Making Piñatas & Paper Maché



2 cups flour
3 cups water
1 balloon
Newspaper strips
Paint, crayons, or markers
Tissue paper (optional)
Colored crepe paper & String

1.  Blow up a large balloon and tie the end securely.

2.  Mix flour and water together until it makes a smooth paste.

3.  Cut newspaper into long 1 inch thick strips and dip into the flour and water mixture, creating paper Mache strips.

4.  Carefully place the strips of newspaper on the balloon in a single layer, patting the paper smooth until the balloon is covered, leaving only a hole at the top large enough for candy. Set aside and allow the balloon to dry completely overnight.

5. Place another layer of newspaper strips dipped in the mixture over the balloon and let that dry. Repeat with yet one more layer, making sure you leave the hole at the top. When completely dry, pop the balloon, and remove any balloon bits that remain.

6. Use wadded paper, lightweight wire shapes or smaller paper Maché covered balloons to create noses, ears, arms, legs or other details to make your piñata into the shape you want.

7.  Paint your piñata, or cover it with layers of bright tissue paper in colors to match your party theme.

8.  If desired, hang colored crepe paper from the sides and bottom.

9.  Punch 2 small holes in the top near the opening and string a large piece of string through the two holes.

10.  Fill your piñata (through the hole you left at the top) with candy, toys, or any other fun surprises. Mix the treats with strips of newspaper or small wads of tissue paper to keep the treats spread throughout the piñata.

11.  Tie your completed piñata in the air with the string and have fun!

TIP: Those who know how to make a piñata have learned not to make the paper Mache layers too thick or the piñata will be nearly impossible to break!

  • You can be creative with this project – your piñata can be almost any color or shape you can imagine. Don’t worry about your artistic skills, or craft experience. Anyone can learn how to make a piñata. It’s a great group project and a wonderful way for to have fun preparing for a party together.

Paper Bag Piñata: This is a very simple version of a Piñata making it a suitable craft to do with large groups of children. It’s much less messy than the paper Maché version.
Paper lunch bag
Candy or other treats
Different colors of tissue paper
Glue, Hole punch & String


  • Put candy or treats into the paper bag…
  • Scrunch up a piece of newspaper and put it in the bag. Repeat until the bag is full, with the newspaper- about 1 inch below the top of the bag (you need the inch so you can close the bag later)
  • Cut strips of tissue paper 3 to 6 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the bag (the wider you cut the strips, the quicker the craft will go)
  • Fringe the strips by using your scissors to cut about 1/2 way up each strip, 1 to 4 inches apart
  • Glue the strips around the bag, starting at the BOTTOM — only glue the uncut part, don’t get any glue on the fringes.
  • When you glue on the second strip, overlap it so it comes about to where you cut the fringe.
  • Repeat until you’ve covered the entire bag –again leaving about 1 inch free at the top.
  • Punch holes all the way around the top of the bag.
  • Lace a piece of string or yarn around the holes and pull tight (You may need to pull out a bit of the newspaper or add a bit extra at this point). Tie in a loop so you can hang it.
  • Cut 4 or 5 long strips of tissue paper and glue them to the bottom of the bag as streamers.
  • When all the children have made their piñatas, you can hang them up for decorations OR you can let them whack their bag with a stick until their candy falls out.


Be very careful that children don’t hit each other… You can use skipping ropes, to rope off a small circle inside a large circle. The stick (and whoever is using it) stays inside the small circle. When the person’s done using it, they have to put the stick down inside the small circle before they go back to the audience. The audience stays outside the large circle. Adapted from:

Great for playing the Piñata game at any party, Summer, Ice-cream or Reading for Ice-Cream Themes


Washable markers
Recycled newspaper
Paper towels
Coffee filters
Spray bottles
Thin poster board or oak tag board
Water containers
Bowls (plastic or paper)
Round latex balloons


