How to: DIY Piñata Gift Bags

IMG_0021_2I truly love all things Mexican. The food, the decor, the music, everything. Because of this love, celebrating my 30th birthday in Cabo was even more special. The theme of my birthday matched the area we were celebrating in and I planned the decorations for months in advance. There were Mexican party banners, serape beer koozies and piñatas as gift bags. The piñatas are the DIY project I am most proud of. I was inspired by this pin, and used it to guide me while I made 12 large piñatas to be filled with party bag goodies. They were a huge hit! If you want to try it yourself, first stock up on cardboard, then follow the steps below.

The Skeleton

  1. Draw the donkey on a piece of cardboard, whatever size you want the finished product to be.
  2. Cut out Donkey Side 1 (DS1)
  3. Trace DS1 onto another piece of cardboard
  4. Cut out Donkey Side 2 (DS2)--If you would like to use this as a real piñata, cut out a square in roughly the same place on each side of the donkey. This will help the donkey break more easily.IMG_7493
  5. Measure the distance between the front “toe” of DS1 and the back “heel” of DS1. Add ½ that length to the original number and that is how long the piece that will make the bottoms of the feet needs to be. The extra length will allow you to follow the curve between the legs to make the crotch.
  6. Measure the distance from the bottom of the back “heel” to the top of the behind, just where it begins to curve. This is the length the piece of the behind will need to be.
  7. Measure from the top of the front “toe” to where the head starts. This is the length the chest piece will need to be.
  8. Measure from the top of the chest piece, around the snout, past the ears to the base of the neck. This is the length the head piece will need to be -- if you are filling it with candy, this measurement should go all the way to the top of the behind.
  9. Decide how wide you want your donkey to be.
  10. Cut out the pieces that will make the bottom of the feet, chest, head and behind.
  11. Attach the bottom of the feet to DS1. Don’t worry about where you put the tape, it will be covered by the tissue paper eventually. I pre-folded the area between the legs to make it easier to work with.
  12. Attach DS2 to the bottom of the feet piece -- it should begin to resemble a piñata at this point.
  13. Attach the chest, head and behind pieces to the donkey.
  14. The skeleton of your piñata is now done!

The Colors

  1. Cut long strips of tissue paper about 2-2.5” wide
  2. Fold each piece lengthwise almost in half. Leave about ¼” space from the bottom.
  3. Cut fringe into the strips at a perpendicular angle. Don’t cut it completely in two, just enough to make small notches.IMG_7421 (1)
  4. Attach the tissue paper in alternating colors (or all one color whatever you prefer) starting at the bottom of the feet and working up. Cover each piece slightly with the next to cover the cardboard, but don’t place them right on top of each other.
  5. Once all the cardboard is covered you are done!

Don't forget to add candy if you are going to use it as a piñata or other goodies if it is going to be a goodie bag!

It is a time consuming project, but if you aren’t making 12 like I was, it will go much faster. And there are so many uses for Piñatas besides a party game, or goodie bag. My piñatas are being repurposed and will be used as bouquet holders at this year’s family celebration of Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara!IMG_7514