My daughter likes the video game Viva Pinãta, bats (the flying kind), and making things. So we decided to make the Viva Pinãta character called Sherbat for the Dadcando contest. Paper mache is a great craft to do with your kids and this project requires a second set of hands. Follow along as we build the pinata.
Step 1: Supplies
Balloons (both round and balloon animal type)
Crepe Paper (dark blue, light blue, and white)
Dark blue marker
Toilet paper tube
Large pipe cleaners
Wire coathanger or other thick wire
Very thin wire or twist tie
Paint to cover newsprint that could show through*
The large pipe cleaners we used were sold under the brand "Creatology" and came 50 to a pack. Plenty left over for future projects.
*This part is not in the instructable because we only thought of it afterwards. We have a few places where newsprint shows from behind the crepe paper. We decided if we did it over again we would paint his body to resemble the colors of the crepe paper. If you try it, let us know what you think.
Step 2: Build the Body
Now for the ears. Blow up two of the skinny balloons to the same size. We taped the long uninflated ends of the balloons to the body balloons. We used more around the base of each ear balloon. Ear balloon, ear balloon, ear balloon...that was fun. Use lots of tape so they don't come off during the later step of adding the wet paper mache.
On to the legs. Cut the toilet paper tube in half, and then cut one end of each tube into 7-8 strips. Tape these strips to the bottom of the body balloon.
Step 3: Paper Mache It!
Get out your big bowl and mix 2 parts water to 1 part flour. Mix well to get rid of any flour chunks.
Paper mache is fun and easy. Let's get messy! Dip a strip of newspaper into the flour/water mix, pull it out and gently squeeze off the excess goop. Squeeze too hard and you might tear it, too light and you will have too much goop left over and slow your drying time. Don't worry if you mess up a few strips, you'll get the hang of it, and the supplies are really cheap.
Lay the moistened strip onto the balloon body. Repeat over and over (and over and over and over) until he's completely covered with a single layer of paper mache. You will probably want to use longer strips for his body and ears, and shorter strips around his legs and the base of his ears. When he's almost completely covered you'll need some help to keep the Sherbat upright while you apply the last few strips.
Once the first coat is done, set him aside to dry. We're lucky because it's summer time in Colorado where afternoon temps are in the 90's and humidity is around 10-20% so our first layer dried in about two hours. Depending on temps and humidity where you live, yours could take up to a whole day.
Once your Sherbat is dry you can apply a second layer of paper mache. We definitely thought ours needed one because there were a few gaps with balloon showing through and he seemed a bit flimsy.
Step 4: Add Wing Support
I had some thick aluminum wire laying about, but I think a coat hanger would work fine too. I made an "L " bend in one end of the wire, poked it all the way through and out the other side. I made a final "L " bend and trimmed off the excess. The purpose of the "L " bends was to keep the wire from falling out while we applied crepe paper. In hindsight, you could probably get away with simply adding a bit of glue to either end.
If you are going to paint the newsprint, now would be the time.
Step 5: Add Crepe Paper
We started at the base and worked our way to the top. Put a thin line of white glue on the uncut portion of the crepe paper and wrap it around the Sherbat. Use small lengths for the legs and long ones for the body. We found that the white and light blue crepe paper was very transparent and his stripes took an extra layer to keep the newspaper from showing through.
Step 6: Wings
Once you have two identical (or close enough) pipe cleaner wings, take the dark blue marker and add the stripes. Do this on newspaper, the excess marker wipes off easily and can stain things.
First we tried hot gluing the pipe cleaner wings to the wing support wire. This didn't work very well. I ended up using some thin 30 gauge steel wire wrapped around the base of the pipe cleaner and the wing support. This seemed to hold well and to look OK.
Step 7: Final Details
For his mouth, take the blue marker you used for the wings and make a smile under his eyes.
I made the stand with another coat hanger. I wound two tight circles to go in each leg, and then a large loop as the base.