Introduction: Angler Fish Pinata and Silly Blindfold

About: Mostly harmless

EDIT: now there is a last step with pictures of the Piñata been whacked!

The Birthday Party is getting closer, and you want to have a cool gift wrapping and something to entertain the guests?

PIÑATA for everyone :D !

My husband is a dedicated sea-trout fisherman, so I give him this year a bunch of handmade danish lures, and some more fishing stuff - but he always gets something handmade from me as well - This year it'll be the gift wrapping itself.

First I wanted to make a troutpiñata but found it rather boring, and while watching a documentary about deep sea angler fishes, the idea was born :) ( fascinating creatures!)

I hope someone makes a piñata for me one day - even adults close to 40 (*sigh*) want to play!

I chose to add a lot of layers to the piece, to make it as sturdy as possible without making it impossible to break ;)

this is my first piñata-attempt ( surely not my last - my brother will be so jealous on my husband ;D )

It took me about 5 days to complete it, due the drying time of the paper mache, also I had to plan to work with it while alone at home to keep it secret - so you have to plan ahead.

To entertain the spectators on the party, I came up with a silly blindfold as well :)

I invite you to my journey!

Step 1: Materials Needed

The Piñata:

  • 2 balloons ( one in yellow)
  • old newspapers
  • packaging paper
  • 1 toilet paper roll
  • cardboard ( f.ex. a cerealbox )
  • wallpaper glue - or cornstarch mixed with water
  • scissors
  • tape
  • 1 craft pipe cleaner
  • white paper and glue stick (for teeth)
  • acrylic paints in: yellow, red, brown, white and black
  • paintbrushes
  • hot glue gun

For hanger:

  • rope or paracord
  • a jar lid / plastic lid / piece of wood - whatever you'll find
  • you may need a drill


  • in my case fishing lures
  • wrapped candy

optional for the silly blindfold:

  • sleeping mask
  • 2 craft pipe cleaners
  • white foam or cardboard
  • black marker
  • hot glue
  • needle and thread

Step 2: Preparations - Beginning of Day 1

for the paper mache: tear the newspaper apart into pieces, i found out that squares around 2x2 inches work best.

inflate the balloon

sketch your angler fish, to get an idea of shape and desired result.

Step 3: Jaw and Fishtail

draw the approximate position of mouth and eyes on the balloon.

as the anglerfish has a terrible underbite, you have to add a extra jarline

- cut a long strip of cardboard and tape it on.

fill the jaw with a extra piece of cardboard beneath - the pictures show ver well, what to do :)

- it doesn't have to be pretty.

For the tail:

shorten the toilet paper roll and flatten it a bit, tape it on a little off center - the pictures show the position.

make a straight backline with an additional piece of cardboard ( you figured it out: aim for the pictures :) )

Step 4: Paper Mache - the First 3 Layers

now cover the hole piece with paper mache - aim for 3 layers.

I used my hands to add a generous amount of glue and adding newspaper pieces overlapping and with no real plan :) - it worked out well!

make sure to cover the jar in and outside

it was very sunny, so I left it to the big hot star, to dry as much as possible of the fish.

- anyway it will take at least 24 hours for the 3 layers to dry.

Step 5: Day 2 - About 1 Hour of Work

make sure that your work from day 1 is dried through - don't fool yourself - if it's damp, it's still wet.

Tip: if you're in a hurry you can place the whole thing in the oven at low temperature - you don't want the balloon to pop yet.

add another 2-3 layers to the balloon - you know how to do it - glue, newspaper, glue, newspaper.

as the sun left me, I cheated with the fireplace :) - that dried the paper mache very quickly.

Step 6: Day 3 - 1 More Hour

day 3 -

add 2-3 more layers :)

for the last layer I chose brown packaging paper - for a more uniform look, and an easier paintjob, with no newspaper shining through.

let it dry

Step 7: Day 4 - Modification and 2 More Hours

your piece is now all dry and already very sturdy!

to create the mouth:

draw the upper jaw, according to the sketch of the fish - see the pictures if your not sure where to place it.

then make an indentation with a dull, but pointy tool - I used the tip of a nail file- along your drawn line

BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT THROUGH! - you just want a folding help.

the only part you have to cut, is the short overlapping parts on the lower jaw, on both sides - see the pictures.

