Homemade piñata guaranteed to break :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::photo courtesy of Diane Hardy Alek Surrenian of Arlington Heights prepares to take a swing.
Pounding. Stomping. Hitting. Trying to break open a store-bought piñata with a bat at a birthday party can be frustrating. The tough shell of those store-bought piñatas have left countless parents upset, children baffled and neighbors amused. This homemade version is fun, inexpensive and guaranteed to break. You need: • A big balloon (sold at most party stores) • Newspaper cut into strips • Flour and water • Colorful tissue paper • String or rope • White glue and hot glue • Scissors • Black marker • White paper • Big red pompon Instructions: 1. Cover the work space. This is a messy project best suited to patios, laundry rooms and garages. 2. Blow up a balloon and tie a string around the knot. Hang the balloon so it won't roll around while you work. 3. Tear newspaper into strips 12 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. 4. Make paste by adding two cups water and four cups flour into a large bowl, mixing to a paste-like consistency. 5. Dip the strips into the glue 10 strips at a time. Remove excess paste so strips won't drip as heavily. 6. Place the strips in an X design around the balloon. Add another layer if needed. 7. Leave a few inches of space around the top, knotted area of the balloon so you can add candy later. Use extra layers of papier-maché to reinforce the opening. 8. When the project is dry-generally 24 hours later-pop the balloon. 9. Add the candy, then poke holes 3 inches below the candy opening. Run a sturdy string through the holes to hang it. Secure with electrical tape. 10. Decorate the piñata with strips of colored tissue paper (12 inches long and 3 inches wide). Cut the strips in half so they look like fringe. 11. Glue the strips horizontally around the entire project. 12. Make the eyes by cutting two circles of white paper and draw in smaller black circles. Glue them on. 13. Glue a big red pompon for the nose and draw a black mouth with marker. Add your own embellishments, such as glitter, beads and jewels. 14. Glue hanging streamers to the bottom. 15. Cut strands of yarn, string or long streamers for the hair, fill with treats and use hot glue to attach a party hat to cover the candy hole. 16. Hang up the piñata, make sure the young guests are standing safely out of bat range and start swinging. Diane Hardy