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


Comments (34):

  • baybil on January 15, 2015

    try to make this,,,
  • Christine on October 18, 2014

    Love seeing more and more fiesta weddings and mini piñatas out there! Fiesta forever!
  • Molly on July 4, 2012

    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!
  • Todoparamamas on May 17, 2012

    Wow....this is so great, it is a very easy idea to make a lovely piñata! will make them for my little`s bday
  • Liv on February 19, 2012

    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!
  • Leron on November 17, 2011

    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!
  • Melissa on August 2, 2011

    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 please! With the directions, it seems as tho everything will fall out if held upright...helllllllp!
  • louise on July 29, 2011

    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!
  • Tatiana on May 4, 2011

    One of the prettiest things I have ever seen :)
  • Becky @ UCreate with Kids on May 2, 2011

    Simply adorable!!
  • Bellini Bunny on April 21, 2011

    These could be giant Easter eggs too!! I am sure going to give these a go! Thanks!!
  • Amanda on April 21, 2011

    sorry, I feel like this is a really dumb question, but exactly how did you seal up the bottom?
  • Michael and Anna Costa on April 21, 2011

    Pinatas are so fun! And this design is so inventive. Thanks for sharing.
  • Tara on April 15, 2011

    would love to use these as invitations!
  • on April 12, 2011

    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 :)
  • Christine @ Pure Joy Events on April 7, 2011

    What a darling DIY project. Thanks for sharing!
  • ali on April 6, 2011

    I feel silly asking this, but what is the suggested method for cracking open one of these babies?
  • Jasmine on April 4, 2011

    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!
  • Meesh on April 4, 2011

    I love this! I think I will attempt this for a baby shower. PERFECT. Thank-you ;)
  • Chanel @ Camille Styles on April 4, 2011

    This is like... THE perfect DIY favor. I'm obsessed!
  • Tara on April 3, 2011

    These are adorable! They look as fun to make as they are to bust open to get the candy out.
  • Events DEE-signed on April 3, 2011

    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!!
  • Sarah {Raving Fashionista} on April 2, 2011

    Eeek! So freaking adorable and perfect! Must make this asap!!
  • marissa on April 2, 2011

    oh my these are so stinking cute, I must try them
  • baballa on April 1, 2011

    This is just lovely... i love pinatas but never seen so little!! great idea!
  • Lori Anderson on March 31, 2011

    So cute! These remind me of grade school craft projects, only they look soooo much better.
  • lydia {ever ours} on March 31, 2011

    these are way adorable! thanks for sharing!
  • The Average Bride on March 31, 2011

    How cute!! Just looks like a lot of work. =(
  • kelsey {las vegas wedding photographer} on March 31, 2011

    What a neat idea!
  • Eileen Garcia Photography on March 31, 2011

    these are great!
  • Sara on March 31, 2011

    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!
  • on March 31, 2011

    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!
  • Bonnie Marie on March 31, 2011

    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 ....
  • MegRuth on March 31, 2011

    I love this! So versatile!


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