My Captain Rex Pinata was so nearly successful that I needed to share the “recipe” with everyone. The base I used was my son’s Captain Rex Helmet but the directions can be modified using any base. The criteria for a good base are, it can’t collapse under weight, can’t absorb fluid, and isn’t easily cut with an Exacto-blade (or you don’t care if the object gets sliced in the process).
Step 1: Collect your supplies
– Strips of newspaper (tear with grain) about 1.5″ wide and 10 or 12″ long, cut to fit as needed.
– Glue mixture. I used a flour/water concoction. Mix together a cup of water and a half cup of flour until smooth, rapidly stir into several cups of boiling water until thickened. It only takes a couple minutes to make and I made several small batches along the way.
– Pinata base covered in oil (just about any oil will do, I used grapeseed oil because that’s what I had onhand).
– Exacto knife
– Painting supplies (I used white spray paint and acrylic for the details)
– Hair dryer (mine has a diffuser attached and that worked really well) or Patience. Will take 24 hours for a layer to fully dry using Patience alone or less time if you can bake it in the hot sun.
– small gauge metal crochet hook or other implement for poking holes and catching string.
– tape (I used tuck tape, but duct or masking tape would work well too)
Step 2: Layer your Paper Mache
– dip the paper in the glue mixture and slide all excess off before layering, overlapping each strip slightly, onto the base
– allow to dry using hair dryer or patience
– continue to layer. I did about 10 layers which ended up being way too many for little kids, I would do maybe 6 or 7 layers but seriously reinforcing the top wherever you will hang the pinata. I alternated horizontal and vertical layers.
Step 3: Finishing the base
– When the top portion of your pinata is completely layered and dry, take the exacto blade and extract your pinata base carefully from its shell. I found the inside was still a bit damp, so I dried it before going on to the next step.
– “Tape” the incision back together with several layers of small strips of paper mache
– Start layering paper mache on the bottom of your pinata if necessary to the same number of layers as the top portion and allow to dry.
Step 4: Painting the Pinata
– Self explanatory. I spray-painted the base white and then used acrylic paints for the rest of it. I didn’t paint the bottom.
Step 5: Filling the Pinata
– I cut a hole in the bottom of the pinata and filled the pinata with several kg of candy (it was very heavy!).
– I taped the hole shut with tuck tape, but any durable tape should work fine.
– After filling and taping, I glued crepe paper to the bottom to hide the base. I folded lengths of crepe paper in half, dabbed white glue on the middle and alternating blue and white, stuck them to the base of the pinata and allowed to dry overnight.
Step 6: Hanging the Pinata
– poke two holes a good distance apart (I’d do 3″ or more), making sure the paper mache between the holes is reinforced.
– Thread your crochet hook (or other implement) through the holes and catch or tie your string/rope onto the hook.
– Feed the string through the holes and secure.
Don’t forget – make sure the area where your string or rope is being hung is very durable, otherwise you’ll have the same problem I did and the rope with rip right through your pinata in the first couple swings. Oy vey! That’s a downer! Lesson learned!
Good luck ;)