Monday, May 7, 2012

Make A Piñata (DIY)

Happy Siete De Mayo!

We were too busy to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, so we're doing it today.  I decided at the last minute that we need a piñata.  "Why, Heather," you ask, "is one of your friends a seven year old child?" The answer is no.  I just love goofy, childish things.  I put this adorable little donkey together with a few rolls of crepe paper, cardboard from the recycling bin, and LOTS of shipping tape!  He's so cute that I almost wish we didn't have to smash him to pieces.  Nothing says Mexican fiesta like beating a bright piñata filled with goodies.  Here's how to make one of your own:

What you will need:
rolls of crepe paper in several colors
four toilet paper rolls
hot glue gun
small segment of wire (about 6 inches)
Cut the cardboard apart and make the sections of your piñata's body. Don't be afraid to use plenty of tape.  

For the head, make a cone shape (about six inches long) and tape a cardboard circle to the bottom. 

For the ears, make two smaller cones (about 3 inches tall) and tape them to the top of the piñata's head.
For the body, make a mail box shape (about 8 inches long and six inches tall with cardboard sections taped at either end to seal it.  Leave an open flap (about 2 in x 2 in) for the filler.  poke two holes in the center of the back, string the wire through and twist the ends together. This is how your piñata will hang.

Tape the head to your body (the candy flap goes in the back, where the tail will be) and attach the legs underneath. 
Flip it over and glue crepe paper over the open ends of the tubes to cover his feet.
Once your piñata body is complete, its time to add the crepe paper.  Take a roll of paper and gently roll the strip around itself in your hand making a flat, smaller roll.

With scissors, make cuts in the new roll (be sure not to cut all the way through) about 1/4 an inch apart to create fringe.  

Unravel the cut crepe paper.  You now have strips of fringed paper to cover your piñata.  You can easily wrap them around the piñata's body parts to cover it.  
We will call this the 'fringed paper' and crepe paper without the little cuts will be called 'un-fringed paper.'

Work from the bottom of your piñata and go upwards.  Start with the the feet, wrapping the fringed crepe paper strips around each of the legs moving upwards slightly after each rotation.  Add a dab of glue every inch or so to hold it in place.  

If you decide to use multiple colors, begin gluing the new strip were you left off with the old color and continue until you have entirely wrapped the legs, all the way up to the body.
Flip the piñata over and cover its belly with un-fringed crepe paper (like you did with the bottom of his feet), then wrap fringed paper around the body. When you are no longer able to wrap the paper around, glue strips until the mail box shaped body area is completely covered.  
Glue strips of fringed paper to cover the back of the head as well.
For the head: begin by wrapping the tip of the cone in un-fringed red or pink paper to create a nose.  Wrap the ears in un-fringed paper as well.

Wrap the rest of the face in strips of fringed paper, just like the legs.  Start at the nose and wrap around the cone until the head is covered.  If you see any uncovered sections, just rip small pieces of fringed paper and glue them over the bare areas.  For the fluff of hair, I rolled up a small section of fringed paper and glued it between the ears.
For the eyes, use a marker to draw two identical eyes on white paper (about an inch tall) and cut them out.   Glue them to the sides of your piñata's head.
For the tail, gather up several strips of un-fringed crepe paper and use a little glue to hold the ends together.  Wrap the glued section with another strip of paper.  Using this as the base of the tail, glue it to the back of the piñata right below the candy flap.

Gather up all the crepe paper scraps and stuff them into the piñata: they will fall like confetti when its broken, but will be much easier to clean up!  Add the candy and glue the flap closed.
Hang and enjoy!
For more festivity, tape a few strips of crepe paper to the stick you will be swinging at the piñata.

**An after note- something to consider:
if you live in a small apartment and your friends are hitting the margaritas pretty hard, then a piñata might not fit into your scene.  As it turns out, my tiny dining room is no place for drunk people to swing around a big stick.

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