For my son's 10th birthday he asked for a Minecraft theme. He also asked if he could have a pinata. I decided to surprise him, and his friends with a pinata that was a bit more exciting! This TNT shaped box has a long fuse, and a small firecracker that blow open the box with a BANG; safely dumping the candy to the ground below!
Watch the minute long video at the end of this Instructable to see it fully in action from fuse being lit to candy explosion! Seeing the kids' reactions and anticipation alone is worth watching!
Make your kid's Minecraft party one that will not soon be forgotten!
Optional: I had each kid make a single stick of dynamite/TNT which I then loaded into the top of the pinata under the pretense of "I don't really know or understand Minecraft, but my son tells me that this is how you make TNT so this should make the pinata explode." Then later I pretended to be just as surprised as the kids when the fuse lit.
Step 1: Supplies
You will need:
- Square cardboard box of medium size
- Red poster board
- White paper/poster board
- Metal corner bead (drywall section of hardware store for about $2)
- Short metal tube (any type, and even a piece of PVC will work, but metal is preferable)
- Roll of thin bendable wire
- Length of standard fireworks fuse. I used "Cannon Fuse". Standard fireworks fuses burn at 23 seconds per foot. You will use about a foot and a half of fuse which means about 30 seconds of anticipation before it goes off. NOTE: some fuses have different burn rates. You should either know it, or test it before using in this project to be sure the wait isn't too long, or too short.
- One Firecracker (I separated one from a strand of Black Cat fireworks)
- Clear packaging tape
- Green pipe cleaner
- Pen/Black marker
- Drill with a small drill bit
- Candy/Prizes for the kiddos of course!
Optional for Dynamite Sticks:
- Additional sheet of cardboard
- Red construction paper
- White paper
- Carboard tubes (toilet paper or paper towel)
- Additional green pipe cleaners
Step 2: Prepare the Box
We want the bottom of the box to be able to open easily, and all of the way at the right time. So...
- Cut the two short flaps off of the bottom end of the box.
- Cut a very narrow strip from each of the remaining long flaps.
- Open and close the flaps a number of times to weaken the joint.
- Poke or cut a hole in the short side of the box near the bottom. The hole should be just large enough for the metal tube to fit through. This is where the fuse will exit the box.
- Close the flaps on the bottom of the box and tape them shut with ONE piece of packaging tape. Extend the tape all the way up the sides. This one strip of tape holds the bottom shut, and the prizes inside.
IMPORTANT: Note that you are taping the box ACROSS the flaps, NOT along the entire seam.
Step 3: Prepare the Firing/Opening Mechanism
The concept of how the box opens is simple... The burning fuse is sufficient to cut/burn the tape holding the box shut. However, with a firecracker positioned about halfway across the tape it will open with a sudden BANG instead of a quiet hiss.
- Install the metal tube in the hole cut in the last step. If it is loose then tape around the tube to secure it. This tube keeps the lit fuse from burning the cardboard as it goes inside.
- Cut a length of fuse so that it extends from several inches outside of the box to the far edge of the tape holding the bottom of the box shut.
- Tape the fuse of a single firecracker to the length of fuse near the end. Be sure to tape the fuses so that they burn in the same direction, not opposite each other. This should eliminate the already very low possibility of the firecracker fuse not lighting. IMPORTANT!!! You do not want to leave much fuse past the firecracker fuse as this will continue to burn after the firecracker has already opened the box, and the kids rush in. The fuse protruding from the firecracker typically has a faster burn speed than the fuse sold seperately.
- Tape the firecracker to the inside of the box on top of the tape already securing the box flaps. The fuse should be laying against the existing tape as much as possible. Use just a single piece of tape that only covers the firecracker itself. You want to ensure that the firecracker does not move, but you do NOT want this tape overly securing the box shut.
- I chose to use a small bit of wire looped around the joined fuses, pulled through the bottom, then taped to ONE side of the flap. This was another extra precaution to ensure the fuses stayed together, and stayed flush against the tape.
Step 4: Protecting the Fuse
One issue I had to overcome in making this was how to keep the candy inside from coming in contact with the fuse and firecracker. Kids love candy, but not so much when it is charred and burnt. Here's how I overcame that...
- Measure the corner bead so that it is just shorter than the length of the box.
- Taking proper safety precautions cut the corner bead to length. The cut piece should now fit fairly snugly inside the box along the seam.
- On one end of the corner bead drill two holes near the end.
- On the end of the box opposite the tube, the corner bead will extend through the cardboard. While laying flat against the bottom, over the fuse, mark where the corner bead meets the cardboard.
- Cut along your marks, and ensure that the corner bead fits through.
- Position the corner bead inside of the box.