  • Cover the work area with newspaper. Roll the thin card board or tag board into a pointed cone. Trim the top using scissors to make the top (cone) even.
  • Blow up the round balloon and knot it. Place the knotted end into the opening of the cone. Use glue to hold the parts together.
  • Cut or tear newspaper into strips.
  • Combine glue with an equal amount of water in a shallow bowl to make a paper Mache glaze (paste).
  • Cover the balloon & cardboard cone with 2 layers of newspaper strips which have been dipped in the paper Maché (glue & water) glaze.
  • Use your fingers to strip away excess glue. Dry thoroughly after each layer.
  • Pop the balloon & remove it from a small opening at the top.
  • Secure a string for hanging.
  • Cover the entire piñata, including the end of the string, with at least 2 more layers of the paper Mache glaze. DRY.
    To make the ice cream scoop, dab washable markers on coffee filters. Spritz with water to blend the colors. Dry.
  • Tear the coffee filters into small pieces, scrunch them up & glue to the round top of the ice cream cone. Decorate the cone with markers. (Or…to have a more finished look-cover it with layers of bright tissue paper as described in other entries)

Adult needs to cut a small opening near the top of the ice cream cone. Fill the piñata with goodies—have fun! Source: Unknown


(For ‘Science’ or ‘Bright Ideas’ Theme!)

1.  Mix the Paper-Maché Paste: In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of cold water, then add the mixture to the boiling water. Once the solution comes back to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. When the paste cools, it will thicken and be ready to use (cover and refrigerate the paste between applications). Or…use one of the paste suggestions at the “bottom of this page”…

2.  Shape the piñata by inflating a large, round balloon (about 14 inches in diameter). Tear 3 or 4 double newspaper sheets into 2-inch-wide strips. Apply the first layer of papier-mâché by individually dragging newspaper strips through the paste, wiping off the excess with your fingers, and pressing them onto the balloon so that they overlap slightly. Cover the whole balloon except for a 2-inch square opening at the knotted end. Let it dry for 24 hours. Pop the balloon

3. Tape the midpoint of a long string to the top of the bulb, then wrap the string ends around the bulb sides, taping them in place. Let the trailing ends dangle. With a craft knife (adults only), cut an asterisk-shaped opening in the bottom of a 32-ounce plastic deli container. Fit the top of the container snugly against the bulb bottom and tape it in place. The string ends should remain outside the container…

4. Add a second and a third layer of paper-maché allowing the paper to dry in between. Cover the sides of the plastic container too, but not the container bottom nor the dangling string ends. Finally, use a glue stick to attach a layer of 5-inch yellow-paper squares to the bulb but not the container.

5. Fill the piñata (through the container bottom) with 4 pounds of wrapped candy. Glue aluminum foil to the container to simulate the neck of a lightbulb. Secure the foil with 3 strips of black electrical tape. Hang the piñata upside down.


  • Inflate a balloon.
  • Dip newspaper strips in a mixture of your favorite paper Mache recipe. (See below)
  • Completely cover the balloon.
  • Let it dry thoroughly.
  • Paint and decorate the shape to look like an apple! You can also cover it with layers or sqares of bright red tissue paper.


Liquid starch, water, newspaper strips
Mix equal parts of liquid starch and water.
Stir until starch is dissolved.
Soak newspaper strips in liquid mixture and pat into place. (This is actually the one that I’ve always used. It did make my hands itchy-so you may want to wear plastic gloves. Barb)

Place 2 or 3 Tablespoons plain flour in a bowl.
Add a little bit of water.
Stir to make a smooth paste.
Gradually add more water until the paste is the consistency of thick cream.
Apply paste with a brush or your fingers.

For 1 to 1 1/2 cups paper mache paste, mix together one cup of flour with 1 cup water. Keep adding water (about 3 cups) and mix until all the lumps are gone. Bring to a boil in a saucepan and cool completely.

Mix 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and 2 cups cold water.
Add that mixture to 2 cups boiling water and allow it to return to a boil. Remove from heat and add the sugar.
Let entire mix cool and thicken.
Once the mixture cools its ready to use.

White glue,
1.  Mix two parts of the white glue with one part of fairly warm water.
2.  Stir well to produce the paper maché paste.

TIP: Adding Elmer glue to the above flour recipes will give it more strength.