Making a Pinata- tutorial

Coop’s 5th birthday party is tomorrow. He’s having a Green Lantern theme. Party City had zero Green Lantern piñatas….or even plain green piñatas for that matter. So we decided to make one since boys his age really are fans at smacking the beans out of tissue paper candy receptacles.

I had made a piñata once before for Coop’s 2nd birthday. That time we made the sort with hanging ribbons the kids pull until one finally opens a trap door raining down candy. This time, we went more traditional and the kids will annihilate it. SO i’ll admit i didn’t attempt to make this one completely perfect.

But here’s how we did it.

Cut a strip of corrugated cardboard and tape it into a circle. Ours is about 3 inches tall. Cut 2 circles from newspaper,place one under your cardboard ring.

Cut slits into the newsprint or pleat it up around the cardboard ring and secure with masking tape. The pourous nature of masking tape means we’ll be able to paint it later. Don’t use shiny packing tape or scotch tape.

now carefully start adding a bit of strength to the surface of the newsprint “wall” by using matte finish Mod Podge to apply a few layers of newspaper strips in overlapping fashion. Coop sat on the floor and tore these for me : ) Allow to dry.

You want the piñata to be strong enough to hold candy, but weak enough for the kids to break. Don’t go too crazy with the newspaper strips!

Use an awl to make 2 small holes in the corrugated cardboard so you can attach wire for hanging the piñata. My husband is an electrician and so he gave me a piece of sturdy, pvc coated wire. Cut an extra little square of cardboard to layer in for strength. Punch 2 holes in that also and thread your wire through. then twist the tail ends to secure on the inside.

Add another circle of newsprint to the back of the piñata, pleating the edges to make it fit around the edges with masking tape. This time, cut a slit into the newsprint up near your wire hanger and fold back to form a pie shaped opening for depositing candy. Reinforce the edges of the opening with more masking tape. Then repeat the ModPodge-ing of newsprint strips step that you did on the other side. Once dry, take the piñata outside and spray with one coat of primer. If you are more meticulous than i was this time….you can follow up with a topcoat of spray paint in a color that will match the tissue fringe you will be applying later. i was not feeling that perfection was necessary right about now….to much to do!! : )

Cut 2-3″ strips of fringe from tissue paper. Starting at the bottom of the piñata, begin layering the fringe up the sides of the structure. Use a thin bead of white glue. Your fingers will be sticky and filmy if you’re doing it right!

Once the sides are all fringed, dump in your CANDY!!!!

Then cover over the hole with some flimsy typing paper just taped into place. Start at the bottom again and apply layers of the tissue fringe until the entire piñata back is covered and looking festive!

Paint the front of the piñata a coordinate color using basic acrylic craft paint and allow to dry.

Finally, i printed off the Green Lantern symbol onto thin printer paper (11×17 size). trim the art and attach it to the piñata front with spray adhesive. That’s it!

Happy birthday Coop!! This baby will be in shredded bits on the back lawn sometime tomorrow afternoon. i can’t wait!


  1. Jenn E says

    Looks AWESOME! You make it look so easy :). Going to try making one for Hayley’s 5th B’day in November :). Thanks for sharing :).

    And a big Happy 5th Birthday to Cooper for tomorrow :).

  2. Tristan says

    I am using your tutorial to make a Captain America shield pinata right now. I love your tutorial. I don’t know if it was just my cardboard, but my first try I didn’t get it very round. My 2 year old got a hold of it so fortunately I had an opportunity to strive for perfection. Anyway, the second time, I kept a large round platter in the middle while I taped up the newspaper to the sides on the first side. It kept it round. Thanks for the tutorial. I love it. We are going to use my 5 year old’s Thor hammer on it for his birthday party this weekend.

  3. JoAnna says

    Thank you for your detailed instructions and pictures of your piñata. It really helped me make a Captain America shield piñata for my 4 year old’s birthday party!

  4. Erika says

    Thank you so much for this idea. I’ve been going crazy trying to look for a Legend of Zelda piñata that won’t cost me $30-$50 for something small and flimsy.

  5. says

    Thank you so much for these instructions! I am making several pinatas for my son’s upcoming party and was looking for an easier way to get a printed design on the pinata. I was going to use a balloon for the base, but your flat-front idea will be so much easier!

  6. yen says

    Thank you so much for the tutorial, it made my stress go away… It’s not as complicated as I thought. I can’t wait to make it this weekend in preparation for my son’s birthday. Very nicely done!!!

  7. Debbie says

    looks great! I have a question, I bought a baseball pinata at the store and would like to turn it into the deathstar from Star Wars….what are your recommendations for painting it? Can we spray paint It?


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