Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How To Make An Octopus Pinata

To make this pinata you will need:

  • 1 balloon, I used the 9'' size
  • newspaper, torn into strips, and a sheet to work on.
  • white scrap paper, torn into strips
  • tissue paper in the colors you want your octopus to be (some will be torn into strips, 4 sheets won't be)
  • 16 empty toilet paper rolls
  • a string, or ribbon for hanging the pinata
  • scraps of tissue paper, or construction paper for decorative details
  • white school glue, and stick glue
  • clear tape
  • water
  • a bowl
  • an old cup, or glass, to hold up the pinata while you work on it.
  • a hole punch, or something sharp, for making holes in the side of the pinata
  • an old paint brush (you can do without this, but it comes in handy)
  • and, don't forget the candy.

Start out, like you do for most pinatas, and blow up the balloon. Cover it with strips of newspaper dipped in a 1:2 - glue:water mix. Leave enough of the balloon showing at the top, to make a hole large enough to get the candy in later.

While the newspaper layer is drying, you can begin working on the legs. Take sheets of tissue paper, and cut them in half.

Cover two of the toilet paper tubes with stick glue, and roll them up in the tissue paper, as shown.

Leave enough tissue paper on the ends, to push in on one end, and cut open, into tabs, on the other, so you'll have something to glue to the pinata.

Make eight legs.

Once the newspaper layer is completely dry (this usually takes overnight), repeat the covering step, with white paper. If you're going to be loading the pinata heavy with candy, add an extra layer or two, of newspaper, with extra along the top, where your hanging holes will be. It's best to rotate between black and white print, and color adds, or comics, so you'll be able to see if you missed any spots.

If you are in a hurry, you can begin adding the tissue paper layer to the pinata, while the paper is still wet.

But if you have time, it's better to wait until it's dry. It will make it easier when adding the legs.

To attach the legs, glue the tissue paper tabs, right onto the sides of the pinata - securing them with clear tape on the top, and bottom.

You can see, I was in a hurry, so I taped them right to the tissue paper I was already adding.

If you wait until the white paper is dry, and the legs are added, before gluing on the tissue paper layer, then you will need to lightly brush on watered down glue, to stick the tissue paper to.

After, the tissue paper is on, and mostly dry, you can glue on the final touches. I cut round paper circles for eyes, and drew on the pupils. The children thought it looked too cute to hit, so I added angry eyebrows...

...and a tooth filled mouth, on the bottom.

The balloon can be removed from the middle, when at least two layers of paper are completely (and I mean completely) dry. Just stretch the top up, between your fingers, and cut a small hole, to let the air out. Hold onto the top of the balloon, as it deflates, and it will pull loose from the inside of the pinata.

If you remove the balloon too soon, while the paper is still wet, the pinata will collapse on itself. If this happens, you might be able to have someone gently hold the pinata, while you blow up another balloon inside of it. It worked for me, this time, anyway :)

Once the paper is actually dry, and the balloon is out, you can fill the pinata with candy. Then, punch two small holes in the sides, near the top, opposite each other, to run your hanging ribbon through.

Finally, glue a few small pieces of tissue paper over the hole, to close it, being careful not to let any of the glue fall down into the pinata. Then, hang your pinata as a party decoration, until it's time to smash it open.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Phyllis said...

I love his face! I almost don't mind it being broken open with a mean expression like that.

Christy Killoran said...

Fantastic! So creative. I might have to make a pinata this year.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I bookmarked this post for unlikely event of me wanting to ever make a pinata. Maybe when Anna is older she can help and take over the messiest pieces. But the end result is fantastic - a birthday child will surely be thrilled.

Ticia said...

I tried to convince Jeff we should make the kids pinata for the boys next party and he wasn't on board with that. Oh well, yours turned out great.

Debbie said...

This turned out so cute! Boy I wish I had the energy to do all the things you do. I use to when my older kids were younger, we did a lot of different things.

Unknown said...

I love how you even put his mouth on the bottom- AMAZING job! SOMEBODY'S going to have a GREAT birthday...