Let's get started, shall we?
Step 1: Gather Supplies & Prepare Work Area
- plain old tap water
- old newspapers
- balloons (in this tutorial I use the large punch balloons – a pkg of 3 for $1)
- 1 white rectangle plastic table covering, $1
- rope, wire, twine, shoelace, etc – something to hang the pinata with ($1-$2, or on hand; I used a handle from a Victoria Secret shopping bag)
- CANDY! (the size of your balloon/base will dictate how much candy you'll need.)
- masking tape
- trash bag(s) or extra newspaper to cover work area
This will get messy, so if you have an aversion to getting your hands messy, you might want to grab some rubber gloves or something like that.
Prepare your work area by putting down the extra newspapers or trash bags to cover your work surface.
Step 2: Inflate Balloon
Step 3: Cut Newspaper Strips & Mix Flour and Water
Mix equal parts flour and water. You want a paste – nothing super thick, but nothing soupy either. Remember, the thicker the paste is, the longer it will take to dry; however the thinner the paste is, the weaker the walls of the pinata will be. I know, I know…such a fickle beast!
Step 4: Apply Paper Mache to Balloon.
Leave the tied end of the balloon uncovered (you’ll need the hole later!) Once you’ve got the whole balloon covered, leave it to dry. I was able to hang mine from the dining room chandelier by the tied bit and it dried nicely overnight. Toss your left over paste as it won’t last till the next application.
Once it’s dried, cover it in another layer of newsprint & paste. You’ll want about 3 layers…4 if your paste was thin. I stopped with 3 as I got a little liberal with the amount of paste I used, and I don’t want it impossible for the kids to break open.
Step 5: Bursting Your Bubble and "X" Marks the Spot
Use the hole where the balloon was removed as the top of your pinata, as you’ll need a place to insert the hanger. Mark the spots where you’ll cut your holes…you can see how precise I am I actually eyeballed it at about 1″ away from the main hole. Carefully cut the holes – I just used a small paring knife.
Step 6: Attach the Hanger
…repeat with the 2nd half…now your pinata is covered. Like I said, it’s a down-and-dirty, quick way to do it. If you want to go a bit further, you can easily cover it in crepe paper or tissue paper. I will admit that you can see the newsprint a bit through the double layer of plastic, so you may want to spray paint the pinata white before finishing it off, which I think I’m going to do.
Step 8: Fill'er Up!
Start filling with candy!! Since it’s still a ways off, I haven’t bought all my candy yet…and bear in mind, this thing will get HEAVY once full – something to keep in mind when choosing your hanger material!
Step 9: Tape It Shut and Give It a Face.
Put your plastic covering into place, then complete the look by adding your ghosty’s face! I mistakenly grabbed a purple marker instead of the black one, but you get the idea! You can either free-hand it like this, or use other materials to create the face – felt, paper, craft foam, etc.
There you go folks – your very easy, very cheap ghosty pinata.