Thursday, June 6, 2013

DIY Angry Bird Piñata

Last year, we made a Lego piñata for Trevor's birthday. The year before that, a zebra piñata. As far as I'm aware, party stores don't sell Lego or zebra pinatas. Even if they did, I'm a DIY kind of person. Why spend good money when I can do it myself and with a much cuter result? This is why we made our own Angry Bird piñata this year.


The stores definitely sell Angry Bird piñatas, so I could have taken the easy route this birthday, especially after my Blue & Gold piñata experience in February, where the balloon popped before the paper mache had set. Ugh. As it turned out, we'd have a similar problem with the Angry Bird piñata, but, of course, I didn't know that when we started.

The first step in making our Angry Bird piñata was to blow up the punch balloon that Trevor had received in a goodie bag a few weeks earlier. Its perfectly round shape would be ideal for an Angry Bird. After it was inflated, Trevor played with it for about an hour.

 
Then, we got to work adding the paper mache. And when I say "we," I mean I did the paper mache and Trevor took my picture. He hates the feel of paper mache. When it was covered with multiple layers, I set it aside to dry.  


Notice all the oranges on the island?
Within an hour, the sphere was no longer spherical. This time, the balloon didn't bulge or pop. Instead, it had a slow leak, which made the top collapse inward. Sigh. I have literally made dozens, if not hundreds, of piñatas in my life without a problem. Now twice in a row, I get a faulty balloon? I debated starting over, but decided to use the same method to disguise the collapsed area as I did a few months ago.

We bent a wire clothes hanger and wedged it inside, added the candy, and sealed up the top. Then we painted the piñata with a red base coat and added a white tummy. Then we started the tedious process of adding tissue paper squares, one by one. By increasing the size of the squares, you can disguise a flat section, making the whole thing appear perfectly round. 

 
When about 1/3 of the red was done, I added a yellow cardstock beak.

 
We finished most of the red, then added some angry eyes, also made of cardstock. As you can see, we're working on the dining room table with the piñata sitting in a plastic container to keep it from rolling.

 
Here's the piñata with everything done except the bottom. At that point, I moved the piñata to the chandelier so we could cover the bottom without squishing any of the sides. 

 
Once that was done, the last step was to add the eyebrows, top knot, and tail, all made from cardstock. Here's the finished piñata.

Here's a side view so that you can see his tail.  



It's hard to believe, but tomorrow I'm actually going to be encouraging children to destroy it with a baseball bat...

27 comments:

  1. Wowwwwwwwwww! It looks AWESOME!! I love it!!!!

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  2. OH EM GEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! Fabulous!
    But I don't know why I am surprised your creations always are!!!

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  3. Amazing. Wow, that turned out sooooo cute. I wish we lived nearby. We would invite ourselves to this sure-to-be terrific party!

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  4. Are you kidding me?! That turned out FANTASTIC! I'd have never known there was any issue with it.

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  5. Good save! It looks awesome!!!!!!! :)

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  6. Hi. Love your work. Trying out this pinyata for my nephew but dont know how to make the beak. Can u please show us how u made it? Thanks!!!

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    1. I wish I'd taken a picture of the pieces before I attached them! It's three pieces of yellow cardstock. The first is a large triangle, folded in half and then opened most of the way. That's the top. I attached it by making a narrow fold along the longest end of the triangle and adding glue to that. The bottom is done the same way, but it's a smaller triangle. I added a small triangular insert to cover the space between the upper and lower parts of the beak.

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    2. Thank you so much Cindy :) The tips really helped and i finally finished it! Look forward to your other projects. I hope Trevor realizes he's lucky to have such a cool mom :D

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    3. So glad that helped! I'd love to see a picture of yours. I do think Trevor appreciates me. He's a really great kid.

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  7. I'd be happy to email you a picture of the pinata. How should i send it?

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    1. Awesome! Send it to cindy.derosier at gmail.com.

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  8. Thanks ! I will try to make for my going 4 years old boy.

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  9. Hi Cindy. I love your Piñata. Started one with a regular balloon but the shape is not nice. Trying to find a round balloon to start over. One question: do you use crepe paper? Do you somehow twist them or something when you attach them or do you really just glue the squares one next to the other? How long did it take you to finish it?

