DIY Pinata

by | Mar 15, 2023

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From January to June the birthdays do not stop around here!! Between my immediate family and my extended family have one every 8-12 days, if it sounds like a lot it is. I tend to be the resident cake maker, party planner and present buyer, which I enjoy until about May, ha. This year my middle babe wanted a pinata. I was so excited until I saw the price tag?!?! $30 (plus the cost of the treats to fill it) for something that gets smashed and thrown away in a hurry, no thank you! Insert DIY Pinata

Step by Step Pinata Instructions

I thought to myself, how hard can it be, cardboard with tissue paper on it – pfft, I’ve figured out much harder things (drywall, flooring, paint, thanks pandemic)! I googled DIY pinata and it seemed easy enough. DIY pinata coming right up!

pinatas on amazon

The $30 dollar pinatas I wasn’t willing to buy!

First I made a list of all the things I would need, most of these things you probably already have around the house!

  • Cardboard box
  • Tissue paper
  • Zip tie
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Duct or Gorilla tape
  • Design for the front (I cut an old gift bag – are you even a parent if you don’t have a gift bag full of gift bags stuffed in a closet somewhere? lol)

I shopped my house, and found an Amazon box, zip ties, glue stick, scissors, gorilla tape, and a design for the front. Check check check! All I was missing was tissue paper in the colors I wanted to use. We had white and red from Christmas but my girls are in a years-long love affair with rainbows, so off to Dollarama I went. I bought 5 colors of tissue paper for $1.25 each, for a total of $6.25 plus tax – way under $30.

box, tissue paper for making a DIY pinata

I used gorilla tape to reinforce where the pinata would hang from by putting a strip on the top and the bottom of the cardboard that the zip tie would loop through. Then I poked 2 holes into the tape strips/cardboard with the end of my scissors and fed the zip tie through. I made sure the closure of the zip tie was on the interior of the pinata.

box with zip tie through the top
The zip tie closure on the inside of the pinata / The smooth part of the zip tie on the outside of the pinata.

Tissue paper was next! I cut about a 4-inch wide strip of tissue paper and then cut about a 2-inch vertical line into each strip over and over again to make the colorful tabs or tails, of the DIY pinata. I ended up with 5-6 strips of each color of tissue paper, with the slits cut into them. Then I started gluing them to the box in a rainbow pattern. The first side I did from the top down – which was a mistake, I had to flip all the little flaps up to then glue the strip underneath and it was slow and annoying, so don’t do that. For the second side, I started from the bottom and that was much easier and faster. So do start at the bottom.

tissue paper strips and part of pinata

I glued on one whole side of the tassels, filled the box with treats, taped it close with gorilla tape and then glued the rest of the tissue paper. All the way to the zip tie on the top and then I got lazy and glued the tissue paper the long way on the short sides and bottom too. My kid wasn’t going to care and again, this is going to end up in the garbage.

finished rainbow unicorn pinata

Last but not least, I cut a cutie little unicorn out from an old gift bag and taped it to the front of the pinata, and taa daa! Bob’s your uncle. DIY Pinata success! I think it turned out awesome, was a hit with the kids, performed exactly as a pinata should and I saved myself at least 25 dollars. Probably a bit more as I used less than half of the package of tissue paper on this DIY pinata. It took me about an hour or so to make, most of that was tedious gluing but to me it was totally worth it. I will always make my kids cakes ($65 plus dollars for a crusty fondant-covered cake uh no). I will always search for a cheaper way to DIY something. Saving money and feeding my creative interest is always a win! Two of my passions actually.

kids hitting pinata

Here’s a pic of my youngest swinging a piece of plastic pipe at the DIY pinata in our garage. Not the most aesthetic setup but the reality of a February birthday party in Manitoba. Ha. My husband hooked the pinata to a tow strap and another hook on the ceiling of the garage and stood in the doorway raising it up and down. He’s seen way too many TikToks of dads getting hit while holding a pinata on the end of a broom haha. It all worked out great! Let us know in the comments if you’d try to DIY pinata now that you see how easy it is!

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