Friday, June 8, 2012

Lego Party: Making a Lego Pinata

A few weeks ago, I shared Part 1 of how to make a Lego pinata that can actually be broken (as opposed to just covering a cardboard box that would require a strong adult and a sledgehammer to break).  Here is the complete tutorial.

     a brown paper bag and something rigid that fits snugly inside it (like cereal boxes)
     newspaper and flour/water paste
     masking or painters tape
     waxed paper cups (6)
     candy for inside the pinata
     a length of strong, wide ribbon and hot glue for the handle
     a piece of chipboard, cut to the size of the base of the bag
     paint (spray paint is easiest)

Step 1:  Open the bag and insert cereal boxes inside.  You want a snug fit without the bag being distorted. 
Step 2: Apply paper mache around the four sides of the bag.  Add 2-3 layers so that it is strong but not impossible to break.  Leave the top and bottom undone for now.

Step 3:  Use tape to close the top of the bag and set the whole thing in the sun to dry for at least a day (preferably more).  You can let it dry inside, but it will take 2-3 days before it is completely dry.  Don't rush this step!  A properly dried pinata should make a hollow thunk when you knock on it.

Step 4: Turn the box upside down and paper mache the bottom.  Let dry completely.

Step 5: Open the tape and remove the cereal boxes.  Hold the pinata up to the light and look into it.  Any areas that are too thin will show the light.  Add more paper mache to these areas and let dry completely.  (Or, leave them thin if your party guests are young and won't have the strength to break proper paper mache.)


Step 6: Cut the bottoms off the cups and glue them into position on the pinata.

Step 7: Paper mache over the cups.  We covered the cups completely, let them dry, then added filler so that the cups didn't have a visible indentation and paper mached again.  If your cups have a flat base, you won't need to add filler.

Step 8: Use hot glue to attach a length of wide ribbon to one side, across the bottom, and back up the other side.  The two ends of the ribbon will become the handle for the pinata.  Glue the chipboard securely to the inside bottom of the pinata.  (I'm sorry that I didn't take a picture of this or the next few steps. We got caught up in the excitement and forgot to take pictures.)

Step 9: Fill the pinata with candy.  Hold the pinata by the ribbon ends and shake as vigorously and aggressively as you can.  If the handle is going to fail, you want to know this now while you can fix it and not as soon as you attempt to hang it up at the party.  

Step 10: Paper mache the top, being careful to keep the ribbon ends from getting covered.  

Step 11: Paint the pinata.  We did a base coat of acrylic paint, then used a glossy spray paint for the top coat.


Step 12: Tie the two ends of the ribbon together and hang the pinata. We always use a pulley so that we can raise and lower the pinata while the kids try to hit it. Here is the birthday boy, taking the first turn at the pinata.

Making my first rectangular pinata was fun and definitely a learning experience.  I have my fingers crossed that the next pinata I make starts life as a balloon.  It's so much easier!

(For my regular readers, I have now updated my first Lego pinata post to include the fabulous picture of me as a 16 year old in 1988 posing with my taco-shaped pinata.  It's worth a look, if only to see my oversized 80's shirt and curled bangs.....)


  1. This turned out AWESOME!!!!! I loveeeeeeeee it!!!

  2. That pinata is so so fun for T to be in on the making of it.

  3. How fun! It looks awesome! :)

  4. Thank you for your great idea. We are excited to try it out.