Does your party need a giant, fabulous centerpiece? You need a piñata.
Are you looking for a really excellent kids activity? Also piñata.
Maybe you want a creative way to distribute yummy treats and also match your theme? Easy DIY piñata.
Hallmark Designer and goddess with a glue gun Em B. showed us how to make piñatas (so you can hit up that article for the basic steps). Now she’s back from another workshop with some pro tips and more super-fun icons.
“The hardest part is deciding what you want to make,” she tells us. “So just do whatever you’re into right now—I’m that person who likes trendy things.”
Oh, we get it. #cactus #flamingo #cupcake #smores #morepineapple
Em’s DIY piñata pro tips
Tissue paper + glue > paper mache
OK, maybe not greater than, but at least easier than. Throwing a party can be a lot of work. Making your piñata—whose sole purpose is to be hit with sticks until it falls apart—should be easy, fast, and not-too-messy. (Maybe Em’s best DIY piñata pro tip: Look for shortcuts.)
Keep the piñata shape simple
Especially for your first one, choose an easy, basic shape for the body of your piñata. You can add dimension with attachments: Check out the legs on Em’s flamingo and the top of the pineapple.
Corrugate is your friend
Poster board, paper board, or chipboard is perfect for flat surfaces, but if you’re looking for curves, go with corrugated cardboard. It bends beautifully, so you can easily shape it and tape it in place.
It’s OK to be ugly on the inside
Do whatever it takes to hold it together. Once you cover your creation with tissue paper, no one will see all the hot glue and masking tape it took to keep things together. And once your piñata breaks open, no one will care about anything but the candy.
Put a face on it
Please note the adorableness of our s’more. Googly eyes come in all sizes, you guys.
No need to get violent
If the idea of beating your piñata with sticks unnerves you—either because you don’t want to arm your party guests, because you like it and want to keep it, or because it’s looking at you with those googly eyes—there are alternatives.
Option 1: Make a game of it
Hang multiple ribbons from your piñata: Guests will each pull one, but only one will release the goodness. Before you cover everything with tissue paper, cut a square out of the bottom and cut slits in it—one for each length of ribbon. Slide them all in, then knot and tape one in place. Tape the square in place once you’ve added the candy.
Option 2: Make it romantic
Hang two ribbons and let a happy couple unleash the treats. Cut a double trap door in the bottom. Firmly attach a ribbon to each side, then add the candy and close it up.
Use the good treats
“Let’s be honest: Nobody wants the hard candy,” Em reminds us. She also points out that you can fill a piñata with anything. Any. Thing. She mentions a piñata her girlfriends made for her bachelorette party, but will not tell us what they filled it with.