Introduction: How to Make a Unicorn Pinata

About: Hi. I'm Richard Neuman. I started making Paper Mache Props for Halloween and didn't stop! Lately I've been making Tiki statues and other outdoor garden sculptures.

Most of the Unicorn Pinatas I see for sale are very flat and square. They are cheap, but they are missing the realistic shape of a magical Unicorn. With a little time, you can make a much more realistic one yourself.


White PVA (Elmers) Glue
Card Paper

Tissue Paper,Ribbon
Strong Twine, string

Glue Gun, Scissors, Masking Tape

Step 1: Draw the Outline

Sketch out the profile or outline the size you would like the piniata to be. My sketch ended up looking more like a dog than a baby Unicorn, but it still turned out o.k., but next time I’ll make the neck longer!

Step 2: Trace Onto Cardboard

Trace the outline onto thick, stiff cardboard and cut out 2 pieces the same size and shape. One for each side of the body. Round off the shoulder area from the chest to the back as you don’t need the head on the two side pieces.

The head will have its own profile that will go down the center of the head.

You will also need to cut 2 additional cardboard pieces to act at the shoulders and hips. They will be inserted at 90 degrees to the 2 side pieces to hold them together. Add some extra length for the neck where the head will slide into.

(I know this sounds confusing, but the photos do a much better job of showing this than I can explain.)

Step 3: Assembly the Frame

Slice 2 narrow strips slightly less than the thickness of the cardboard in both the shoulder and hip pieces. Don't make the slices too wide because you want them to be snug when put together.

Cut 2 matching slices out of each side piece where the hips and shoulders will slide into.

Cut a slice into the head where the neck will slide into and a matching slice into the neck piece.

Slide all the pieces together.

Step 4: Insert Temporary Candy Bag

Stuff a plastic bag full of scrunched up newspaper into the Unicorn’s tummy. This will act as a temporary filler that will be replaced with tasty candy and treats!

Step 5: Insert the Plug

Cut out a cardboard U-shaped piece to slide into the bottom where the belly would be. This will act as a plug the can be removed to fill the Unicorn.

Step 6: Stuff the Unicorn

Stuff some newspaper around the “Candy” bag and tape it up.

Don’t worry about taping up the plug. We will cut it out later.

Step 7: Add Newspaper

Fill out the shape with scrunched up newspaper and tape.

This does take some time, but this is what gives the piniata its 3D shape and makes it so much better than the store-bought ones.

Step 8: Tie on Twine

Tie some strong twine around the body and leave lots of extra to string up the piniata. Go ahead and string it up now to make sure everything is secure. Check to see if the unicorn hangs level to the ground. Adjust the string if needed.

Step 9: Keep on Taping

Continue filling out the shape with newspaper and tape. (I've taped the extra string into a little ball to keep it out of the way.)

Step 10: Paper Mache

Add a layer of paper mache to hold it all together. You can you use any method you like; flour and newspaper, paper mache clay … remember, there’s no wrong way to paper mache!

I used white paper towels and white PVA (Elmers) glue mixed with water (roughly 1:1). This way I don’t have to paint it, because it’s already white. All you need is a single, quick and rough layer because you will be covering it with tissue paper.

Rather than dipping the paper towel into the glue mixture, I “Paint” the area with glue mixture first, then lay down damp paper towel. This way is far less messy and doesn’t take too long if you use large pieces of newspaper or paper towels. Once the entire unicorn is covered in paper towel, I then paint another layer of glue mixture to thoroughly glue the paper towel in place.

Step 11: Cut Out the Plug

Cut out the plug. You can re-insert it and leave it in while decorating.

Step 12: Pretty-Up the Hoofs

Bling out the hoofs with gold or pink card paper, paint or foil.

Step 13: Make the Horn

Make a cone out of card paper and tape it together for the horn. Make it longer than the final length of the horn so you have enough extra paper to flare out to glue to the head.

Step 14: Give the Horn Some Swirl

Optional. Wrap and tape in bubble-wrap or felt if you would like the 3D bulged look for the horn. I used bubble-wrap and a layer of felt as well. Tightly tie a string spiraling down the horn evenly spaced to give the bulged look.

Step 15: Decorate the Horn

Decorate at the horn with ribbon, sparkles, sunshine, and magic dust however you like. You can NOT over-due it!!

Another cool way to make a unicorn horn is using Insta-Morph. Check our this Instructable from ernio:

Step 16: Glue the Horn

Glue the flared out horn section to the head. I added an extra white circle of card paper to hide the blue horn color and hold the horn down even better.

Step 17: Glue the Tissue Paper

Cut 2” or 3” strips of tissue paper and cut mini-strips on one side. Unfold and glue onto the unicorn starting at the bottom working your way up. I used watered-down white glue and a paint brush. Unfortunately, this step takes some time as well, but you might come up with a better way!

Step 18: Decorate the Head

If you did a fairly smooth job on the head with your paper mache, you can just paint it. My paper-mache job was quite rough and not at all unicorn-worthy. I used the same tissue paper method for the head as I used for the body. I then “painted” down the fringes with the watered down white glue. This made the head smoother, and far prettier than the white paper towels.

Draw or cut-out and glue on some huge Manga eyes with pretty lashes. Add some sparkles if you like.

Step 19: Decorate the Mane and Tail

Go nuts with decorating the mane and tale with ribbon or tissue paper. You can use the same technique with the tissue paper as the body, just make the strips a lot longer. I also used some striped wrapping paper under the orange tissue paper for the mane. Use whatever you have.

Step 20: Load Her UP!

Remove the plug and fill with (peanut-free) candy. Lightly glue-gun the plug back in to hold in the candy. If you really want the unicorn to take a serious whacking before releasing the goodies, thoroughly glue in the plug!

Paint the bottom white if you like, as the little ones will be looking up at the Unicorn.

Add some Unicorn Poop inside if you like! Check out this Instructable from kristylynn84.

Reply with pictures of your Unicorn Piñata. I’d love to see them!

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