Make Party Pinata
Party! Party! Party! Are you looking forward to having a great party? However, what party can be fun without a piñata? Having the piñata at your party is a great way to provide decoration and entertainment all in one. The piñatas can make any kind of party a smash and even better, they are fun to make! If you do not mind getting your hands dirty, the piñata can be a great papier-mache project for birthday parties, holidays and school projects. There is no need to go out and buy a piñata for your next party, though. With some simple steps you can build your own, and you might find that making piñatas can be just as fun as breaking them!
Let us remember the origin of a piñata. A piñata is a container often made of papier-mache, pottery, or cloth. It is decorated, filled with small toys or candy, or both, and then broken as part of a ceremony or celebration. Piñatas are most commonly associated with Mexico, but their origins are considered to be in China. The idea of breaking a container filled with treats came to Europe in the 14th century, where the name, from the Italian pignatta, was introduced. The Spanish brought the European tradition to Mexico, although there were similar traditions in Mesoamerica. The Aztecs had a similar tradition to honor the birthday of the god Huitzilopochtli in mid December. According to local records, the Mexican piñata tradition began in the town of Acolman, just north of Mexico City, where piñatas were introduced for catechism purposes as well as to co-opt the Huitzilopochtli ceremony. Today, the piñata is still part of Mexican culture, the cultures of other countries in Latin America, as well as the United States, but it has mostly lost its religious character.
Make a Piñata
If you follow these steps, then surely there will be no need to spend any money for a piñata. You do not need to purchase it, just make by yourself.
Before to Start
You can make your piñata whatever you like, but the best shape to make is an oblong sphere based on a balloon form, but you can make anything you want. To create a more elaborate shape, tape or glue cardstock and cardboard onto your balloon form. Traditional piñatas are made with a ceramic pot as the form, but these can be messy and dangerous. Stick with a pliable form made from paper products.
Protect Your Area
To make your piñata has the potential to get a little messy, so make sure you have a plenty of room to work. Cover your work area with layers of newspaper or a disposable plastic tablecloth. This will keep your tabletop clean, and make cleanup afterwards a breeze. Keep yourself clean too by wearing an old shirt or apron as well as latex gloves.
In a bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of water, and a tablespoon of salt. Sometimes an Elmer’s glue can be added. Stir the mixture until it starts to thicken like a batter. Do not worry about breaking down all the lumps; you want the batter to be relatively smooth, but it will likely still have chunks of flour in it.
You will need to tear some newspaper into strips that are about 1 to 2 inches wide and 6 to 8 inch long. This will make the newspaper lay nice and flat on the balloon. You will need to prepare many of these strips of paper, so that you have enough to cover your balloon in several layers.
Inflate Your Balloon
The balloon will form the body of your piñata, so make sure you make it nice and big. Round balloons are preferable because they will create a larger space for all of the candy. You may also use a box if you prefer a square shape for your piñata. Add any additional shapes to make legs, arms, tails, snouts, hats etc., using cardboard, newspaper or construction paper. Tape these shapes on with masking tape or clear tape.
Dip the strips into your paste and remove any excess paste by running the strips through your pinched fingers or dragging them along the edge of the bowl. Lay the strips down all over the balloon in a crisscross pattern until the entire balloon is covered. Leave the knot of the balloon uncovered to make removal of the balloon easier. Complete this step three to four times, allowing each layer to dry before adding another.
Let the Piñata Dry
Once you have finished adding layers of paper mache, let the piñata sit until it is completely dry and has hardened.
Decorating the Piñata
Use a single color to smooth out the paper and to create an even surface. It does not need to be especially well painted, just enough to cover the paper. Choose a color that matches the decorations you will be adding on or to match the animal or character that you are turning your piñata into, as it will probably show through.
The crepe paper will give your piñata a more traditional look. Cut or tear strips of crepe paper and glue it onto the piñata. Leave the paper in strips, or bunch it up into small tassel-like balls and glue on.
Once you have gotten the base of crepe paper on, add other neat details to your piñata. Colorful cupcake liners and brightly colored tissue squares can be added as fringe
The Piñata Fill
Cut a hole for the candy. If the balloon has not yet popped, go ahead, pop it, and remove it. Since you did not cover the knot of the balloon with your paper mache, you should have a small hole already. Make the hole bigger if needed. If the candy does not fit, cut away at the edge of the hole until it is large enough to pass the candy through. Punch two small holes around the main hole. Tie a string or ribbon to the holes to create a loop. This will come in handy later when it comes time to hang the piñata. Put the candy in. Start adding in candy, streamers, or anything else you would like. Keep in mind that these will be thrown on the ground, so avoid adding anything that might break or is very small. Cover the hole. Glue down some crepe paper on top of the hole, or use masking tape. The goal is to prevent the filling of the piñata from falling out before you have actually hit it. Hang the piñata. Tie another piece of string or ribbon to the loop you have already made and use this to attach the piñata to whatever you would like to hang it from.
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