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DIY Cinco de Mayo Piñata Favors

DIY Cinco de Mayo Piñata Favors

This wedding favor idea is perfect for Mexican inspired weddings and just in time for a Cinco de Mayo fête. This project is not as daunting as it seems. Just put on This American Life and away you go!

diy cinco de mayo pinata

For this project, you’ll need:
– Small balloons (I used 7″ balloons, but water balloons may work too)
-flour & water for papier mâché
-newspaper or any thin paper
-candy to go inside the pinata (we used saltwater taffy)
-Elmer’s glue
-tissue paper
-glasses or a base to hold the piñatas while they dry

diy cinco de mayo pinata

diy cinco de mayo pinatadiy cinco de mayo pinata

This project can be as labor intensive as you’d like it to be, so we bypassed as many steps as we could to speed up the process.

Step 1: Blow up balloon to desired size and tie with a knot. Ours were about 5-6 inches long. Rip paper into small pieces – strip or square shapes are great, but really any shape will do. Mix equal parts of water and flour for papier mâché glue paste.

Step 2: Start gluing pieces of paper onto balloon, allowing an opening around the balloon tie for candy once it’s dry. We didn’t bother with a brush to glue the pieces and went straight to using my hands – another tip to speed up the process. Once your balloon is covered with its first layer of paper, let it dry for a few hours. Repeat the process until is thick enough to hold candy without the shell breaking. Three layers were sufficient for me and sturdy enough that they wouldn’t break if they fell on the floor, but you can add more to make them stiffer if you’d like.

diy cinco de mayo pinata

Step 3: While your papier mâché dries, you can get your tissue paper ready. Again, we batch fringed tissue paper by folding a long strip of paper (about 4 inches wide) in half lengthwise so it’s 2 inches wide. Then fold the paper the other direction a few times and cut 2/3 of it’s width, so my paper was 2 inches wide, I cut slits of about 1.50 – 1.75 inches wide. To save us a little more time, we didn’t bother measuring measuring how wide each strip should be.

diy cinco de mayo pinata

Step 4: Once your papier mâché is dry, you can start layering your fringed tissue paper. I went against my own advice on this particular pinata and started from the top down. Don’t do that. By the time I was finishing gluing the last layer, the fringes on the top were wrinkled and some ripped. Always start layering the fringe from the bottom up. Here I used school glue, but I think flour paste could work too (but I’d use a brush since tissue paper is much more delicate than newspaper). I used three layers for each color tier.

diy cinco de mayo pinatadiy cinco de mayo pinata

Step 5: With a needle, gently poke a hole on the balloon to deflate it. Pull balloon out and we’re ready to add the candy!

Step 6: To create a handle for the mini piñata, thread a tag in a ribbon and make a knot halfway. Tie the ends of the ribbon onto a candy.

Step 7: Now you’re ready to add candy and seal the pinata. Add the handle last and seal the pinata with a matching piece of tissue paper.

diy cinco de mayo pinatadiy cinco de mayo pinata

I used a little less than 20″x8″ worth of tissue paper per colored tier for each wedding favor. I reused the scraps of paper to create conffeti that were added in each pinata along with the candy. For anyone looking for the specific type and colors of tissue paper I used, colors are Emerald, Peridot and Aquamarine. The glittery paper is called gemstone tissue paper, and it can be found online at places like this. Total cost for each wedding favor is under a dollar including the candy.

Click here to view step by step photos

View Comments (35)
  • Did you try busting the pinata? I’m wondering whether it cracks or just smooshes, so if you make these as wedding favors and the kids get a hold of a couple ….

  • Once they are dry, they are pretty sturdy. With one layer of papier mache, I popped a balloon to see if the shell would break and it held up on it own without even smashing.

    Of course with the more things you stuff them with they will get heavier and could potentially break if they fall from a certain height. From the height of a kitchen table to the floor, the pinatas with stuffing didn’t break when they fell.

    Hope this helps!

  • I love this idea so much – just think about what you could put inside! Anything from candy to custom patches…I wonder if you’d be able to put in small toys? I think I might do this for my daughter’s next birthday!

  • Adorable, and perfect timing for me. I used to work at a Mexican restaurant, and we are having a reunion this June. This is just the favor I was looking for. (Now I just need to recruit some helpers!!) Thanks!!

  • These are adorable! They look as fun to make as they are to bust open to get the candy out.

  • I love this! I think I will attempt this for a baby shower.
    PERFECT. Thank-you 😉

  • Thank you for such a great idea!! I wanted to have a pinata at our wedding reception, but due to the venue we aren’t allowed to hang anything from the ceiling. This would be a great way to incorporate my idea into the reception without having to hang them!

  • I feel silly asking this, but what is the suggested method for cracking open one of these babies?

  • hi Ali – you can just pull the handle. The opening would be large enough to take everything out without breaking the pinata, but you can also break it with your hands 🙂

  • sorry, I feel like this is a really dumb question, but exactly how did you seal up the bottom?

  • These could be giant Easter eggs too!! I am sure going to give these a go! Thanks!!

  • adorable! I love pinatas, but not a fan of the whole beating things with bats.. So I love these individual ones that don’t need to beat with a bat. And they are just too pretty to want to break!

  • Hi, im in the process of making these n really need some help. I’m having trouble trying to figure out how to seal the bottom…help please! With the directions, it seems as tho everything will fall out if held upright…helllllllp!

  • These are perfect! This year we are teaching our 4 yr old son Paxton about Mexico. We filled a shoebox with goodies for a little boy in Mexico and thus we are learning about his country. This year for Christmas we are having a fiesta…these will replace our stockings!!! Thanks!

  • Hi! Love these! I made these for my daughters birthday and I too am having trouble figuring out how to seal it! Help! I have 30 ready to go with no bottoms and party is Friday, please help!

  • I see a couple others asked but I don’t see the answer: How exactly do you seal the bottom? I want to make these for a teacher appreciation fiesta!

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