- Run wire through the holes and around the tube inside the box. Twist the wire together tightly to secure it. (My tube was threaded on the outside so the wire had no trouble staying put. If yours is smooth, or you are choosing to use PVC instead you may want to drill a hole in the tube to run the wire through as well to keep it secure.
- I used an additional piece of wire to lift the fuse off of the bottom of the box so that it stayed secured inside of the corner bead until it reached the tape where it needs to cut through.
The corner bead should now be securely in place over the fuse and firecracker. With the corner bead attached to the tube on one end, and the box on the other, when the bottom of the box drops open the candy will fall without the corner bead falling out as well. (the last picture is from AFTER the pinata went off)
Step 5: Adding a Shelf for the Mini TNTs (Optional)
I had the kids make their own mini TNT/dynamite sticks which we loaded inside. This gave them a craft to work on as well as added to the illusion of creating a working TNT box. Obviously we don't want all of these little crafts filled with dirt and sand to mix with the candy so I added a shelf to the inside of the box to keep them separate.
- Cut a piece of extra cardboard so that it is the length of the inside of the box, and several inches on each side wider than the box.
- Fold the cardboard in two places so that it makes something of a table that fits inside, and over the bottom of the box.
- Test fit the cardboard piece to the inside. It should look like a new bottom of your box.
- When you are happy with the fit, slide the cardboard piece in along one side, but keeping it open.
- Dump in the candy and prizes!!!
- Fold the other side of the cardboard over, and down to cover the goodies.
- Tape the cardboard in place from the top. Make sure to use plenty if, like me, it had to be sure to hold the weight of 15 tubes of dirt and sand!
Step 6: Prepare the Pinata to Hang
The specifics of this step are less crucial, as you may have your own way you want to hang your pinata. I had some extra nylon rope so chose to use this. By securing it to all four corners you can make sure that it hangs flat and level which IS important for the goods to spill out properly. Also, by preparing it to hang at this step, the decorating of the box covers up the holes.
- Poke holes in each of the upper four corners of the box (two holes on two sides). Make the holes large enough for your rope/string/whatever to fit through.
- Put your rope in and tie it in such a way as the box hangs level when lifted. Adjust your knots as needed.
- I cut off one of the long top flaps of the box, and taped down the rest at this point also. This gave access to the inside for putting the small dynamite sticks in, while still keeping the box mostly shut.
Step 7: Decorate!
- Wrap the outside of the box in red poster board cut to size. Tape in place.
- Using a ruler/straightedge mark, and draw lines at regular intervals from top to bottom. The exact distance between the lines is mainly a factor of the size of your box. Whatever looks most accurate so consult a picture of a Minecraft TNT box for reference.
- I found a simple Minecraft font online and printed out 4 "TNT" words, cut them into strips, and along with some plain white paper made a full band that ran around the outside of the box.
- Wrap a green pipe cleaner around the metal tube, and around the fuse several times. This is not necessary, but it hides the fact that there is a REAL fuse sticking out. The more fake the pinata looks, the bigger the surprise when the fuse actual takes off!
AND YOU'RE DONE!!!
Hang the pinata up high enough that it is out of their way when the kids run in for candy, but low enough so that you can light the fuse easily, and then back out of the way with plenty of time to spare.
I, personally, made a big show of saying "I don't play Minecraft so I don't know exactly what's going to happen so we'd better be ready for anything!" The kids ate it up.
And last, but certainly not least... Be sure the kids all stand back and watch from a safe distance! Safety first!
Step 8: Optional - Mini TNT/Dynamite
This was an easy craft project I had for the kids. It gave them something to do, built the excitement, and added a LOT to the overall experience.
- Using packaging tape seal the bottom of each toilet paper tube. A good "X" across the bottom was enough for me.
- Wrap each tube with a strip of red construction paper cut to the height of the tube.
- Using the same font as on the pinata print out "TNT" centered on the page, and cut into strips.
- Tape the "TNT" strips around the center of each tube.
I gave an empty tube, and a green pipe cleaner "fuse" to each kid, and said that my son let me know that to craft TNT in Minecraft you just combine sand, and dirt. I had them put the pipe cleaner in the tube then had them get in a line where my wife and I put a small scoop of playground sand, and a small scoop of dirt into each tube. Once they were all filled I had them get in groups of about 3 then twist their pipe cleaner fuses together to make a TNT bundle. Once they were done I climbed on a small ladder, and placed each one inside of the TNT pinata, and pretended to tie all of the fuses together inside. Now the one fuse coming out the side supposedly connected to 15 of their small sticks of TNT.
Step 9: Enjoy and Watch the Kids Have Fun!!!
Participated in the
Epilog Challenge 9
Participated in the
First Time Author Contest 2018
Participated in the
Minecraft Challenge 2018