Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DIY Piñata

Let me start this off by saying I will never be as good at anything as my mom is. Maybe in thirty more years I'll get close to it---but definitely will never reach it! She would always make the most awesome piñatas for me and my siblings' birthdays. She would usually do a face (I specifically remember a clown head for one of my birthdays and I am pretty sure a lion once for my little birthday, or she would just decorate it beautifully with tissue paper. This was my first time actually doing it all on my own for my little Yogurt Drop's first birthday! I decided to do a sun because my little mamacita's favorite thing in the whole world is to be outside. Since the day she was born, she would scream her guts out until I would take her outside. Currently, if the door is ever left open for one second, there she goes! She LOVES nature, and I don't blame her. She probably is constantly wondering why we make her stay inside a huge, weird, and not fun box (a house---we don't actually keep her in a box). Anyways, so the theme for her birthday was suns and watermelon because she can eat watermelon like you wouldn't believe. She inhales that stuff down. So, when you have a birthday party coming up that you need to plan, try out a homemade piñata! The making it is way easier than you would think, and the difficulty of decorating is all up to you. You also get to stuff it with a whole ton of super delicious candy instead of eating the two year old candy that no one has ever heard of before from the ones you buy in the grocery stores. And, last of all, knowing how to make an awesome, cheap piñata is always better than going out any spending 10-20 bucks on one that you don't really like.

Homemade Piñata

-A pretty good stack of newspaper
-Punch Ball or large balloon
-Items you want to use to decorate it (best is tissue paper)
-Elmer's Glue

Step 1
First you will want to blow up your punch ball or balloon to the size you want your piñata to be. I used a punch ball because they stay in a more round shape than balloons. Balloons work great and that is always what my mom used, but punch balls are good because they are pretty heavy duty, get really big, and stay round. You can get a pack of like 6 or something from Wal-Mart for around 4 bucks. Your kids will love playing with the ones you don't use.
Step 2
Tear up a bunch of newspaper into a little bit bigger than soft-ball size. How big you want them is really up to you, just don't make them too small or it will take you eternity to finish, because you will be doing multiple layers. And, if you make them too big they don't fit to the curve of the punch ball very well and edges might start coming up. I like tearing the paper up first because then I don't have to worry about it while paper mâché-ing everything into the punch ball.

Step 3
Make the paper mâché. All you do is put the amount of paper mâché you want, in water. So, I think I probablly put about three cups of water. It depends on how big your punch ball or balloon is, and how big of a paper mâché fanatic you are when slathering it on. I don't like to put too much on, or else it takes forever to dry. Add in some flour and whisk it in ( around a heaping Tbls of flour/cup, but I usually ad a bit more because I like it thick). If you add the flour after your water is heated, it won't work because the flour will clump together. Let the water and flour boil, and you will be able to tell that it is getting a bit thick. Turn it off and let it cool, and it will get even thicker. 
Step 4
Set up a work station. Covering your work area in a junky plastic table cloth or even using the left over of the newspapers that you won't be using to cover your work station works just fine. Then get started! You can start on one side and work your way down, or do a little on the top an bottom to even out the weight so that your balloon/punch ball isn't rolling around everywhere. Just make sure that you leave one side of the balloon with a spot that is not covered by the newspaper. This way, when you pop the punch bag/balloon after it has completely dried, there will be a big enough hole for you to stuff it full of goodies!!! You can do as many layers as you want. The more layers, the more tough it will be to break. I recommend around 2-3 layers for children and maybe 5-6 for teenagers. It's really up to you though. I did three and had kids 8 and under hitting it and it didn't break. A 13 year old is the one that broke it open.
Step 5
LET IT DRY. It can take a while depending on how much mâché you used and on how many layers you did. I just hung mine in our garage overnight and it was hard as rock in the morning. 
The bottom is where I popped the balloon and filled it was CANDYYYY. The top will have a small hole from the punch ball's string coming out, but not one big enough to worry about.

Step 6

Decorate! Now, let me just prefact the picture of my final product by saying that I looked for orange and yellow tissue paper everywhere and I could not find ANY! They had every color but those two. And during summer! Anyways, I didn't know what to do. But I did see that they had yellow and orange junky plastic table cloths. So, I bought those. It turns out that I ran out of duct tape(which sticks to the newspaper really good) and so I used a different tape that doesn't. Hence, my pieces of plastic table cloth kept falling off. I don't want this to happen to you too, it's awful and devastating! So, probably just stick to tissue paper and Elmer's glue. It sticks good and you can decorate twice as fast without having to fold pieces of tape.
This was taken slightly prior to half of the fire balls falling off.
Step 7
Party Hardy!!!
Yogurt Drop was more than pleased with the results of  her sunny piñata.