Party Perfect! How to Make Your Own Piñata

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You’ve got your taco bar all set up and the fiesta is imminent but there’s one key ingredient you still need to guarantee an awesome party: the piñata. Save a few pesos and follow the steps below to make your own with paper mache and a balloon. It’s almost as much fun making it as whacking it to pieces.

What You’ll Need


Newspaper: cut in 1-2 inch wide x 6 inch long strips

No-Cook Paper Mache Paste: 2 cups flour, 1 ½ – 2 cups water, 1 TBSP salt (to prevent molding)

Non-toxic tempera paint

Tissue Paper: cut in 1 inch wide x 6 inch long fringe strips




Hole Punch


A few piñata loving kiddos


Making the Piñata

Step 1
Blow up a balloon as big as you can manage; the round shape will serve are the base of your piñata, and the form will harden after applying the paper mache and newspaper strips.


Step 2
Mix up the paper mache (more water = thinner paste). Grab a handful of newspaper strips; start dipping and pasting over the balloon in a criss cross pattern. Heads up parents! Try not to let the kids get too dip-happy. This step takes time and it’s messy—you’ll need several layers, and you must let the piñata dry in between layers so make sure the littles go easy on the paste.


Psst! Be sure to leave the knot at the end of the balloon free and clear. When you are done decorating, this is where the candy will find it’s way into the piñata.

Decorating the Piñata

Step 3
Check to be sure your party piñata is totally dry: follow up with a few layers of paint. If your kiddos know the color they want to pick for decorating, think about using a matching color!


Step 4
After the paint dries, start gluing the tissue paper to the shape. Insider Tip: Cut thinner strips to glue on the top of the balloon. Let the kids get creative with strips of fringe, googly eyes,  jewels or whatever else they want to add to the mix.


Filling the Piñata


Step 5
Find the knot and snip it to open a hole into the piñata—be sure to pull out the rubber pieces of the balloon. If you need to make the hole bigger, use your scissors.


Step 6
Punch two tiny holes (or use scissors if you don’t have a hole punch handy) across the big hole, use ribbon to make a hanging hook. Insider Tip: Wait until your piñata is TOTALLY dry before punching holes. The ribbon will rip through if the form is soft or wet.


Step 7
Fill your piñata with candy, then create a tissue paper top for the hole and loop another ribbon through the first for easy hanging.


Grab sticks and get to whacking!


Will you make your own piñata for Cinco de Mayo? Let us know in the comments below!

—Copy and photos by Gabby Cullen

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