Ello! Making these mini pineapple piñatas was actually a very fun project! The idea came to me when I was trying to come up with a fun party favor for my sons 4th birthday party (last year) and then it clicked! I had purchased a cute mini donkey piñata at Target a few weeks before, but I wanted to add my own little creative twist to go with his summery tropical theme. Plus I've been really into pineapples lately so there you go!
MESSY LEVEL: 3
The paper maché process can get pretty messy with the glue and water mix. Also, there is a lot of tissue + paper cutting and gluing.
- Tissue paper
- Elmer's glue (I used the largest gallon I could find)
- Hole punch
- String for handle
- Dish to mix glue + water
- Newspaper / magazine paper
- Paper for small message (optional)
- Card stock to seal bottom of shape
- Acrylic / tempera paint
- Paint brushes
- Card stock for stems / leaves
1. First of all you want to blow up your balloon(s) to the size desired. After that, you want to mold them (by squeezing the balloons) into the shape you're wanting the body of the piñata to have. Then you're ready to start paper maché-ing. I mixed 3/4 parts glue to 1/4 parts water so that it was a thicker consistency, just soak each piece of newspaper or magazine and stick it right onto the balloon. I found that 2 -3 layers of paper maché is best for this project. I also left a top and bottom opening on each balloon so that once the paper maché dried I could determine which side I liked best to be the bottom and top of the pineapple. I tied some yarn (any type of string will work) to the end of each balloon to hang while drying so that the soon to be piñatas would dry evenly, this also made it easier to add the extra layers of paper maché.
2. Once your paper maché is dry and you're left with a solid shape, you pop all of the balloons and take them out of each piñata along with the yarn used to hang dry them. Then you're ready to see which side would be best as the bottom side. When you pick that, it's time to seal it off by using a cardstock circle (make sure it's a good amount larger than the opening) then you dip each cardstock circle into the glue and water paper maché mixture. I just turned each piñata shape upside down and laid the circle flat on the opening I wanted to seal off, then smoothed the edges out all around and glued them to the sides blending them into the rest of the shape. Two layers of this is best for a good solid base. Let this part dry well. If it's too soft once dry, add another layer and don't be afraid to use too much glue, the more glue the better for a solid base that isn't easily breakable.
3. Now that the bottom of your pineapple is dry, you have a standing piñata! These top openings will be where you attach the stem / leaves of the fruit. You can add the candy (if you're putting candy in it) here or you could do what I did and put the candy in a separate little bag so that the leaves aren't ruined. Also feel free to cut the openings wider to form a nice circle , it makes it easier to insert the leaves and will leave a nicer overall result.
4. I then painted each piñata with a tempera paint so that the newspaper didn't show through the thin tissue outer layer. You can also use the paper maché method and add a yellow (or whichever color) paper all over. I tried this with one of the piñatas and found it more time consuming, so then I went with the paint which was a lot faster for me.
5. After that I added two layers of small tissue paper squares I cut to seal the bottom of the piñata for a nice finish, since I knew I wanted to add a message to each. You can do this by just gluing down each tissue square, and then sealing it with a coat of glue as well. Once the glue is dry you're left with a nice, durable, and shiny finish. This is optional and if you're happy with what the bottom of your piñatas look like once you're done painting them, you can totally skip this step
6. Then you're going to cut 1 inch strips of tissue paper at whichever length you'd like and you can either cut small verticle lines all the way across (like the traditional piñatas normally use) or you can create a chevron pattern. These will be the strips you layer all around your piñatas. I used both kinds of strips to have a variety of the piñatas for the kiddos.
7. Once you have enough strips cut you can start layering them all around your piñata, row after row from bottom to top. I just used a paint brush and painted elmer's glue along the top of each strip to seal it down and kept doing this until I reached the opening of the piñata.
8. When this is dry, you can make two holes with your hole punch on opposite sides of the top of the piñata so that you can attach your sting that will be the handle. I used a plastic craft string but any durable yarn, string or plastic would work.
9. Now you're ready to add your leaves. I cut pieces of green card stock into different shapes and sizes of pineapple leaves. Then I added some glue to the side that would be attached to the inside of the piñata, and put each of them in pressing firmly for about a minute to make sure they attached well. I did this all the way around the inside of the piñata folding the leaves in different places as I went, creating a pineapple leaf look. Then I did this again in a second layer attaching leaves to the leaf pieces that were already glued to the piñata. This formed the center leaves which you can also fold out or just leave standing.
10. When your glue is all dry you can focus on the finishing details. I typed out little messages for each guest, cut them into little squares, and glued each of them to the bottom of the piñatas. As I mentioned before, this step is completely optional.
Then TAAA DAAA! You're all finished and ready to add your creations to your party favor or cake table! Aren't they the cutest?! They make adorable little decorations as well for the party and for the guest to use in their home! Also watching each tiny birthday guest walk away with their little piñata party favor in hand was ADORABLE. I will definitely be making more varieties of these in the future! I hope you enjoy making them and we would love to see your creations! Also, you can add any Holiday / celebration twist to them! Check out some of the Holidays we've used them for below! Don't forget to comment and tag us in your photos: @allkidsaregifted on Instagram (@allkidsrgifted on Pinterest) and use hashtag #allkidsdiy as well! Have fun!!