As lockdown continues many will have birthdays during this time. Children especially will be looking for new ways to celebrate or create their own decorations.
In recent years pinatas have become increasingly popular at children’s parties with people usually purchasing them from supermarkets. But Spanish and Mexican pinatas were originally made to celebrate the onset of Lent and traditionally they were made from clay or papier-mache and elaborately decorated with fringes of ribbon or crepe paper. The hollow structures are stuffed with treats and suspended from above, the children blindfolded and invited to take turns to beat the pinata with a stick until it breaks and the treats released.
Here is a quick and easy way to make your own pinata from household materials.
What you need:
- crepe or tissue paper
- empty packaging boxes / cereal boxes/ egg boxes / tubes etc
- ribbon or string
What you need to do:
- Decide on your design. The shape of the boxes you have available may already give you some ideas. Traditional pinatas are often in the form of stars, donkeys, llamas, even cartoon characters. We decided on a cat’s face as our own real life cat wanted to model for us.
- Use the sellotape to strap the boxes together to make your shape. Cut the boxes to shape if needed.
- Cut and fold card to make a lid at the base or at the back to enable you put in the treats.
- Some areas maybe too fiddly to cover with the fringed paper. So we used glue and coloured tissue first to cover them.
- Next cut some of your coloured tissue or crepe paper into strips approx 8cm deep. Fold them in half and half again and cut the fringes to about 4cm.
- Unfold your tissue strip. Starting at the very bottom of one side of your pinata glue on your tissue strip letting the fringed edge dangle freely. Glue nextstrip above it so it overlaps.
- You may want to change colours for each strip or create thicker bands of colours.
- Repeat the process until you have completed the sides. Covering some of the shaped areas can be tricky but we just followed the shape with the strips.
- At this point you’ll need to attach the string or ribbon so you can suspend the pinata. Ask an adult if you are not confident- two holes will need to go through the top. Thread your string through and tie securely inside. (Ours came undone it was so heavy!)
- IMPORTANT! Before you finish the lid with fringed tissue don’t forget to put the treats inside. Sweets, chocolate, Lego figures and a Hot Wheelie car went into ours. Or turn away while someone else does this for you if you want it to be a suprise.
- Seal up the lid firmly with sellotape then add fringe to it in the same way you did the rest.
- You can now add some details if you wish, or some features if you have made a pinata creature.
- Suspend your pinata by tying it up- we used our washing line.
- Now let the fun begin!