For many years, we have had a family tradition of having a giggle with a Christmas pinata! I have made many different sorts of pinatas over the years, but the one I made last year was definitely the most beautiful one that I have ever made! And it was really easy too. After looking for some pinspiration, I found a design for a simple bauble pinata, that used tinsel to pretty it up.
Here is my finished product:
Usually, I make the pinata using balloons, but since I wanted a nice big, round bauble shape, I used a blow-up beach ball that I picked up for a couple of dollars. I found a box for the ball to sit on, so that it didn't roll away when I was working on it.
I always make my paper mache with plain flour and water. Last year, I read that adding PVA glue makes the paper mache stronger, so I mixed in a little PVA glue with my flour/water mix. I will be honest and say that I didn't really notice that it was stronger than previous years. I also cut newspaper into strips.
I mixed up my paste, and then dipped each strip of newspaper into the bowl, ensuring they were coated in paste from one end to the other. Also note that I used disposable bowls to make my mixture, as they were easy to throw away each day. If using kitchen bowls, make sure you fill the bowl with water to soak immediately after use, otherwise you have a bit of scrubbing to do!
I also used a paintbrush to paint the paste onto the ball, and then stuck each wet paper strip onto the ball.
I covered the entire ball with paper on the first day, and repeated this process for at least three subsequent days. It is best to do it every second day, so that each layer gets to dry properly. If I don't have the time to wait two days, I have left it in the sun to dry before and it gave a good hard ball too.
After about a week, when the ball was completely dry, I punched a hole in the ball.
Once through the paper layer, I also punctured the beach ball and removed it once it had deflated.
We have previously had issues with hanging the piniata, as my hooks in the past haven't been the best design. Mick came up with the idea of using this empty tape roll, to anchor the fishing line into the ball. We tied the line to the roll, and put the roll inside the hole that we had made to get the ball out.
Now is also the time to add in your prizes! Just pop them into the hole that you have made for the fishing line. I have put lots of things in my piniatas over the years. Just remember they have to be small enough to fit through the hole you make, and they have to be able to withstand a bit of banging around!
Last year, I put these plastic cupcake stands in for the girls...
Fishing hooks for the boys...
I ALWAYS put in scratchies! I put in an assortment of types, and everyone always scrambles for the $5 ones!
I put in this swimming fish toy for my nephew last year...
And, of course, lollies!!
Other ideas include glow sticks, coins, hair ties, car air fresheners, bottle openers and key rings.
I then pulled out the end of the fishing line, and taped over the hole, using masking tape. You can see that the fishing line is now securely anchored inside the ball, and we can tie it onto a balcony, clothesline, tree, gutter, or whatever else we can find to suspend the piniata. Previously, I have paper mached over the hole, but I think the tape is much stronger, and as we are not trying to break the top of the pinata, save yourself the job and another day of messy glue!
I then put my ball on paper outside,
and used gold spray paint to make it pretty!
I did a few coats of paint, to provide a better colour coverage.
Once dry, I used tinsel and ribbon to make it look really special! I photographed the tags of the tinsel and ribbon, so that you could see how much I used to decorate my beach-ball sized pinata.
And here is the final product!
We always have such a good laugh at piniata time. We have many stories to reminisce on...
- there was the time it went sailing into my mum's neighbours yard and the boys had to jump the fence to get it back!
- there was the time that no one wanted to hit the Santa pinata, because they felt bad whacking Santa!
- and now that my nephew is old enough to know what it happening, it is tradition that we let him make the final blow that breaks it open!
It is a great family bonding time - I highly recommend it! Just start early - don't leave it to the day before Christmas to make one. The drier the paper mache is, the harder the ball, and the better the fun ;)