Christmas Piñatas

Alison from Six and A Half Stitches kindly sent us this great tutorial 

Guest Post

Alison Pinata 01

I have been wanting to make little papier-mâché Piñatas for such a long time after seeing them on Not Martha, and Christmas seems like the perfect time to make these little balls filled with sweets or toys. They are easy to make with young ones, and fun to find fillings for. Children will enjoy pulling them apart and seeing what’s inside, and everyone will enjoy making them and seeing them hung up around fireplaces, on trees, or clustered on a door or shelf.

With a simple flour and water paste* mixed to a smooth gloopy consistency and papier-mâché strips of tissue paper around semi blown up balloons of about 10-15cm diameter.

Alison Pinata 02

Leave a gap around the top as your opening – enough to get goodies inside.

Alison Pinata 03

Leave to dry till the case is hard, and then deflate the balloon by pricking it or cutting it with scissors (it won’t pop, but will let air out slowly as it removes itself from the inside of the papier-mâché case).

Alison Pinata 04
Once you have the empty shell, you can fill with whatever you like – small bags of sweets, toys, biscuits, glitter or cut out pieces of paper, small puzzles to put together, or even write out your own jokes to tell.

Alison Pinata 04

Then take another piece of tissue paper and a length of ribbon and seal the opening with more flour/water paste.

Alison Pinata 05

Have fun decorating! Finally add a small tag to the ribbon which says ‘Pull Me’ to help open.

Alison Pinata 06

Pull open, and enjoy!

* For those with gluten or wheat allergies, the following alternatives to wheat flour can be used: Tapioca flour, rice flour. Experiment with other flours to see if they work, or alternatively use a white paste with PVA craft glue watered down, however I tried here to limit the amounts of glue being used in the whole project. You may want to add some salt to the paste to prevent mould as well.

10 Responses to “Christmas Piñatas”

  1. Sasha

    Great idea! So very pretty. I will have to try that. I do appreciate the mention of alternate flours for gluten sensitivity, it’s not something people usually think of with paper mache. I think what we did last time we made pinatas was cornstarch in water cooked until thickened in place of the wheat.

  2. Alison

    Rosie – Can’t say exactly how many layers – enough to really cover out the red of the balloons underneath. Probably about 5 or 6??

    Sasha – Cornflour I know often has wheat in it, so I avoided mentioning either that or cornstarch just in case. I also relied on a friend whose children have allergies for some of the research and corn is one of the allergens so we couldn’t test the corn version – so thankyou for letting us know that cornstarch works. I’m sure there are other flours as well which might work like Cassava but it can be difficult to get hold of.

  3. Michelle C

    Great idea! i am going to use this for my daughter’s birthday party. this will give her a wonderful opportunity to get her hands dirty for a good reason. i love that you can make them any size you want for any age recipient.

  4. Linda

    I love these! For those of us who get picky about the lumps, a whisk works great. :) And how about colored tissue paper! Oooh!

  5. susie

    This is fantastic. I was pulling my hair trying to figure out what to get my 5 nephews. I am going make a bunch of these for them. They will be sure to have a blast.

  6. PinkPoppies

    Thanks for the clarification re: flour. I had always understood from my friends who cannot eat wheat/gluten that this is a digestive issue (as in you have to eat it). Are there other craft supplies that cause contact dermatitis or an allergic reaction that one would have to be aware of? Thanks for any further references.

  7. Alison

    Pinkpoppies – if you email me at sixandahalfstitchesATgmailDOTcom I can try and help you because there are other things and substitutes.

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