Even though buying something off the shelf is easy enough, finding a piñata that coordinates perfectly with your party theme or color scheme may prove more of a challenge. If you have a vision for a pink viking hat or a pastel peach popsicle or blue pineapple, it may be time for plan B.
Are you a wee bit crafty and have some scissors and tape? Then roll up your sleeves, we’re about to learn how to make handmade piñatas!
For help we turned to the craftiest gal we know, Tara Gray of Maven Studios Maui, who is sharing her quick and easy method for handmade piñatas with us here. Tara whipped up two samples using double-sided Wrappily paper and our colorful, crêpe-y paper ribbon. She chose a rainbow and a heart, but using the steps in her tutorial below, you can make almost any shape you choose.
Aside from shape and color, another big bonus of DIY-ing your own piñata is getting to customize its size. Are you looking for a massive party centerpiece or a few minis for table decor? Will it be a photo booth prop for a high school graduation blow-out or decor for a toddler’s birthday? Go big or go small, it’s up to you. The only limit here is your creativity and patience for assembly.
Let’s see how it’s done…
card stock, chip board, or cardboard (scavenge the recycling bin, an old cereal box or delivery box will do the trick!)
ruler or straight edge
masking tape (avoid scotch tape)
Wrappily paper and paper ribbon
white school glue or glue stick
scissors or exacto knife
optional: fringe scissors
Trace or print your design identically onto two pieces of card stock or chip board, one for the back and one for the front. (Note: if your piñata needs to be quite sturdy, use or reinforce with cardboard.)
Next work on the sides. Using the same material, cut your side strip at an even width depending on the desired depth of your piñata. Feel free to break it down into multiple pieces, it may be more manageable and easier to assemble. For instance, for the rainbow piñata we cut two face pieces (for the front and back), a 2” wide rectangle for the bottom, and longer 2” side strip to curve along the top arch.
After all the shapes are cut, begin to tape them together using masking tape. Avoid Scotch tape as it does not work well with white glue.
Remember this inner frame does not have to be perfect or look beautiful, it’s going to get completely covered with poofs of colorful fringe. If the sides are too long, simply trim them. If they are too short, patch the gap with an extra piece of tape or card board.
Use your scissors to cut 1” inch wide strips of your favorite Wrappily papers. Cut narrow, straight slits along the bottom of the strip leaving about 1/4” uncut at the top. If you are using our paper ribbon, create bubble-look fringe by folding the ribbon in half lengthwise and cut your slits through the folded edge (still leaving about 1/4” uncut at the top).
PRO TIP: use fringe scissors for this step if you have them. (If not, they may be a worthy investment depending on the size of your project.)
Apply a strip of glue at the bottom of the piñata and begin to add the fringed tissue paper in linear rows making sure each row slightly overlaps the previous one. Start at the bottom and work up towards the top. You will need to trim your fringe pieces to achieve your desired design.
Once complete, fluff up the fringe for more volume and texture. Voila!
Check out that eye candy—a totally custom, made-with-love work of art guaranteed to bring a smile to people's faces. Nice work!
Now that you know the steps, think of the possibilities...
We love the look Tara gave her heart piñata by mixing in the solid colored crepe paper ribbon with the fringy bits of Wrappily's double-sided paper for added texture and design.
And because she's like that, she made her's extra next level by imbedding a message window (this one cut right from our Birthday Balloons wrapping paper). It could even be a photo of the birthday gal or guy, a favorite character, or sports logo—whatever you'd like!
(Psst... here's the replay on how she did that. Backing up to step 3, simply glue your window in place and run your fringe around it. Brilliant!)