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    1. Yes, definitely use the round balloon and not a normal balloon. I've found the punching bag balloons at party stores and in party aisles at places like Target. They cost a bit more but the difference is well worth it.

      Sometimes I use crepe paper and sometimes I use tissue paper. Either way, I cut it into approximately 1 inch squares. To apply them, I use a pencil with a fresh eraser. Pick up a square, put the pencil in the center (eraser side touching the tissue paper), then use your hand to squeeze the square around the pencil. (Does that make sense? Basically, you're covering the eraser of a pencil evenly with a tissue paper square.) Then dip the eraser (with the tissue paper still on it) into a puddle of white glue, then touch it against the pinata. The tissue paper stays and the pencil slides out. Repeat a thousand times or so. :) If there's an uneven patch (like a divot or bulge), you can cut the squares larger (or smaller) to make the final product appear perfectly round.

      This technique takes a REALLY long time. Painfully long. Hours and hours. But it's mindless and can easily be done while watching tv or something. I only apply squares one at a time when the paper mache fails so much that there is no other way to hide the divot. Otherwise, I apply the crepe or tissue paper in long strips (like the ones that are sold in stores).

      If you type "pinata" into the search box at the top of my blog, you'll see a wide variety of pinatas I've made and the different ways I've covered them. Some are simply painted, which is SO much faster and often looks just as good.

      Good luck! Let me know how yours turns out!

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  10. Thanks so much for your reply. Would like to ask you something else. What is your recipe for the glue? What is the relation between flour and water and is it necessary to boil it or just mix it and use? And the next thing I would like to know is how many layers of paper mache do you put on the balloon? On my first trial I put on too much and it took days to dry. My son Lucas is turning 5 in April and he is crazy to have an Angry Birds Piñata for his party. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. I am writing you here from Brazil and I love your Piñatas.....

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    1. "Recipe" is far too strong a word! I dump a bunch of flour into a shallow baking dish, then add water and mix (with my hand) until it is soupy. I'm trying to think of something that is the same consistency - maybe heavy cream? Or pancake batter?

      How many layers of paper mache is really up to you. If you want it to break easily on the first hit, use about 3. If you want it to stand up to all the kids having a turn to pound on it, use 5 or so. I usually aim for the higher end, which does mean days of drying time. Even a few layers requires a good 48 hours to really dry.

      Did you check out the rest of my Angry Birds ideas? The toilet paper roll Angry Birds activity was a huge hit at Trevor's party and it was so easy to make. Good luck! I'd love to see a photo of your finished pinata.

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  11. Hi Cindy...I am back with another question. How do you fix the hanger in the Piñata?At the same side of the hole or on the opposite side Does it really support the weight? And how do you close up the hole? Also with multiple layers od paper? I am really having troubles to figuer out that part.....Thanks so much for your help. Maria from Brazil

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    1. Happy to help!

      I take a wire coat hanger, bend it, and wedge it through the hole at the top of the pinata (the hole I made when I popped and removed the balloon). Then I reach in and unbend the coat hanger so that it is flush against the insides of the pinata. Sometimes I tape it down with duct tape, but usually I just leave it. Then I add the candy. At this point, I hold the pinata by the hanger and shake the heck out of it to test the strength of the hanger (if it's going to fail, I want to know now while I can fix it, not once it's decorated). When I'm convinced the hanger is solid, I add several layers of paper mache to close the hole. Once that is dry, I start decorating.

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  12. And how much weight can this Piñata hold? I have 20 kids coming to the party.

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    1. I've never tested the limits. I usually aim for about 15 pieces per kid, which isn't that heavy. If you're planning on more than that, you might want to choose the lightest types of candy (Smarties come to mind).

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    2. Have you finished your pinata? I would absolutely love to see how it turned out! If you're able, please email me a photo at cindy.derosier at gmail.com. Thanks!

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  13. Hello!!! You are the best!! I just finished my DIY pinata!!! I would like to send you the pics!! It came out great!! My son is super super happy!! ♥

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    1. So glad to hear that! I'd love to see pictures! You can email them to me at cindy.derosier at gmail.com.

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  14. Hi Cindy, I just want to say thank you very much for this idea, I made it for my son's party today and the kids loved it!

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