Monday, May 2, 2011

Fast Easy Homemade Cinco De Mayo Piñatas (Out of Recycled Stuff)

Today on NBC 12  I did craft segment on these! It was 3 I talked fast. 
When Cassie, the producer at Valley Dish  first approached me about doing a segment on piñatas on the show today gearing up for Cinco de Mayo, I was very excited to get started.  However, after several days of shopping for piñatas that all looked pretty much the same in local markets, I was beginning to get frustrated.  I'm in Arizona. We're not hurting for local talent in the area, it just seemed like any of the good ones were really expensive. Any of the less expensive ones looked really...cheesy. For the price it was just, from what I could tell, cardboard with tissue paper, I decided I wanted to make something a little more practical, and less expensive.  I also didn't have three or four days to wait for glue to dry. Dude. Who has that kind of time?!
 Just to be fair however, I do have to preface this blog article with this note. Note. I'm a frugal geek. I hate wasting money. If I think I can make it cheaper I will usually try. If I think I can use recycled stuff, I will. If I can save other people money. I do that too. I don't mean anyone any harm or disrespect. I'm not here to offend any local piñata makers. I think after making a few of them that that they really do an amazing job. I'm just saying that I wish more folks would make piñatas with the kids as well as play the game of knocking the stuffing out of them. I will do a few case in points:
 Cones with tassels on the ends 
around balls with fluff...usually 20$-25$...

Sponge Bob cardboard box covered
 in tissue paper 
with the equivalent of  empty paper towel rolls for legs.
 Dude. 35$ 
 Buzz Light-year. Um, this was a cardboard box covered in tissue paper with some glossy card-stock print outs of Buzz and his logo glued to the front of the box. I'm cheap. I'm not paying for that. I'll empty a jumbo box of Cheerios and make one, thank you very much.Okay, I may have to buy the Buzz card-stock logo thing at the local dollar store, but's worth the buck,  especially if I can pocket 17$. Really. Moms, is it just me or does that buy a lot more party favors? Even the fairy princess castle that can totally be made from empty rolled Quaker-oats tub covered in pink paper and some decoupage--top with some party hats covered in tissue paper hot glued to stay on. You've got yourself a nice castle to fill with candy on the cheap!
I also didn't want to wait 4 days for paper mache to dry. I'm impatient. So, I found some cool instructions for just covering cardboard and making piñatas. The beginner's instructions are here.

The first  Cinco De Mayo design I came up with uses a simple box shape.
The first step is to cover a cardboard cereal box, preferably the larger size jumbo box, with construction paper. I used tacky glue to get the glue to stay. Fold the paper as needed, as you would to wrap a gift. Now, here's where you'll also need to leave a cut out for the candy to go in as well as a hole somewhere near the top for the wire to hold up the piñata for the festivities. 
I used crepe paper used for party decoration to wrap the boxes, cutting with scissors a little along the edge. Then I glued the top edge of the paper to the construction paper. Start at the bottom of the box. That is important. The fray will need to be at the bottom. 
Oh, I did kind of fray the cut edge a little to give it some character as well. You know, because that just felt right.
When you get to the top, cover the top with two pieces of frayed edge on the outside and one down the middle that has double frays. That reminds me of a joke about a rope who went into a bar who was tied into a knot with a frayed end. The bartender said, "Are you a rope? We don't serve ropes in this bar." the rope said, "I'm a frayed knot."
 The circle design is a Southwestern paper dessert plate. Yup. You saw it here first people.
The tassels are made from yarn from Granny's vast exotic collection of skeins...she has oodles of the stuff. Daggumit she was more than happy to have me using up some yarn on a "fancy project"(as she called it).
To make a tassel, wrap the yarn  20 times around a 2 inch piece of cardboard and tie it securely with a 2 inch piece of yarn. I used 24 tassels for this piñata. 
Gently remove the tied yarn bundle from the cardboard and hold with one hand. 
Cut the yarn directly across from where it is tied together.
I used a hot glue gun to secure the plate to the middle of the box.
In the center of the plate, I attached a flower like those I made in Recycled Pie Tin Art (Metalworking)
I also attached some of these puff ball things to the outside edge of the plate. What are these called? 
Hot glue the tassels in a colorful deliberate pattern.
Hang from a tin roof in a neighborhood near you. 

The second design for the box is mostly comprised of material I designed using the technique I used for

The same paper plate was used, but the outside edge was cut off, and an old Christmas tree ornament was hot glued to the center. 

The rest of the flowers and leaves were arranged on the box and hot glued to it as well as some twisted aluminum foil for the vines and stems.
There you have it.
The simple box design is done. I'll have the other designs posted in the next little while. Remember to watch Valley Dish today at 3:30 to see some other great ideas! I'm excited to tell you what this one is made out of!


Lynnette said...

WOW Stef you are so Awesomely, uber- talented! I LOVE these Pinatas!!!Thanks for sharing your genius! Love it my friend!, Go You!


Anonymous said...

I always thought the same thing when I shopped for pinatas, these have got to be not so hard to make, so I can avoid the expense of it! Yet,I never had time to sit and think about it. Now I think I ight tackle the project, besides it looks fun gathering stuff around the house to make one!
P.s loved the frayed-knot joke!
~Mary Tui

Jen said...

Wow! This is really a very creative work of art. Thank you for sharing this. Awesome and perfect for the kids. We also did a Cereal Box Guitar out of the same materials you used. You should check this out! DIY Musical Instruments: Cereal Box Guitar