If you are in the mood to make your own pinata, know that it is a labor of love that will ultimately be beaten down and gleefully destroyed. Truth be told, making a handmade pinata is time consuming–and you (and your spouse) will undoubtedly question your sanity. Ultimately, the result is worth the work since you can’t find the same quality at Target or Party City–plus you never know when your pinata-making skills will be needed in the future, right?!
I was obsessed with making these Mickey and Minnie Mouse pinatas for Kysen’s 3rd birthday last year. Since his birthday present was a trip to Disneyland, naturally the theme was Mickey! Stay tuned for more of the birthday crafts I made last year using Disney’s mickey-shaped paint samples I snagged (okay, stole) from Home Depot!
MICKEY / MINNIE MOUSE PINATA INSTRUCTIONS:
- strips of newspaper, 8 inches long by 1 1/2 inches
- Mylar balloon (helium-filled, I got mine from the Dollar Store)
- Jute twine
- masking tape
- 4 black dessert plates (mine were plastic)
- strong adhesive strips (like Glue Dots brand 2 inch sticky strips, find them at Michael’s)
- D-clip (for hanging)
- black crepe paper streamers (about 3 spools)
- glue sticks (2-3)
- For Minnie Pinata: wide red ribbon
(1) Prepare your newspaper strips. Cut them 8 by 1 1/2 inches. You’ll need about 35 strips for each layer. Depending on how sturdy you need your pinata (based on the weight of the contents) is how thick you should make your pinata. I ended up doing about 5 layers because I had heavy packages going in. With standard candy, three layers would be perfectly adequate.
(2) Prepare your paper mache paste. Use 1 1/2 cup water and one cup of all purpose flour and stir well. I advise doing one layer at a time and allowing the pinata to dry between layers. Start your first layer by rubbing the balloon with some of the paste. Then apply the strips of newspaper on top of the paste, then rub another layer of paste on top of the layer of newspaper, until the entire balloon is covered–leave a small square (about 2 by 2 inches) at the top of the pinata (where the balloon tie is). It really doesn’t matter if you do straight strips or criss-crossed. I decided to only to criss-crossed strips on the bottom of the balloon for added strength. Allow this first layer to dry overnight by hanging it upside down from the balloon string.
(3) Attach the jute twine. This is where your pinata will hang from. I formed a loop on the top, in line with the 2 by 2 inch square at the top of the pinata and had the twine travel underneath the bottom of the pinata, again for added strength. Secure your twine with masking tape. Now apply your next layer of paper mache by repeating step 2 above. Allow to dry overnight.
(4) Apply your last paper mache layer and allow to dry overnight.
(5) Pop your balloon and remove entirely through the 2×2 inch hole you left on top. Cut your “stuffing” door by marking with a pen and carefully cutting with a knife. Make sure you make it large enough to put all of your stuff in!
(6) Make your mouse ears by attaching the dessert plates by applying the strong adhesive strips around the plate rims and applying pressure for a few seconds around the whole rim of the plate.
(7) Attach the mouse ears. Mark with a marker where you want your ears positioned. Cut two slits on your pinata about 1/4 inch thick and 4 inches wide (enough to fit your dessert plates in). Press the ears into the slits and then secure in place with masking tape.
(8) Stuff your pinata. Use your masking tape to close up the “stuffing” door before you begin applying your crepe paper fringe.
(9) Prepare your crepe paper strips. Unwind your streamer balls into 4 to 5 inch stacks, this makes it easier to make the fringe. Cut your fringe about 2/3rds of the way and about 1/4 inch thick. Start at the bottom of the pinata and work your way up applying the strips of fringe using a glue stick.
(10) Finish off the ears by making sure to cover any visible masking tape with a strip of the black streamers secured with the Glue Dots adhesive.
(11) If you’re making a Minnie mouse attach your extra-wide ribbon bow (I made mine even thicker by using the Glue Dots adhesive to tape two pieces of ribbon together to make it double wide). Attach just in front of the 2 by 2 inch top opening. Attach your D-clip to the jute twine hangers.
(12) Now, enjoy your kids totally destroying all your hard work!
Check out this idea out to make your birthday pinata fair for even the littlest kiddies! And stay tuned for more Mickey Mouse birthday projects!