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Monday, January 9, 2012

Make Your Own Piñata



Can't find the pinata to fit your party theme or don't wanna spend the money on something kids are just gonna beat up? Well here's a idea, make your own!

I'll be honest it's a little bit of a pain (I'll explain exactly how later), but it's really worth it when you see the birthday kid smile.


What you need:

A cardboard box, I prefer a old diaper box, but size is really up to you. Tape, now this is another choice. How hard do you need this thing to be? I used painters tape and it lasted 2 rounds with some softball kids. To be honest I think I only used the painters tape cause blue was a main color in my party theme. With the use of just painters tape the hanger gave out before the bindings did. If you have a older crowd and really want it to be a tough battle, go for duct tape. Your color choices of streamers. Dollar Store has many choices so don't start to worry that this will cost you much, just think at least $1 for every color you chose. I was only working with 2 colors I grabbed 2 of each. I think I only used a little more then 1 of each, so it left me plenty for the party. Scissors, a box cutter, craft glue and hot glue gun with plenty of glue sticks. 1 regular metal clothes hanger. Come party time don't forget the rope and bat. OPTIONAL- Printer & paper for character image and party hats. I used 2 hats, but this depends on what shape you are going for. You can go crazy an cover every flap side with a hat if you want.


Time to get down to work. So here's why I suggest a box instead of cardboard sheets, it makes it really easy to just cut & assemble. When cutting think how big you need it, do you prefer the longer sides or the shorter? Because that will determine the length of the box. The flaps will determine the width. Although they may look not so wide, trust me I was able to fit plenty of candy & toys in ours. You already know one side to the next is the same size. Now carefully bust out that box cutter. Slice off the top flaps, DO NOT THROW AWAY. You will need them. Continue slicing box apart down the seams, corners, however you need to think of the bends in the box. Just be careful to preserve the shape of each piece to the box. It helped me when I chopped off each piece to make a piles based on size. Later just makes it easier just to see. 


"Ok, I have my front and back plus 4 I can use for sides, 4 I can use for top and bottom." I chose to work with the longer sides, so the shorter were pushed aside. Lay your choice pieces down like you are about to put together a puzzle. I grabbed the longer of the flaps placed it right in between the sides. The shorter flaps I placed on the sides of 1 of the box side pieces. 

What it should look like is: (There should be extra flap so use your straightest less bent ones.) 


Now, let's get taping. Push each piece as close to each other as possible. There should not be any gaps. Tape each side to each other. For those pieces that don't have anything next to go ahead an add a strip of tape to the bottom flap and the right side. 


You are going to fold it all together so the sides are now opposite each other an 1 flap should be on each side. 1 long flap on top & bottom. 1 shorter flap on each side in between your big pieces. Basically flap should corresponded with main pieces height. Feel free to add more tape anywhere. Just remember more tape equals more strength, so think of those who will be taking a bat to it.


Now the fun part! Decorating! This step the glue you chose to use doesn't really mater. I used craft glue, if you do this it'll require a glue dry period. This is just your "base coat" of sorts. when I was making this I had decided that 2 colors red & blue would be the main. Blue would be the over all with red highlights, so I did my base coat of streamer strips in red. Go ahead an slice the top. This is where when dry and practically done you will push in a metal clothes hanger, make sure for now the hole is big enough to add the goodies. *TIP* You can precut the streamers to the length of each side for this next step. Extras will be used. So once you are done covering the whole box in streamer now to do the streamers that will mater. I used a glue gun for this. Didn't want my streamers ripping and no wetness. If you look closely at the image above you can see the the top of each strip is where the glue was applied. Work bottom to top. Layering the new unadhered half of the new strip over the top adhered half of the previous. The pain in the butt part I was referring to was that we chose to give it that fringe/shaggy look so each bottom half of strip was hand cut by scissors. Do not start "fringing" till all your strips are on or at least that side is done. Top & bottom of pinata don't require the seconded coat of new streamer color, but that is your call. I left those sections red and flat. In between steps or when I just needed a break I would stick a old baby clothes hanger an some teething rings to hold it & hang it. Go ahead an let it hang and dry while you work on this next optional step. 

This is where the party hats come in, if you are using them. As you can see I used 2, 1 on each side as my base for a cone shape. For these I preglued with regular craft glue an began to wrap each cone in streamer, a little hanging before the base of hat working up to point. Let it dry. Grab some extra precut streamers you have or cut some. Poke them through the top point of hat. On inside use your choice of a little tape or glue to hold those in. If you have any gaps in streamer from this process go ahead an fill in with more streamer. Let them dry.

If you decided to print out a image to tie in the party to pinata instead of just being a color theme, pull out your images. I had 2 8x10 print outs. Add glue to back of each image and place right in the middle of each side. I then used my tape as a kind of a frame to the images. Next glued strips of my highlight color, pieces of streamer cut to the right size. Place right on top of each strip of tape.

Here's where most of your extra percut or just extra streamer will be used. Hot glue streamers to bottom of pinata. In my case I did one blue and red. Folded a tiny section of strip (top corner) together and hot glued each couple. Go crazy! Do as much as you want, can't really go wrong.

Now let's add those side cones. Once again use your hot glue gun, it's stronger. Hot glue the base of each hat and press to the pinata where you want it. Leave the extra bit of streamer that was on the base sticking out. That part can be cut like fringe to cover where the hat was added. It really helps them blend right in.

Now add your candy and goodies in! Push through your metal hanger. Tape up hole. Cover with more glue and streamer. Dry. Done!


Feel free to comment or contact if you have any questions. If you have a question other's probably do to, so let me know so I can help you out.

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