- Cardboard boxes
- Masking tape
- Scotch tape
- Yellow tissue paper
- Black tissue paper
- Craft knife
- Craft glue
- Small dish
- Sponge brush
- Large round platter or lid
- Drinking glass
- Candy and small prizes
- Upholstery needle and cording
A birthday party just wouldn't be a birthday party without a piñata. Cardboard piñatas are easy to make and are a project that children like to be involved in. The basic construction of the cardboard piñata is made using old cardboard boxes. The cardboard can be cut and molded into the shape that you desire for your piñata and then covered with colorful tissue paper. The basic shape will not look pretty, but the colored tissue paper will cover the cardboard completely. The most important thing to remember about making a cardboard piñata is that it is meant to be destroyed. Do not worry about whether areas of construction are going to hold up. The following instructions are for a basic smiley face cardboard piñata. Use the techniques from these instructions to create your own designs.
Take the cardboard boxes apart and lay flat on your work surface. Using a large round platter or lid for the front and back of your cardboard piñata smiley face, draw around them creating two circles. Cut the circles out using the craft knife. Cut carefully and slowly to prevent accidents and to insure a neater line. Measure and cut several strips of cardboard that measure 4 inches wide. They can be as long as the cardboard boxes that you are using. These 4-inch-wide strips will be the sides of your cardboard piñata smiley face. You will need enough 4-inch-wide strips to go around the circumference of the smiley face.
Cut several pieces of masking tape 1-inch long. Starting on one long edge of the 4-inch-wide strips, apply the masking tape with 1/2 inch on the cardboard strip. Leave the other half inch to hang off the side. Continue to add half inch strips along the long edge of the cardboard, making sure that each piece of tape has no gap in between. Begin attaching the tape that is hanging off the sides of the cardboard strip to the edge of the cardboard circle. Butt the edges of the cardboard strip and the cardboard circle together. Work slowly and allow the 4-inch cardboard strip to form around the curve. Continue until the 4-inch cardboard strip has completely surrounded the cardboard circle except for the last 3 inches. Place the other cardboard circle on the other long side of the 4-inch cardboard strips and attach. You should now have your form for your cardboard piñata smiley face.
Cover and wrap the cardboard piñata smiley face with several layers of the yellow tissue paper. Add as many layers as needed to cover up any labeling on the cardboard. Cut several strips of yellow tissue paper 2 inches wide. Cut 1/2-inch fringe along one long side of the tissue paper strips, leaving 1/2 inch intact on the other side. Mix craft glue and water in a small bowl until it is the consistency of milk. Apply the craft glue using the sponge brush to the uncut long sides of the tissue paper strips. Starting on the bottom of your smiley face and working from left to right, apply a strip. Apply glue to another tissue paper strip and place over the first but 1/2 an inch higher on the smiley face. Repeat this process until the fringe covers the whole front of the smiley face. Allow the glue to dry. Turn the cardboard piñata smiley face over and apply the fringe to the other side. Allow the glue to dry. You should now have fringe completely covering both sides of the smiley face. Do not add fringe to the piñata sides.
Draw six circles on the black tissue paper using the edge of the drinking glass as your pattern. Cut out the six circles. Draw two smiles freehand on the black tissue paper and cut out. Glue the eyes, nose and smile to one side of the piñata smiley face. Allow the glue to dry. Repeat on the other side of the cardboard piñata smiley face. Allow the glue to dry.
Fill the piñata through the open 3-inch section with candy and small prizes. Cover the opening with an additional section of 4-inch-wide cardboard. Tape the opening closed. Cover the cardboard with yellow tissue paper. Find the top of the piñata smiley face and poke two holes that are 2 inches apart. Thread the 18 inches of cording onto the upholstery needle and insert in one hole and out the other. An upholstery needle has a curve and will be able to move easily in and out of the cardboard piñata. Bring the ends of the cording together and tie in an overhand knot for hanging.