We decided to make a leopard piñata for Kooks’s safari birthday party. We had a lot of fun in the process and thought the end result turned out pretty well.
For our base we taped some egg crates to a balloon.
Then we added our layers of torn newspaper strips dipped in paper mache paste. We used a simple paper mache recipe with just two ingredients – one part flour, two parts water.
We did four coats and left it to dry thoroughly between each coat.
Then I cut out the top and two small holes for the wire to hang it from. We always stick a little piece of cardboard on the wire inside the pinata before twisting it off. It acts as a washer to distribute the weight of the filled pinata better.
Then we painted.
I made some ears, eyes, and a piece for the nose, mouth, and whiskers that we glued on after painting our spots.
If you are looking for a fun DIY craft to build up the excitement before a birthday party, I highly recommend a homemade piñata because it takes a number of days to complete. It’s fun, it’s messy, it’s cheap, and it’s incredible for kids to see what they can make out of balloons and newspaper. My littles really enjoyed making this leopard and the frog prince we made for Boo’s Princess and the Frog birthday party. At ages two and three they still need a lot of help from me but I’m hoping this is a tradition that we will continue as they get older. I have wonderful childhood memories of making piñatas with my siblings. There is something really special about making something beautiful out of a mess, even if you plan to beat that something beautiful back into a mess again!