Here's how to easily make a not exactly traditional looking, easy to customize, pinata for really, really cheap!
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Step 1: Supplies
You'll need an empty cereal box.
You'll need tape such as packing tape or duct tape.
You'll need a skipping rope (fully recoverable).
You'll need some simple decorating supplies, and of course loot for inside.
Step 2: Mount the Rope
Cut an X in the side of the box, as well centered as you can.
Push one end of the skipping rope through the hole.
With the end of the skipping rope that is on the inside of the box, tie the handle to form a T. To do this, use a double half hitch.
Step 3: Put in the Loot
Put in loot.
Seal the box with tape.
Also reinforce the hole with tape.
Step 4: Decorate
Our favorite way of decorating has been to begin by wrapping the box with simple white paper or with christmas wrap.
We then find a picture that fits the theme of the party, and printed out 2 8.5 X 11 images of it on our color printer. Tape it on.
Step 5: Hang and Whack
Hang it on a broom handle, tree branch, or what have you -- just like any other pinata. Let the kids bang away.
This model tends to break a little easy, especially if it has a lot of loot. So the bat shown is a bit too much. A broom handle actually works better.