Affordable Party Decorations

Whether you are looking for a fun activity for your upcoming Super Bowl party, your child’s birthday celebration or a back-to-school bash, there’s nothing more exciting than a piñata.  What’s more, the smash and grab craft is quite affordable if you make your own at home.

A piñata is little more than a large papier mache. All you need to make a basic piñata is a balloon, newspaper (cut into approximately one-inch wide strips), liquid starch, masking tape, glue, and crepe paper streamers.

To start, blow up a large balloon.  This can be used to make a football shape, a globe or the head of your child’s favorite cartoon character.  Depending on the level of your crafting skills, you can use a variety of different balloons to make almost any design. Simply use the masking tape to attach the balloons together to create your desired shape.  Keep in mind that your balloon design doesn’t have to be perfect. You can erase a lot of imperfections in the papier mache process.

That process begins by dipping the newspaper strips into the liquid starch.  Gently squeeze the excess starch from the strips before layering them on your balloon design.  Remember to smooth out any wrinkles before you add a new layer of newspaper strips.  Repeat this process until you have at least three layers of strips in place.

Next, allow your piñata to dry for 24 hours.  Once it is completely dry, repeat the entire process again, so that your finished piece has about six layers of newspaper.  After the second drying, look for weak spots and cover them.  When you are done patching, cut-out a door in the back of your piñata big enough to fit your hand through, this is where you will add the candy and other goodies.  Then, deflate the balloon and remove it from the piñata.  Finally, decorate your creation with crepe paper or paint.

This entry was posted in Parties and tagged , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.