I love piñatas, they're so much fun!
With my nephew's 7th birthday approaching I was trying to decide what gift I could make for him. His family loves to have piñatas at their parties, so I offered to make him one as a gift. His party was beach themed and my sister suggested a shark, so a shark it was.
I've made paper mache piñatas before, but wanted to do something different and so decided to make the piñata out of cardboard instead.
I love how it turned out, and learned a lot while making it!
Now I can't wait to make another one for the next birthday party.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
-2 large pieces of thick cardboard. I used the sides off of a cardboard box.
-Strips of thinner cardboard, like the kind used for cereal boxes. I cut up two cereal boxes into 4 strips, each 4.75 inches wide (width of the toilet paper rolls plus two cardboard pieces). You could use the thick cardboard instead, but the thinner cardboard was easier to bend and put in place, and made for a very smooth surface.
-2 toilet paper rolls
-Scissors and/or Exacto knife
-Tissue paper or Crepe Streamers for decorating your piñata
-Twine/Rope from which to hang your piñata
-Construction paper for details
-Optional- 2 straws
-Time- Total, it took me about 3 hours to make this shark piñata. I feel the next piñata I make will go a lot faster since I've figured out some techniques.
Step 2: Cut Out Your Piñata
-Decide on the shape of your piñata. I chose to make a shark shaped pinata.
-Draw the outlineof your shape on one of your large pieces of cardboard. It's useful to look on the internet for a picture of the shape you want to make to help you in drawing it.
-Cut out your shape. An Exacto knife worked well for cutting this out. If you use an Exacto knife, make sure you cut it over a surface that won't get wrecked by the knife.
-Flip your cut out shape over on top of the other piece of large cardboard, trace it and cut it out. (If your cardboard has a particular side you want facing out like mine did, it's important to flip the first cutout on top of the other cardboard so that the two side you want facing out are touching/facing each other.)
Step 3: Build Your Piñata
-Tape the toilet paper rolls standing up to the inside of one of your cardboard shape cutouts.
-Lay the other cutout on top of the other end of the toilet paper rolls making sure that the two cutouts mirror each other, and tape the toilet paper rolls to the second cutout.
-Puncture small hopes on each side where you want the twine or whatever you're using from which to hang your piñata to go. Thread the twine through the holes and let it hang out on each side. ( I didn't do this until later and ran into some problems, but then came up with a fun solution that worked really well using straws. See step 4.)
-Tape the thin cardboard strips between the two cutouts to cover the space in between. Bend and tape it between the two edges. Do this all the way around the whole piñata. It helps to make creases at sharp bends.
-Make sure to leave an open flap where you can put candy/toys inside your piñata.
Tip- Something that helped this part go smoother was that I would tear off about 20 pieces of tape at a time and stick them to the edge of my table. Then as I was taping the thin cardboard I didn't have to stop to pull off a piece of tape while trying to hold the cardboard in place, I could just quickly tape as I went along.
Step 4: Decorate Your Piñata
-Cut some strips of crepe or tissue paper the width of your piñata and glue them to the thin cardboard strips that cover the width of the piñata. Cover all of the width. For the part where I used white, I had to put about 4 layers of tissue paper so that the cardboard wouldn't show through. I did white tissue paper along the bottom half of my shark, silver tissue paper along the top half of my shark, and red tissue paper inside the sharks mouth.
-Fold the crepe or tissue paper and fringe (cut thin strips about halfway through) the paper creating long strips that are about 3 inches wide.
-Glue the fringed strips in layers covering the outside of your piñata. I used white fringed tissue paper along the bottom half of my shark, and silver fringed tissue paper strips covering the top half of the shark.
-Cut away the excess fringe along the outline of the piñata.
-Use construction paper to make some details. I cut white construction paper to make the teeth, and black construction paper to make the eyes for the shark. Glue them on.
Straw Tip- While I was decorating my shark I realized I hadn't threaded my twine through. I wanted it to go through the toilet paper rolls, I felt it might be sturdier that way. The problem was how was I going to thread it through. My solution...straws! I cut the holes big enough for my straws to go through, then cut the ends of the straws flush with the piñata and threaded my twine through the straws. It worked perfectly! I also felt like the straws helped prevent the twine from tearing through the cardboard.
Step 5: Enjoy Your Awesome Piñata!
-Fill your piñata with treats and toys. Individually wrapped candy works the best since it will be falling on the ground.
-Close and secure the flap.
-Hang your piñata and let the kid (or adults) have fun hitting it! We used a wiffle bat. The piñata turned out to be really sturdy, and all the kids had multiple turns trying to break it before it busted at the seams. So much fun!