DIY Wedding Piñatas

Nothing makes a party like a piñata. When I was a kid, I begged my parents for a piñata for my birthday party. I couldn't imagine anything more fun: an awesome cartoon-like character you get to smash with a bat until candy flies out. It's every kid's dream. Scratch that: it's every human being's dream!

My parents came through. They brought me to a party store and let me have my pick. There were piñatas of every size and shape, from giant ice cream cones to Daffy Duck. I chose spider man (I was a comic book nerd even then) and delighted in helping my dad hang him from the tree in our front yard.

Last year I went to my best friend's wedding expecting something stuffy and serious. Instead, she had a homemade moose piñata! She said it was my gigantic spider man piñata birthday party twenty years ago that gave her the idea. Making your own piñata may take a bit of time, but it's a detail your guests will never forget. If you're inviting kids to your wedding, they'll see it as the highlight of the event (kids don't bother with all that lovey dovey stuff, they're in it for the candy.)

The Supplies

Here's what you'll need:

  • recycled cardboard
  • tissue paper
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • a glue stick
  • thick twine (pipe cleaners will also work).

Create the Three-Dimensional Shape Out of Cardboard and Tape

You'll start by cutting the cardboard into the shape of your piñata. The number one pictured above was easy since it has straight edges. If you're going for something curved, you can bend the cardboard but remember that you'll need identical pieces for both sides. Use plenty of tape to make sure your shape holds. Cut a flap on the top of your piñata and use the twine or pipe cleaners to secure it (pictured below). This will be where you add the candy.

Cover Your Creation in Fringed Tissue Paper

Cut your tissue paper into strips and fold it. Then cut fringe about halfway up. When you unfold them, the fringe will extend the length of each strip. Glue these to your cardboard shape, being careful to overlap the strips so only the fringe is showing (glue the uncut tops). You can also add sequins, ribbon, googly eyes, and feathers to give your piñata more character.

If you want to create round shapes without struggling with cardboard, you can try papier-mâché. Use a balloon as your mold and cover it with strips of newspaper soaked in papier-mâché paste being careful to leave a hole at the bottom large enough for candy.