NINE YEARS + A Piñata How-To

I remember the night Jack was born.  He was born at 9pm on the nose.  My doctor joked with me about hurrying things along so he could watch LOST.  He came out just in time to catch the new episode.  He began his first night as the cuddliest baby and he still is my cuddliest to this day.  We fell asleep in the hospital bed together and I woke up to the gentlest of thunderstorms, which I knew was just for us–my favorite.  He is nine now, but I remember every detail of the night he came to us.  Sunday night we celebrated that night nine years ago with a simple family and friend celebration–just what he wanted.

Jack camped all weekend with his dad and came home Sunday afternoon high on life–a middle child’s overload of one-on-one time.  While he was gone, the other kids and I worked quickly to make a rich chocolate sheet cake (thank you, NOAH!), wrap gifts, and hang 100’s of feet of festive banners.  We like to do birthdays right around here.  

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After hot dogs off the grill, cake, and gifts, the kids (and dads) had some epic rounds of kickball outside.  Jack got to go first for everything and no, he never got out–VIP birthday boy benefits.  We ended the night with a piñata.  Jack always wants a piñata, which I am happy to do, but please.  Those suckers are like $20 and let’s face it.  You hit them, destroy them, and the fun is done.  Let’s not even talk about the $30 of candy you need to buy to fill them.  So after trying to choose between a donkey and a baseball and Jack swearing that a donkey is “just what he’s always wanted,” we decided to make our own–I mean, how hard could it be!? 
We came home and did a quick Google search.  Our choices were either newspaper and glue water or cardboard.  We decided to go with the obvious less-labor intensive cardboard.  It was so easy- and SO fun to make.  I have a feeling these guys are going to want personalized piñatas at every party now. 
I wanted to throw together a quick little tutorial for you guys.  It really is super easy and so fun.  Also, your kids will think you’re awesome, which is already true, but sometimes needs a little extra proving. 
G A T H E R:
  • old cardboard boxes
  • heavy duty scissors or a utility knife
  • Sharpie
  • wide masking tape (it must me masking tape! the other tapes are too slippery and the tissue won’t adhere to them as well.)
  • tissue paper
  • sharp paper scissors
  • white glue

1. Draw out your shape with a Sharpie.  I just free handed mine.  Just keep it basic.  You could do their initial, like I did or the number of years that they are turning–unless it’s a double digit, then you’ll have to make two and that’s just crazy.  The more detailed you get, the harder it will be to tape together.

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2. Cut out two of your shapes + enough long pieces for the sides.  Mine are 4 inches wide.

3. Tape your front, back, and sides together.  This part gets a tad bit harry since there’s a lot to hold together.  Just work in small pieces, taping a little at a time.  Start with your front side and tape on the strip.  Again, just work a little at a time.  When the front is completely taped to the middle section, then tape the back on.  You’ll finish with a shape like this: 
4. Cut your tissue into strips.  Have the kids help with this part! Cut tissue into strips and then cut fringe buy cutting slits every 1/2 inch or so, being careful to not cut all the way through the strip.  You’ll finish with a big pile of fun fringe.  Make a lot so you have plenty.  For ours, I used almost one whole pack of tissue.

5. Glue your fringe on the your piñata.  This can be a frustrating step, but don’t let it be.  Work on one side, let it dry completely, then move on to the next.  You’ll have four sides in all.  Start at the BOTTOM of your shape, use the glue to run a straight line of glue, carefully set a strip of tissue on the glue and then move up about a 1/2 inch and repeat.  Don’t worry about pieces being too long.  You can use these on the sides when you get there.  If you try to do all four sides at once, you’re going to get all gluey and ruin the pretty sides you’ve just finished because they’re still wet.  Keep going and going till its all covered.

6. Fill with candy.  We just cut a small hole in the short part of our J and dumped it in.  Your piñata should be really sturdy.  To hang, we just poked a hole into the front and into the back and pulled a rope through to create a loop. 
And that’s it!
See–so happy to have a piñata!! :)
Thanks for having so much fun with our Freshly Picked giveaway this week.  The lucky winner is Rachele White! Way to go, girl!
I wanted to announce something else today that I am so SO excited about: the iHomeschool Network’s Omnibus.  Its a bundle of over 100 items created by homeschool moms, all in one convenient package deal.  Hours and hours of mp3s and tons of wonderful eBooks to be inspired by. 
I’ll have lots more info on Monday, so be watching! You are not going to want to miss this week-long sale of some amazing products F R O M homeschool mamas F O R homeschool mamas.  I’ve spent hours reading and listening to these fabulous products.  Next week I’ll be posting on some of my favorite items–you are going to love this.
Have a fabulous weekend, friends.  We have a quiet one planned.  I’m pretty excited about that!



  1. Happy birthday Jack!

    I love the pinata! You are so talented and patient with amazing crafts!

    We're having a quiet weekend too- Alleluia!! Why don't you come over and have coffee so we can plan school together? Love you!

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