For my daughters joint 3rd and 5th birthday party, my wife told me I had to make a piñata, specifically this one:
I thought the above was great, but personally I wanted to make a Death Star – easy spherical shape and I wanted to fill it with little cardboard stormtroopers, so when the Death Star was destroyed they all fell out (it was better than my first idea, a baby seal piñata, which you club). This is the reference picture I used, from the Angry Birds/ Google Chrome website:My daughters and I started with a big balloon and papier-mache. A nappy bucket was a good stand to keep it still and clean while gluing: I had the idea of using food dye in the flour-and-water glue, in order to better differentiate between layers of newspaper, but by the final layer of A4 white bond printer paper saved from my work recycle bin (white paper is easier to paint) I realised that alternating a layer of newspaper and printer paper is a better solution.
The glue recipe was (from http://www.fishica.com.au/steps/papier-mache/):
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Mix flour and sugar in a saucepan
- Add half the water and mix into a thick paste – without lumps if possible.
- Pour in the rest of the water and mix into a smooth paste.
- Add the teaspoon of vinegar and put on medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Cool and transfer to an air tight container.
In the end we glued on four layers, which dried completely between applications, very important otherwise the piñata wont break, but will act like a strong wet sack that absorbs blows:I bought cheap poster paints from the newsagent and painted the bird; it really came alive now. I used a 6B pencil very lightly to work out the eyes and eyebrows, then painted over them with black gloss paint. When the paint dried I worked out that the lolly hole needed to be through the beak and big enough to get my arm through so I could reach in and fix the rope attachment, which was where the balloon tied off at the top of the bird. I used a jigsaw to cut the ‘beak’ hole – it needed to be a clean cut, as the piece cut out would be reattached after it was filled. I tied off a loop of rope through the lid of an ice cream tub for the rope fixing point. This worked out well, the loop stayed attached as the lid couldn’t be pulled through the small hole at the top of the bird, but it still was easy to insert and attach through the ‘beak’ hole:
And the end result, after the lollies had spilled out:A good week-long project. About an hour each night of gluing and drying for four nights, then a few hours of painting, and about two hours to finish the rope attachment, put in and seal the lollies, attach the beak and final paint touchups, then ten minutes to destroy. Everyone liked it, next time the Death Star.