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!
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)
-glasses or a base to hold the piñatas while they dry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.