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My son turned 21 last week.  Because of a chance remark, I decided to make a seal pinata for his birthday.  I found a picture on the internet of someone else's pinata and it looked fantastic.  I was under no illusions that I could create one that looked as good, but decided to give it a shot anyway.  I am including both attempts to make the pinata because someone may be able to make my first idea work where I could not.

Step 1:

Gather your materials.  For the first attempt, I got spray glue, poster board, a styrofoam ball, buttons for the nose, pipe cleaners for the whiskers and mouth, eyes, and streamers.  For the second attempt I added Mod Podge, tape, balloons, foam brushes and tissue paper.  Also newspaper.

Step 2:

I cut the styrofoam ball in half and slightly hollowed out the ball.

Step 3:

Determine the length you want the body of the seal to be and cut the poster board to fit.

Step 4:

Spray the styrofoam ball with glue and fit the posterboard around it.  Pin the poster board in place to hold it until the glue dries.  Cut away the excess posterboard and glue along the edge.  Secure with tape until it dries.  Once everything dries you are ready to add the streamers to give the seal color.  Or at least that is what I thought until I picked up the seal to move it to the prep area (fancy name for my kitchen table).  It was at this point that the seal fell on its sword and I had to rethink my strategy.  I included this because I think the fault was with the glue I choose, not with the process.  I did not read the side of the glue can carefully enough.  It was not made for styrofoam.  With the right glue, I think this could have worked.

Step 5:

Time to start again. Roll the remaining posterboard piece into a cone shape.  You want to taper it at one end to mimic the seal body.  Glue and tape the edge to secure. 

Step 6:

Blow up a balloon and gently insert it into the cone.

Step 7:

Cut the fins and fluke from posterboard.  Cut slits into the end of cone and sides, being careful not to pop the balloon.  Insert fins and fluke.

Step 8:

Cut newspaper into strips.  Apply a thin coat of mod podge to edge of posterboard and balloon with a foam brush.  Place a newspaper strip on the glue and gently tap into place. Continue around the entire surface of the balloon.  Once you have covered the entire surface once, trim the excess newspaper strips and apply a layer of mod podge.  Continue to add layers of newspaper and mod podge until you decide that you have a thick enough covering.  I lost track, but I think I applied five layers.  On the last couple of layers, instead of trimming, I continued the strips over the pinacle of the balloon and on the other side.  Find a good place to let the pinata dry.  If it is humid, this will take longer, so allow plenty of time.

Step 9:

Before you cover your pinata, you should add a string to hang it up.  I took some twine and poked holes in the pinata and fed the string through.  Since I was not using candy to stuff the pinata, I went ahead and did that at this time as well.  I used plastic leis from the dollar store.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture stuffing the pinata.

Step 10:

Once your pinata is dry, it is time to add the outer covering.  Carefully reach in and pop the balloon.  I choose to use the streamers instead of tissue paper.  It was faster and since I lost a couple of days due to the original effort not working, time was of the essence.  (Remember when I said to allow plenty of time?, this is why).      I started at the head end and sprayed glue over the newspaper surface.  I laid the streamer over the newspaper and cut as I went. I continued to glue and cut until the entire surface was covered.  I continued to glue and paste the streamers until I got the covering I wanted.  Note:  If you are going to stuff this with candy, you should still have an opening at the back.  When you are finished with the construction, fill the pinata and use leftover posterboard to close this opening.  Tape it into place and cover with streamers and glue.

Step 11:

I decided I did not like the eyes I bought for the seal, so I raided my button stash to find something I liked better.  I used the pipe cleaner to cut  whiskers and a mouth.  The spray glue did not work well on the pipe cleaner or buttons, so it was back to the mod podge and foam brush.  I glued the back of the buttons and held them into place while they dried.  The whiskers and mouth tended to stick to my fingers, but I finally got them in place too.  Find a place to finish drying and you are done.

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