After tinkering with the phone book Paper Mache recently, and discovering the joy of small paper craft, we got inspired to try making a tiny personal pinata. It was fun, and as you'll see, lends itself to all sorts of festive uses, ranging from patio decorations to center pieces and party favors that everyone can take home or enjoy right at your event.
Let's get started making your personal pinata!
Step 1: Materials
- Glue (or paper mache mix)
- Stirrers (chopsticks are nice)
- Crepe Paper
- Small individually wrapped candies
Step 2: Prepare Paper Mache Paste
We use a glue based paper mache paste that's 1 part white glue to 3 parts water, mixed together.
Step 3: Cut Paper
We're using our handy dandy little phone book here (which we'll probably be using for a long time to come!), but you can use newspaper or any other light weight newsprint type paper. Cut it into about 1/2" to 1" strips, and individually lay them in the paper mache paste, to soak a bit, stirring lightly.
Step 4: Prepare Pinata Form
These are personal pinatas, so you don't need to inflate the balloon very much. This one is about the size of a nice grapefruit. A plastic cup makes a great hands free holder for your balloon, while you work, and also doubles as a great drip catcher.
Step 5: Apply 1st Coat of Paper Mache
Take your soaked paper, squeegee through your fingers and apply individual overlapping strips until your balloon is completely covered. Then allow to dry.
Step 6: Apply 2nd Coat
After your balloon has dried a few hours or overnight, apply a second coat of glue soaked paper, then allow that second coat to try.
Step 7: Apply Crepe Paper
Your dry paper mache covered balloon should be pretty sturdy now, and while you could deflate the balloon form at this time, I like to keep it in to provide a little more strength to the shape while I work.
Get as creative as you like here - but essentially, you just take strips of crepe paper, run a light bead of glue across a top edge and begin wrapping your paper mache ball. You can also tear or cut fringes along the loose edges of your crepe paper wrap for a fluffier, more traditional look.
Step 8: Deflate and Remove Balloon
Now you can safely remove that internal balloon. Just pop it with a needle or toothpick, then cut a little door into your paper mache form and shake the balloon out to where you can grab it and remove it.
Step 9: Attach Hanger
Poke a couple of small holes at the top and run some knotted ribbon through your little pinata, or just glue a looped ribbon at the top.
Step 10: Fill With Candy!
Here's the yummy part. Fill your little pinata with a handful of hard wrapped candy, using the little door you removed your balloon through, then close 'er up! You won't be able to see the little door, camouflaged by the crepe paper. So you can identify the door with a dash of a marker, or attach a little button so guests can identify it. Or just let them hunt around!
Step 11: Display and Enjoy!
You can hang up your little pinatas as decorations around a patio, use as party favors around a table, or display any number of ways. Traditionally, pinatas are beaten mercilessly with sticks to spill forth their sweet treasure. This is a more peaceful pinata experience, where guests can be gifted with a little personal pinata where they can simply open a little door to retrieve their candy.