Sophia’s ocean themed 5th birthday party was a big hit. The kids loved all the games, but their favorite was breaking the jellyfish pinata! It was super simple to make and the kids can totally help. Pinatas are great for any party so go ahead and make one! Even with the paint it will be cheaper than the store bought ones, which were almost $20 even in the dollar store! Ours cost about $12 using a 40% off coupon for the shimmer paint and the wreath on 2 separate trips to Michaels.
We made a jellyfish, but using the balloon shape as your base you could make a lot of different things! The obvious alternative is a balloon pinata or a hot air balloon. Or what about a globe? So cool for a travel themed party.
What you Will Need:
Cup with something heavy to hold it down
Balloon (We used oval shape but you could use round for a different look)
White Glue & Water for Paper Mache
Large bowl to place your pinata in to paint so it stands up
Paper: newspaper works great. We had old packing paper so we used what we had.
Flat bottom Styrofoam wreath. We got ours at Michaels.
Shimmer ribbon for the tentacles. Also found at Michaels.
Shimmer paint for the jellyfish. Martha Stewart paints worked the best, but you could use any shimmer craft paint.
String to tie the pinata up. We used twine. It worked great!
1. Find a cup and put a rock or something heavy in it to hold it down.
2. Blow up your balloon and tape it to the cup.
3. Mix your paper mache.
Option 1: I used white glue (2 parts) and water (1 part). It was easy to make and required basically no work. Win!
Option 2: You could also mix your paper machier with flour, water and sugar. Combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl. Add this mixture to a saucepan of 2 cups boiling water and bring it to a boil again. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Then, let it cool (it will thicken). Once it cools, the paste is ready for use.
4. Apply strips of paper about 1 inch by 6 inches to the balloon. I did not actually have all the same size strips and it was fine. I let my kids go at the paper and rip it up and we slapped it on there. I tried to help them smooth as we went. My kids were 3 and 5 so let’s just say mine was the smoothest. That’s cool though, we used their balloons and made fun jellyfish heads that the kids wore as blindfolds for pin the shell on the mermaid.
For a stable pinata, you will need at least 3 layers. I used 4 layers of paper for added stability. Don’t go overboard here. It’s not like you will really want to add another layer – it takes a bit of time – but you want the kids to be able to break the pinata. That is the fun part! If the pinata feels to hard when you are finished, you can weaken it in certain points by poking a knife into it. I don’t have pictures of this step but we did this in a couple places since the bat bearers were 3-6 years old.
5. and 6. Just keep adding those layers 🙂
7. Place your basically dry pinata in a large bowl and pop the balloon. Then add the layers to any missing spots on the bottom and be sure to leave a hole for your goodies!
8. Tie shimmering ribbons around your wreath to make the jellyfish tentacles.
9. Use your shimmer paint to go wild on the jellyfish pinata. It looks so cool when it is all painted! I simply hot glued my wreath tentacles to my pinata and we had no problems.
10. Attach hanger and give that baby a whirl! Here’s what I did. I don’t have any detailed pictures. I used twine and drilled four holes in a square around my goody hole. I then stuffed the twine in through one hole and out the other side. When you looked inside my pinata you saw an x where the twine crossed. I left a LOT of length on the twine. I pulled all my ends up and tied a knot about 2 feet above the pinata, leaving feet of twine left over so my husband could hold the pinata at differing heights for the kids. This was a great idea.
Then just let the kids beat that candy out! Wahoo!
This really was a super simple project and one the kids loved! The jellyfish literally gleamed in the sun and I have to say, I was impressed at how our not so smooth papering looked a lot like a jellyfish. Let me know if you have any questions. Hopefully you can enjoy a homemade pinata at your next bash!
Stay tuned for the rest of the tutorials from our ocean themed party. Because everyone wants a life sized mixed media mermaid to play pin the shell, right?