Halloween Pinata

27 Oct

UPDATED 10/29 (scroll to bottom for update)

We are going to a Halloween Party this weekend and I thought it would be fun if we made a pinata for the occasion.  I decided to post this as we make it (in case there are readers out there who want to make one in time for Halloween along with us). The project does take a few days, if you factor in the drying time.  So, if anyone is looking for a project idea, here you go. I will be posting as we go along in the project, so hopefully it turns out!!! Feel free to MAKE along with us and keep us posted on your pinata status.

My Kids Make a Halloween Pinata, and yours can too! Keep checking in to see our progress:

Items you need:

Balloon

Yarn/String

Newspaper (cut into long strips)

Flour & Water – to make paste

A container (to put the paste in and dip the newspaper strips into)

Drop cloth, plastic table cloth, etc (to put underneath the pinata as you work on it)

How to:

  • Place a plastic drop cloth on the ground where you will be working. {We used a vinyl table cloth}
  • Blow up the balloon and tie it.
  • Take 2 long piece of yarn, cross them underneath the bottom of the balloon (making an “x” and taping it to hold it in place) and bring them back to the top of the balloon. {You can see the strings in the picture.   This will (hopefully) let me hang the pinata when its time for the kids to crack it open.}
  • Take the yarn, attached to the balloon, and tied it to a broom handle (or any stick etc.). Lay the broom on top of 2 chairs. {This gets the pinata up off the ground and makes it easier to work on.}
  • Make a paste out of flour and water. Just add the ingredients until it makes a paste. {I used Tapioca Flour as we have only Gluten Free flours in our house, and I also don’t want to contaminate those who will be playing with the pinata .} UPDATE: Use regular flour, as the Gluten-Free flour we experimented with really did NOT hold at all.
  • Take the strips of newspaper and dip them into the paste. Let excess paste drip off so that it is not a goopy mess. Then lay the strips onto the balloon, smoothing the strips as you go.
  • Continue. Continue. Continue. {We did a lot of layers.}
  • Let the pinata dry. {I would give it 2 days. Ours has sat for about 2 days and seems mostly dry. }

~ Currently we are waiting for our pinata to dry. Then we will paint/decorate it. Check back in to see our progress!

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UPDATE: 10/28

After letting the pinata dry for 2 days, we decided to paint it orange in order to have it look like a pumpkin.  Here is the conversation that occured when Silas and I went to paint it:

Me:  Lets paint the pinata

Silas: Why are pieces falling off of it?

Me: WHAT!!!!

Silas: There’s pieces falling off. Look. (pointing to the pile of newspapers falling off the pinata onto the floor)

Me: (silence and maybe, just maybe lots of grumbling).  This thing is falling apart.

Silas: What are we going to do?

Me: I dont know (humongous sighs). Either we aren’t going to have a pinata, or I will have to try to fix it.

So, the update is that after 2 days of drying, our “paste” didnt hold the newspaper that well. The newspaper pieces began to fall off the pinata when we touched it. I am not sure if its the type of flour we used, or if we made it too thin. So, I recommend making a thick paste, not too watery.  In the end, I came up with an idea to remedy our problem (hopefully). I mixed up some orange children’s paint, mixed in a bunch of Elmer’s Glue and slathered it all over the pinata.  Do not be fooled here. The kids DID NOT help with this part. I tried to let them paint it, but more pieces just kept falling off and it was turning into a disaster.  In the end I got it totally covered with the orange glue/paint mixture and left it to dry for the night.   Today we checked on it and it looks a lot better. The mixture really did seem to hold it all together.  I probably should have just spray painted it instead of trying to paint it with a brush. Or made a better paste.  Who knows. Maybe you are having better luck with yours than we did. I hope so.  The pinata is seemingly holding together now, and it is orange.

~You have officially seen a real life project in action. Not a perfect project, with perfect photo’s taken of it and perfect text written about it.  Nope. You are seeing a real project, one that fell apart, one that needed on-the-spot improvising, one that made me frustrated, but in the end….one that looks like it will still work out.  Life isn’t perfect, and neither are projects sometimes.

Stay tuned for an update tomorrow about the finished product. We will pop the balloon and fill it with candy. I hope it holds that candy…….

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UPDATE 10/29

The pinata is done!

Silas drew a pumpkin face on the pinata this morning and then he got the honor of popping the balloon. That 1 second was an anxious one as I wondered if the pinata would keep its shape without the balloon.  And, I am happy to report, it did! Then, we filled it with candy and now we are the proud holders of a pumpkin pinata.

All in all, it was a hard project. It would have been A LOT easier if we had used regular flour instead of the tapioca flour. That stuff did NOT hold anything together at all.  I might consider making another one some day, as long as its with regular flour.  Silas is REALLY excited to have made a pinata, and is looking forward to cracking it open this weekend.

~ Happy Halloween

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9 Responses to “Halloween Pinata”

  1. Nana 28. Oct, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Wow !!! This will be fun for all the kids.
    Great job Silas and Becky !!!

  2. Poppi 28. Oct, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Very cool. I would not have thought to hang the balloon. Great idea. Looks like you are doing a great job Silas. Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s pictures.

  3. Poppi 28. Oct, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    You mean I am not the only person whose projects don’t go 100% as planned?

  4. Nana 28. Oct, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    Awww – how frustrating for you and the kids.
    We all appreciate your hard work to make a fun pinata for the party.

    Thanks for posting the reality of your project.
    My projects don’t go as planned, either…. so I appreciate learning how you problem solved your project.

    I wonder if the glue didn’t stick because the flour didn’t have GLUE-tin in it. Bad pun…..

    Hugs to all of you….
    Mom

  5. becky 29. Oct, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    @Nana: You are right. That GF flour I used had no glue potential. I shouldn’t have tried that. I bet if we had used regular flour it would have held better. So the take away here is: dont use Gluten-Free flour when making a pinata! :)

    we did get it to hold eventually, but not without the help of our friend Elmer and his wonderful glue.

  6. Nana 29. Oct, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Grampa Dave suggested using joint compound instead of flour. ;-)

    The xanthan gum is very sticky (gum). I wonder if some was mixed in with the tapioca flour, then it would stick. Just a thought for those who need to make a gluten free pinata.

  7. Nana 29. Oct, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Your pumpkin pinata is really good !!! Great job everyone. Have fun breaking it open and getting the candy.
    ~Nana

  8. becky 29. Oct, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    Yeah, the xanthan gum could work. good idea. if someone tries it let me know.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Don’t forget the pinata! | My Kids Make... - 29. Oct, 2010

    [...] sure to check out the updates on the “Halloween Pinata” post. We finished this morning, and  now it is full of candy.  There is joy and excitement [...]

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