Okay, now technically I didn’t make these for Valentines, I actually made them for my candy themed sixth wedding anniversary. I made a piñata cake too, so points for being on theme. If you are interested, you can read about our homemade vegetarian feast here or get the cake recipe and how it goes together here.
Anyway, back to piñatas! Since our house is tiny and awkward, making the kind of piñata that you smack with a stick wasn’t going to work. I stumbled upon pull piñatas, where a string is pulled to release a hatch and then its candy rain! Obviously, the pull piñata was the way to go but if you wanted to make the normal kind, this tutorial will still work – just omit the flap. As this was my first time making a piñata (and I was working to a deadline) I would do a couple of things differently next time around. I’ll point out any changes as we go.
I made three piñatas in total, two red and one confetti, because I wanted candy overkill! Feel free to make just one. These were pretty easy to make but I made them over a couple of days so that the glue had a chance to dry. If you are in a hurry, I think you could get away with using a hair dryer at a distance to speed up dry time. Or you could try using a glue stick or roll on glue tape to really speed things along. I haven’t tried those methods but I have seen others use them.
- Sturdy cardboard – I recycled a box
- Stiff but flexible card – I used scrapbook card but wished I went with something a bit thicker
- Fabric ribbon/s – curling ribbon was okay but I would go fabric ribbon in future
- Masking tape or painters tape
- Small amount of duct tape
- A stapler & staples
- Crepe paper
- PVA glue and a sponge or brush
I picked up most of my supplies at the local $2 shop. They had the glue, foam brush, stapler, ribbon, masking tape and crepe paper plus I found some pre cut cardstock hearts in the right size. Confetti was harder to come by, I got mine (which was cutely oversized) in the party section of Kmart but I’ve also seen it in Coles.
I used one of the heart cut outs as a template and traced it on to the sturdy/recycled box cardboard. You’ll need two hearts for each piñata. Scissors worked okay but if I’d had an exacto knife or box cutter, it would have been easier to cut the tight areas of the shape without creasing the card.
To keep this on track time wise, I switched to making the confetti part next. I used one of the heart cut outs but if you don’t have one, use a template to cut two hearts out of thin white cardboard. I mixed up a 50:50 mix of PVA and water in a takeway container with a lid (so you can store it for later use). I placed my hearts on some newspaper for easy clean up and then painted them with the PVA mix. I sprinkled on the confetti and set aside to dry. We will glue this to this piñata later.
I wanted a fairly deep piñata, so I cut strips of bendable cardboard into 3 inch or 7.5 cm wide strips. First job is to make the hanging ribbon that will poke out of the cheeks of the heart at the top. At the short edge of one strip, I secured a loop of ribbon with several staples and some tape. This is done on what will be the inside part of the piñata but the ribbon loop will poke up to the right or outside side. This ribbon part needs to be really strong. I wished I’d added some duct tape here. Join a second strip (again at the short end) so that the ribbon pokes out the right side, between the two short ends and secure the inside with duct tape.
Arrange the strips against a heart shaped piece of cardboard, so that the ribbon is at the centre of the heart and start taping with masking tape. Use little pieces of tape to attach the side to the main heart around the outside edges. Reinforce the tape on the inside and in longer pieces on the outside, you want it to be secure and fairly smooth. If you are going for a smash piñata, go all the way around. For a pull piñata, leave a small gap at the point of the heart, as shown.
Now for the pull part! You need a section of cardboard strip long enough to be folded up into the gap we have left, plus extra on each side. Attach a ribbon with staples and duct tape, as before. You may want to add additional ribbons that are only secured with masking tape, so you can keep pulling ribbons until the right one is pulled. Secure this piece to the heart with masking tape. You want it strong enough to hold the candy but still easy enough to pull away.
Fill up the piñata with candy and tape the other heart on, as you did with the first side. You won’t be able to tape from the inside but the whole thing is more structurally sound at this point and I don’t think inside tape is needed. Depending on your preferences, you may want to paint the card to be a similar colour to the crepe paper but it’s not really necessary.
Whip out the PVA and water mix from earlier and use it to attach the confetti hearts to each side. Allow to dry. Cut the crepe paper to your desired width and cut the fringing through all the layers. Use the glue mix to attach the crepe paper fringe to the hearts in rows. The closer the rows, the less background you will see and the fluffier the finished product will be. This actually goes pretty quick but I found I had to leave one area to dry before I could maneuver the piñata and glue the next section. Once the piñata is covered and the glue is dry, you are done!
This was a really fun love token! I was surprised that this was so easy to make. It does take time for the glue to dry but there’s not too much active doing time. Mr Ask was blown away by the effort I put in to making the piñata and was very excited about the contents! As you see in the pics, I went with a pretty nice selection of chocolate and candies. There were Lindt balls, Raffaellos, mini chocolate bars, fruit chews and lemon sherbets. I filled my piñatas super full to satisfy Mr Asks sweet tooth and he was so gleeful about it! Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like a diabetic coma lol! If you make one (or a few) I’d love to see pics. Happy Valentines Day xxx
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