- For the shell (measurements may vary depending on size of the balloon):
- 1x Blown up balloon
- 1x Newspaper torn or cut into strips
- 3x Sheets of white paper torn or cut into strips
- 150g Flour
- 40g Salt
- ½ Pint of water
- Strong string or thin ribbon or something similar
- Glue stick
- 1x Bowl
- 1x Skewer or something similar
- Hole re-inforcers (optional)
- To Decorate:
- Orange paint (we used poster paint)
- Orange crepe paper
- Green crepe paper
- Paper to make your spooky face (we used white and black paper)
- To Fill:
- Wrapped small tasty treats of your choice!
- Age suitability: 7+ years (adult supervision required)
Before we begin, steps 1-5 can be rather messy so you may wish to cover your surfaces with a plastic sheet or a newspaper to protect it.
1. Make your first batch of paste by placing ¼ of your flour and salt in a bowl and gradually mixing water in until it resembles a batter mix.
2. Dip your newspaper strips into the paste and then place them one at a time onto the balloon in a criss-cross pattern. Make sure you don’t leave any gaps between the strips, but you will need to leave an area around the bottom of the balloon to allow you to fill your shell with treats.
3. Once your balloon is covered in the newspaper, leave until it has completely dried.
Top tip: we’ve found that standing the balloon in a clean flower pot or a large mug is best for allowing the balloon to dry without making a mess.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 two more times with the newspaper and then add a final layer with the white paper.
5. When your paper mache shell is completely dry, pop the balloon and shake out the balloon remnants.
6. Paint the shell with orange paint and leave to dry.
7. Once your shell is dry you can tip it upside down and add your sweets to the opening you left at the bottom.
8. Using a skewer, make a hole each side of the shell near the opening where you added your sweets. You can now thread your string or ribbon through to create a loop. To strengthen the hole further you can add the re-inforcers. You can then secure each end of the string to the shell.
9. It’s now time to decorate your shell using the orange crepe paper. Cut the crepe paper into manageable pieces and layer across your shell using glue. Make sure you carefully cover the opening that you used to add the sweets and glue down onto your shell.
Top tip: If you want a smooth finish, cut your crepe paper into neat squares and glue down securely. If you’d prefer a bit more movement (as ours has) then cut your crepe paper into strips and only glue the top half down.
10. Finish decorating your pinata by cutting a face out of your white and black paper and gluing to the front of the shell. A piece of green crepe paper glued into a cone shape will make a stalk to glue to the top of your pinata.
11. Finally, string your pinata up in an open space (outside if the weather will allow it or in an open room with no fragile items nearby) and wait for the kid’s excitement when they spot it.
Please take care whilst playing with the pinata. If you’re concerned about letting a group of children with sticks loose in your garden, then simply use it as a decoration and poke a hole in the top so that children can help themselves to sweets instead.