Friday, August 15, 2008

How to Make a Shark Pinata


I made this shark pinata by trial and error. There were a few bad moments where it looked like all it wasn’t goining to work but the result was worth the headaches.

The trick is to plan ahead. You need to do three layers of papier mache, so allow enough time for it to dry in between layers.

Start making it at least a week out from your party...

Stage 1: PAPIER MACHE

1 Large balloon (from party supply shops)
2 cups flour
3 cups water
Newspaper (ripped into medium-large strips; small strips takes forever!)

  • Blow up the large balloon and tie the end
  • Mix the flour and water together until it makes a smooth paste
  • Dip the paper strips into the flour mixture and then plaster them all over the balloon until it is covered, leaving a hole on the top for filling with sweets later
  • Set aside somewhere it won't get knocked, e.g. the garage, and let the balloon dry (about a day). Repeat three times (three layers in total).
  • When the third layer is dry, pop and remove the balloon
  • If cracks appear after the last layer is dry, you can patch it up using duct tape or masking tape. This is what happened to me! I nearly gave up on the whole thing, at that point, but luckily my clever hubby suggested taping it. Brilliant! You couldn't even see where the cracks were after it had been decorated.

Stage 2: DECORATE

Silver crepe paper (2xpkts)
Glue Stick
Black Marker
Red Paint
Plain white paper
String
Cardboard
Duct tape or masking tape
Wrapped sweets (for filling)

  • Draw a wide opening at the round end of the pinata for the mouth and paint in Red.
  • Cut small triangles of white paper and glue round the edges of the mouth to create teeth
  • Cut a triangle of cardboard for the shark's fin, and one for the tail. Cover them with silver crepe paper or silver duct tape (if preferred), then use tape to attach to the pinata.
  • Cut the silver crepe paper into strips about 3cm wide (cut while still folded). Glue in strips all over the pinata until it’s all covered.
  • Draw two large eyes on the white paper with black marker; cut out and stick on.

FINAL STEPS
  • Strengthen the edge of the hole with duct or masking tape. Punch or cut two small holes in the top near the opening (not too close to the edge so the string doesn't rip through once it is hanging. Thread a strong piece of string through the holes
  • Fill your pinata (through the hole you left at the top) with wrapped sweets and cover the hole with a square of silver crepe paper.

Tie your pinata from a beam or a tree and have fun!