, and then you can move on to make any shape you want.
Supplies – Paper Mache Mixture
- Strips of Paper – Collect all the random scraps of paper you have lying around the home. Even newspaper, and cut it into thin strips about the same size.
- All-purpose White Glue – Even wood glue will work. You need any glue that will dry clear.
- White Flour – This will help you add a little bit of body to the glue mixture so that it has a better structure.
Making Paper Mache Mixture
Making the paper mache base is very easy but you shouldn't be making it very far in advance as the glue and flour mixture can turn sour and lose its effectiveness.
Step 1 - Mix Glue and Water
Take equal parts glue and water and mix it. You're looking for a thin consistency that leaves a slight trace. Don't overmix this mixture but always make sure everything is thoroughly mixed in.
Step 2 – Add Flour
After you have your mixture ready, get some flour and add it in. You can add as much or as little as you want. The quantity of the flour you add will depend on what kind of consistency and structure you want from the paper mache mixture. If you add more flour, you will have a drier mixture which leads to a stiffer piñata.
How to Make a Paper Mache Piñata
Right, so you have your paper mache paste all ready to go and you want to start building your piñata. You have a few options as to how you can go about it and there is also a lot of creative room with the shapes and colors you can make. Down below we’ll go over some common piñata shapes and how you can make one yourself with paper mache.
- Round Paper Mache Piñata
- Strawberry Paper Mache Piñata
- Traditional Paper Mache Piñata with Legs
Simple Round Paper Mache Piñata
A simple round piñata is perfect for beginners that are new to paper mache crafts. The plain round shape is easy to achieve and you can fill this piñata with anything you want to.
- Paper Mache Paste
- Strips of Paper
- Balloon – Blow it up to the size you want your piñata to be
- Assorted Paints – Any colors you want
- Colored Tissue Paper or Crepe Paper – To add some texture and dimension to the finished piñata
How to Make a Paper Mache Piñata in a Round Shape
Step 1 – Set Up
When you have all your supplies ready, you can start building your round piñata. Prop your blown balloon on a bowl with the tied side down. Get your paper mache mixture ready and dip your paper strips in it one by one.
Step 2 – Cover the Balloon
Take the dipped paper strips and lay them as flat as you can on top of your balloon. Do a base layer first and let it dry for a little bit, then add a few more layers on top. The more layers you have, the more hits it will take to break the piñata. Overlap the layers in different directions so that you have a more secure bond.
Step 3 – Cut
Once your piñata structure has dried, you can pop the balloon and take it out from the bottom part of the balloon. At this stage, you should also add two small holes at either side for the strings to attach to. Cut a small square shape at the side of this round shape and add whatever treats you want to have inside. Close the square flap and cover with a few strips of dipped paper strips to seal it back up.
Step 4 – Decorate
With all the structural pieces covered, you can move onto the creative part of decorating your piñata. You can add paint in any patterns you want and as much of it as you want. Add colors to it with the paint and some dimension with any colored pieces of tissue paper you may have lying around. Tie a long strip of tissue paper in the holes on both sides and your piñata is ready to be hung.
Colorful Strawberry Piñata
If you're looking to make a piñata that may catch a few eyes here and there and will add a touch of creativity to your party, this strawberry piñata is the one for you. With the simple shape and colorful décor, this piñata will surely add a fun touch to any celebration.
- Paper Mache Paste
- Strips of Paper
- Balloon – Blow it up to the size you want your strawberry base to be
- Colored Tissue Paper – In Red, Green, and Black colors
- X-Acto Knife
How to Make a Paper Mache Piñata in a Strawberry Shape
Step 1 – Cover the Balloon
Start by propping your balloon on top of a bowl and covering it with dipped strips of paper. Add these strips as flatly as you can and do so in different directions to ensure better bonding. You should be adding about 2-3 layers of these paper strips to make sure your piñata doesn't fall apart with just one swing.
Step 2– Prep Décor and Structure
Once these layers have dried, you can pop the balloon and take out the deflated balloon. Puncture two holes with the X-Acto knife at the top and tie two bits of twine inside to act as the hanging chain. Keep the hole open and add candy or any treats you want to add before adding a few bits of dipped paper mache strips to close it back up. Once you have your piñata sealed, you can begin decorating.
Step 3 – Decorate
Get your red tissue paper and fold it into small rectangular shapes. Take your scissors and cut about a third of the way through to create a tasseled garland. Repeat this with the rest of the tissue paper and start adding this to the piñata. Start from the bottom and work your way to the top. Once at the top, you can glue on green tissue paper leaves and some black tissue paper dots around the piñata to make it look more like a strawberry.
Traditional Paper Mache Piñata
Most of us remember piñatas in their original round and spikey shape or the shape of a donkey. If you’re looking to make a traditional Burro piñata, this is the way to do it.
- Paper Mache Paste
- Strips of Paper
- Thin Cardboard Box – it should be thin enough to break easily upon being hit
- 3-4 Sheets of Cardstock
- Hole Punch
- Tissue Paper
- Craft Glue
How to Make a Paper Mache Piñata with a Traditional Shape
Step 1 – Fill the Cardboard
Before you can start making your piñata, you need to get your cardboard box and fill it with any candy or treats you want. Your cardboard box should be sturdy but thin enough so it can break after a few swings. Punch in two holes on opposite sides of the box and string through a strong rope to make a hanger.
Step 2 – Attach Legs
Take your cardstock and fold it into a conical shape. Seal the edges with glue and make them more secure with some scotch tape. Repeat this four times to make four legs and attach them to the bottom of the cardboard box with glue and let dry.
Step 3– Paper Mache Cardboard
Start dipping your strips of paper in the paper mache paste and cover your cardboard box. These strips should lay as flat as possible and should overlap just a little bit. Cover the cardboard box all over along with the legs that you have made for the piñata shape. Add a few layers and let it dry.
Step 3 – Decorate
Once your piñata shape is dry, you can start adding décor to it. Paint over the whole shape with a few layers of acrylic paint and let that dry. In the meantime, you can start cutting your tissue paper into strips that resemble a garland. Once the paint is dry, attach the tissue paper to the legs and the body of the piñata. You can add a paper cup painted and covered in tissue paper to act as the face of the piñata and add as many details as you want.
How to Make a Paper Mache Piñata – In Conclusion
Paper mache crafts are just a world of fun. They are easy to make once you find the right recipe for paper mache and get the hang of it and they allow you to unleash your creativity to its fullest extent. A paper mache piñata will not only be a great craft to make but will also add a pop of color to your next birthday party or celebration. All you need are a few supplies that are not very hard to find and you are ready to have hours of fun trying to get the candy and treats out of it. Try your hand at making your paper mache piñata and you’ll never buy one again.