Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to Make An Acorn Pinata

We are entering the final stretch of Birthday Season! Ella will be having a Tinker Bell themed birthday party this Saturday. One of the things that we like to do at parties is to have a pinata for the kids to bust open. However, purchasing a ready-made one usually costs $15-25. Personally, I don't want to spend $15 on something that will just be smashed to pieces. Instead, I make my own for virtually nothing. Yes, it does take more time but I like saving money and having creative control over the pinata. Typically, I try to chose something that would be appropriate to smash up. There is just something that disturbs me about smashing up a princess-shaped pinata.

Two years ago, I attempted my first pinata. Ella was having a Castle Party so I crafted a dragon pinata for the party-goers to slay.

This year, I decided to make an acorn to go with the Pixie Hollow theme. If you watch the recent Tinker Bell movie, you'll notice that the "tinker" fairies use acorns to create things like pots. Things of nature are prominently featured in the world of Pixie Hollow. Since a balloon is shaped similarly to an acorn, I thought it would be an easy shape to accomplish.

Here's how I did it...

What you need:

  • A batch of papier-mâché paste (about half of this recipe would have been more than sufficient)
  • About 3 2-page spreads of newspaper, some colored sheets and some plain black/white
  • Inflated balloon
  • Bowl
  • Yarn
  • Toilet Paper Roll
  • Brown Paint
  • Large Brown Paper Bag
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue or double-sided tape
  • Glitter (optional)
Mix up a batch of papier-mâché paste and allow to cool.

Tear newspaper into strips about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. I alternated the color of newsprint on each layer to make sure that the areas had been covered sufficiently (ie. first layer black/white, second layer colored ads or comics, third layer black/white).

Place your inflated balloon on a bowl to hold it steady. Dip strips of newsprint into paste and smooth onto balloon until covered. Let this first layer dry -- putting it out in the sun will help this go much faster.

Apply a second layer (in a different color of newsprint) onto the balloon. Allow to dry.

Take a long length of yard and place the midpoint at the bottom (tied end) of the balloon. Run it along the sides and up to the top of the balloon and tie. Tape the yarn in a few places to secure it if necessary. Repeat on the other side of the balloon. This yarn will be what you use to suspend the pinata.

Apply a third layer and make sure to cover up the yarn. Allow to dry.

Cut a 2-inch hole on one side near the top of the pinata. Remove the broken balloon bits. This will be where you fill the pinata with candy. (Alternatively, you could create your pinata with a hole in it to begin with by leaving a portion of the balloon uncovered.)

Cut the cardboard toilet paper roll in half. This will become the acorn's stem. Run the yarn through the roll and secure the roll to the top of the pinata with tape.

Paint the entire pinata and "stem" with brown paint to resemble an acorn. Let dry.

Cut the paper bag into small oval shapes. (I used my Creative Memories Oval cutter which made it a snap!) If you wish, you can apply some glue and glitter around the edges of the ovals. Starting about 1/3 from the top of the pinata, apply the ovals in slightly overlapping rows until you reach the top of the pinata. Be sure to fill the pinata with treats before you cover up the hold with brown ovals.

For other money-saving ideas, be sure to check out Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

SUCH a good job. Very impressive Janel!