The Strawberry Pinata

Some of you may remember the saga of the Infamous Zebra Pinata back in June. It took a lot of time and effort and tested my patience more than once. Apparently I quickly forgot the frustrating part, because not a month later I asked my goddaughter Kylinn if she would like me to help her make a pinata for her fifth birthday.

Something to know about Kylinn- she has dozens of wonderful qualities (smart, caring, loyal, enthusiastic, outgoing, etc), but neatness is not among them. While Trevor barely touched the paper mache with the tips of two fingers, I knew that Kylinn was likely to be rubbing it in her hair. Or clapping her hands in it to see it fly everywhere. Or something even messier that I couldn't predict. So I made it clear we'd be making the pinata at HER house.  ;)

When Trevor and I showed up at her house on Pinata Day 1, Kylinn was beyond excited. We blew up the oval balloon, tore newspaper strips, and mixed up a paste of flour and water. She loved the feeling of the gooey paper mache and happily smeared it all over everything. Trevor supervised, but did not want to touch it.

Kylinn lost interest after the first layer of paper mache, so I finished the next 5 layers on my own. When I finished, we set it in the sun room to dry.

Trevor and I returned the following week, determined to finish during a marathon Pinata Day 2. We cut a hole and popped the balloon.

The kids filled it with candy, then I added a bent coat hanger and patched the hole.

Then it was time to paint. (Notice that Courteney changed Kylinn from her white shirt into a red one and removed Ellia's shirt altogether? A smart move.)

About every 30 minutes, we added another coat of paint.  It took about 6 coats before it was completely red. In retrospect, we should have added some red to gesso and used that as a base coat. It would have cut down significantly on the amount of coats needed for good coverage. Next time. When the last coat was dry, I carved a pencil eraser into the shape of a strawberry seed, then started stamping on yellow seeds.

Each of the kids took a turn too.

Then it was time to make the leaves. We glued squares of tissue paper on a piece of cardstock that I'd cut into the right shape.

We attached the leaves, then wrapped the hanger in metallic green ribbon, letting the ends curl down.  Kylinn's enthusiastic assessment?  "I LOVE IT!"

The finished pinata:
Here's Ellia hitting the pinata:

And here's Kylinn:

And here's all that was left of the pinata after a dozen more kids hit it.

A lot of people asked me if it bothered me seeing my work get smashed up. No, since I made it to be ruined. Besides, the top can be saved and used as a fashionable hat.


  1. Tooooo cute! I really loved how this one turned out! And you are toooooo adorable in the "hat"! :):):):):):)

  2. Very cute pinata! I think you should save the "hat" for the next time there is a hat parade of some sort. Looks like a winner to me.

  3. Love it! Good story! I have a pic with the strawberry hat by the way. Think it will start a new trend! Good job everyone! Ioana

  4. what is your goo recipe for the paper mache, I will be making an angry bird pig in a few months an am curious? Also, how do you know how much weight it can hold in the candy bag department, I dont' want it to fall apart before it's time.
    Thanks CINDY your the best.

  5. Erica, I start with a random amount of flour in a container, then add water until it is the consistency of a high-quality milkshake. I put the strips in, then use two fingers to "zhoop" the extra goo off.

    As far as the weight of candy... I'm not really sure how to estimate. The kids put about a volleyball worth of candy inside the strawberry, but it felt too heavy, so we took half out and just threw it when the pinata broke. Obviously, the kind of candy makes a difference as far as its weight goes. If you build the hanger into the structure, it can hold A LOT of weight, but is hard to break. I prefer to add the hanger after the paper mache is dry and have the pinata fairly easy to break.

  6. Super cute strawberry crafts Cindy!! :) Amanda

  7. Oh, this post reminded me of how much fun I had as a kid at my pinata party. What an adorable pinata and I love that pic of you at the end. Super project, Cindy.

    Also, I wanted to make sure you knew you were a winner at Moxie Fab. Sometimes I comment on blogs and forget to check back later. Congrats on the win. http://www.moxiefabworld.com/search/label/Winnerday

  8. looks great. never made one. So you inflate a balloon, apply paper mache, let dry then how do you add hanger at top and what do use use for a hanger. We want to fill w/ candy and hit hard w/ bat. Also, where and when on the balloon do you cut hole to insert candy and do you close it up by paper macheing over it?

    1. Thanks! Yes, inflate a balloon and apply paper mache (5+ layers). Let it dry thoroughly (2ish days, depending on temperature and humidity - it should make a hollow thud if you knock it. Pop the balloon. I usually have the area where the balloon knot was as the top, but not always, as it depends on the shape. I use a coat hanger for a hanger, bending it to insert it, then unbending it once it's in. Then I add candy and test the strength. When all is good, I use masking tape to cover the opening, then sometimes paper mache over that. Again, it depends on the shape.

      This post gives more instructions, as well as links to the other pinata posts I've done.

      Good luck!


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