How to Make a Pinata at Home
You don't have to be elbow-deep in papier-mache goo to DIY a pinata. We'll show you to make a pinata with a cardboard box!
What’s more fun than breaking a pinata open? Putting it together! Learning how to make a pinata is a great activity for you and the kids, and this cardboard method is easier and cleaner than traditional papier-mache. Perfect for summer birthdays or gatherings, playing with a homemade pinata is also a great opportunity to fire up the grill and have a backyard party.
We’ll walk you through how to make a cactus-shaped pinata, but these same steps can be applied to making a pinata in all kinds of shapes, from doughnuts to donkeys to dinosaurs.
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How to Make a Pinata, Step by Step
- 1 large cardboard box, flattened
- 1 package green crepe paper
- 1 package pink crepe paper
- 1 roll masking tape
- Rope or twine
Step 1: Outline the shape
Remove the flaps from the cardboard. Then, on the side of the box, draw a simple outline of your pinata.
Step 2: Cut out the shape
Cut the shape out safely with a pair of scissors, and then repeat on another piece of cardboard. You should have two identical cutouts.
Step 3: Cut out supports
To help create dimension—and provide a space to stash the candy—use the remaining cardboard to cut out supporting pieces. This will be the depth of your pinata.
Step 4: Assemble the pinata
Tape the support pieces along the edges of one cutout, so all sides are covered with cardboard. But make sure to leave a small section open on the side of the pinata—this is how you will fill it with candy.
Tape the second cutout to the other edge of the support pieces, checking that the two outlines are lined up.
Step 5: Fill with candy
Use the opening to stuff the pinata with treats. Then, seal the opening. You don’t want any candy to fall out before the big moment! Find the best candy store in your state to stock up on the good stuff.
Step 6: Attach the twine
Next, attach rope or twine to the top of the pinata in order to hang it. You can poke holes in the cardboard and thread the twine through. Then, secure with tape.
Step 7: Prepare the tissue paper
Cut the folded tissue paper into strips. To create the fringe, make thin cuts about two-thirds of the way up the tissue paper strip, leaving a seam running along the top. (You’ll use that seam to glue the tissue paper.)
Step 8: Decorate
Apply glue to the tissue paper’s seam. Carefully and thoroughly, layer onto the pinata’s body, starting from the bottom and working up to the top. Make sure no cardboard is visible! This step can take some time, but the finished product will be worth it.
Step 9: Put on the finishing touches
Make sure all parts of the pinata are covered in tissue paper. If you’re making a cactus, like we did, use pieces of pink tissue paper to create a colorful cactus flower at the top of the pinata.
And you’re done! You now know how to make a pinata. All that’s left to decide is whether to admire your handiwork for a while or break it open immediately to get to the candy inside.