Now press the " mouth" firmly following the upper jaw line you indented before.

remove the popped balloon.

Step 8: Adding the Hanger - Day 4

I used a jar lid as reinforcement, but a plastic lid or a piece of wood would surely work as well - use what you have, just make sure you add something to prevent the rope slicing out of the piñata while it's beaten - would be a shame otherwise!

drill a hole to the lid, or whatever you want to use.

then make a hole into the back of the fish - off center - closer to the tail than to the mouth. - scissors work fine for that.

add the rope ( I used a piece of paracord) to the hole and pull it through the fishs mouth

add the lid to the rope and make a tight knot to the end - now you can hang the fishy :)

Step 9: Filling and Taping the Mouth - Day 4

now with the hanger in place and the mouth open, your can fill the piñata ( or fill it later through the tail opening, if your stuff fits in there)

I filled it with special sea trout fishing lures and just a little candy :)

cut a piece of cardboard and close the hole properly, tape it heavily, otherwise it will leave a weak spot.

Step 10: Adding Fins - Day 4

according to your sketch of the fish, cut fins out of a little sturdier cardboard

- keep them wavy and pointy

tape them onto the fish in the right position

Step 11: More Layers ;) - Day 4

I chose to add 3 more layers of packaging paper around the mouth and fins to make it sturdier - it's for an adult, so it should take some smashes before it breaks, i guess for a kid, you could leave it only taped as it is.

Step 12: Eyes - Day 4

for eyes I used oval balls of packaging paper - You could use ping pong balls or anything else.

glue on the eyes in the right position, and cover them with toilet paper - easier to bring that into a round shape -

until you're happy with it.

cover the area around the eyes with packaging paper ( I just made that for looks, and a better structure, you could skip that.)

Day 4 is over now.

Step 13: Making the Antenna/ Lure

blow a little amount of air in the yellow balloon and tie it.

tape it to a craft pipe cleaner as shown on the pictures

punch a hole into the fishes head - near the back fin and above the eyes

Step 14: Paintjob

paint the whole body except fins and mouth with a blend of red and brown 2:1 paint.

paint the fins yellow, and blend in some of the body colour while the paint is still wet

paint eyes white

add some "luminescent" dots

paint the antenna and tape - i chose later to paint it in the same colour as the body, I liked it better that way.

Step 15: Teeth

shape cones from white paper triangles

glue them with a glue stick

you'll need a lot teeth in different sizes

glue them in randomly -but symmetric- into the mouth with hot glue

Step 16: Antenna

hot glueing in the antenna to the hole you made in step 13

depending on the length and strength of the pipe cleaner you might want to glue it to the top of the backfin as well ( I did, because it was way to wiggly )

NOTE: On the pics you see the antenna in the original colour, but I painted it later in the same colour as the fishes body.

Step 17: Tadaaaaahh

The cute deep sea angler fish piñata is done and waits to get smashed ...

I'll add pics of that later :)

It was hard to get sharp pics with the wiggly antenna - but it looks so cool when it bounces :D

Hope you have a fisherman in your family you can surprise with this lovely monster!

I hope you enjoyed your stay!



Step 18: Extra: the Silly Blindfold

I figured the spectators should also have fun, while the piñata is beaten, so this is what I came up with:

a silly looking blindfold with bouncing eyes ;)

to make it:

swirl the craft pipe cleaners into wide spirals

handsew ( or use glue if you prefer that) them onto the sleeping mask

Step 19: Make Eyes and Eyebrows

from craft foam or white cardboard, cut two eyes and eyebrows

paint pupils

hot glue them onto the top of the spirals,

I chose to join them on the eyebrows, but if you prefer the eyes dancing around in all directions, leave them seperate :o)

Step 20: Dare to Be Stupid

try it on and a have some fun minutes on your own ;D

Step 21: The Cruel Fate of the Piñata

This last step is the documentary of the piñatas cruel fate ...

It lasted quite many smashes!

I would say it was a little too sturdy :D - 10 layers took maaaaaaany hard punches from a 35 year old strong man... so maybe 7 layers would be better :) - for a kid maybe 3 to 5.

but at last it was destroyed and revealed all the cool insides, all 20 guests and the birthday-man had a good time :)

fatally wounded the Piñata was burned - but the legend of it will remain.

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