How to make a DIY Pinata
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How to Make a DIY Pinata! (Save Money with Easy Paper Mache)

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Make This Easy DIY Pinata using simple ingredients from home

So we are “safe at home” right now and my son’s birthday was coming up. We have convinced him that a family party in our new treehouse with cupcakes would be the perfect way to celebrate.

But he also really wanted a Pinata. I had a few in my online shopping cart but decided why not save the $20 and make my own DIY Pinata. 

What should our DIY pinata be of?

I asked my son what he wanted, and he actually said the easiest thing possible…

An Easter egg DIY Pinata.

Now how could I not try to make this simple structure my son ASKED for? I mean he could have picked any subject matter he wanted…

But somehow he helped me out by picking the most basic shape!

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easy homemade pinata

How to Make A Homemade Pinata

I knew I could use a simple paper mache recipe and balloon to create a homemade pinata. We were sure that we would be able to have DIY Pinata that would resemble an egg that we could smash.

Now, before he decided on the egg pinata, I was completely trying to think about how I could repurpose cardboard boxes into a base that I could paper mache. I did think I might be able to pull off a DIY car pinata. However, there was no need when my son said he just wanted an Easter Egg Pinata. 

I have a feeling I may have started a birthday tradition around here, so I am sure I will be making more fun DIY pinatas in my future.

Supplies needed for DIY paper mache:

I.5 parts water

1 part flour

Tablespoon of salt

Newspaper

Colored Tissue Paper or paint (optional)

Balloons (this pack of balloons has also been a hit for extra games around our house)

(or cardboard depending on the subject matter of your homemade pinata)

Flour, water and balloon used to make DIY paper mache

How To Make Homemade Paper Mache

1. Pour flour in bowl and slowly add water.

Flour & water to make homemade paper mache

2. Stir or whisk until it is not chunky at all.

Whisk homemade paper mache for DIY pinata

 

3. Add salt (this helps preserve what you are making)

How to Paper Mache

1. You will want to precut your newspaper into strips of paper about 1 inch wide. This can vary depending on your project.

 2. If using a balloon, bowl up to desired size and place in a bowl. This will help you have a stand to work on. If you are creating a cardboard base, then you would just get that ready.

3. Dip whole strip of newspaper into flour mixture. Pull it out while keeping it flat. This allows the edge of the bowl to take some of the excess paper mache off. You can also use your fingers to take extra goop off.

Newspaper dipped in homemade paper mache recipe

4. Keep strips flat and place on the balloon or base. Rubbing it to get flat.

Keep paper mached strips flat on the balloon

5. Overlap strips in different ways. You do not want the paper mache strips to all go the same way.

6. Repeat this until you have about 3 layers

Streamers can add a base color to paper mache

7. If you want to add a base color to your pinata, then you can also carefully add tissue paper on top of the newspaper. You can try to do while it is wet or revisit and add color after it dries.

Colored Tissue paper added to homemade DIY pinata

8. Your Pinata base may take up to 24-48 hours to completely dry.

Optional Homemade Pinata Steps:

-Use paint dot makers to have little ones help you add decorations as we did after our homemade pinata dried.

-Cut tissue paper in a fringe and glue on to give it a more traditional pinata feel.

-Cut some square of tissue paper, wrap around the end of a pencil and dip in glue and add to the pinata. This will give that fluffy texture. I think I will probably try this the next time I need to make a pinata, but it probably would be pretty time-consuming.

Paint dotters used to add design to pinata

How to Turn Paper Mache Balloon into a DIY Pinata

So here is where I knew it would get tricky. 

1. First, pop the balloon. I did cover the whole balloon except for the knot. 

2. Cut out a shape on the top big enough for you to drop your prizes into. I used an Exacto knife to cut a square flap out of the top.  Do not cut the whole shape. Cut 3 sides so that the top fo the pinata will flip open.

Exacto knife to cut opening in DIY pinata

3. Drop in the prizes. Make sure that your pinata is strong enough to support whatever you are putting in.

Putting prizes in the pinata

4. We added suckers, small toys, airheads and my favorite little spiky balls to ours.

5. Punch or cut two holes far enough away from the opening and add a string or ribbon.

Ribbon adding for DIY pinata

6. Flip the cut shape back on.

7.Make a small amount of homemade paper mache. 

Add DIY paper mache to pinata

8. Reapply flour paper mache on top of the cut seams.

9. Add colored tissue paper back on top.

DIY Pinata after being filled with toys

Let Dry and have some fun swinging away!

Tips and Tricks for DIY Paper Mache and DIY Pinata Construction

-Make sure that your homemade pinata structure is strong enough to hold what you have created.

-Use a bowl to help prop up balloons or round objects.

-Find ways to add details with the whole family (like using paint dotters)

Hang your homemade pinata somewhere fun

DIY balloon pinata hanging

We decided to hang ours near our new treehouse and rock wall. Surprisingly, ours held up for quite a few swings.

I was surprised at how strong 3 layers of paper mache could be. My kids loved that they knew we had made it ourselves and couldn’t wait to see what was inside.

They also really thought it was a mystery about how things got inside. While they helped with the paper mache part, they didn’t get to see me put the toys and candy inside. They were happily surprised by this DIY Pinata!

Pinatas you can buy

Now, if after you read this, you decide you just want to spend the money and get a pinata, here are a few that I did consider buying. 

Paw Patrol Pinata Kit-Because who doesn’t love those pups!

Race Car Pinata– Seemed to be the cheapest with the highest rating.

Llama Pinata-I really would have had to think about getting if this was for my daughter

If you loved this family-friendly DIY tutorial then you may also like my related articles

Staying Safe at Home Ideas (Not tips)

DIY Anniversary Party Ideas that Will Save You Money!

Easy and Inexpensive Treat Bags

Plastic bat hitting homemade pinata

I hope you enjoy your extra family time and making memories with your DIY Pinata!

Hello! My name is Erin and I am a DIY nut. Currently, I live in Ohio with my beautiful family. I am an artist, teacher and lover of all things DIY. I hope this site inspires you to become a DIY nut!

6 Comments

    • Millie

      You have just given me a great idea! We are still on lockdown and I was thinking of what to do to celebrate when we are finally back to the new normal. I’ll make a giant pinata!! It looks so simple and I’m sure it will be fun to do!

      • Erin

        Hi Millie. Yes, our kids loved making the homemade pinata (even though the paper mache was pretty goopy). And of course, they love smashing it! It really made my son’s birthday (while being safe at home) special.

    • Erin

      Hi! Yes, we love being able to make things ourselves. A DIY pinata is a perfect solution for something you are just going to smash anyway!

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