How to Make a Paper Mache Pinata

Construction and Decorating Instructions

Close-up of colorful pinata
Elise Donoghue / Getty Images

Hitting a pinata is a popular party game for young children. If you'd like the make the fun of pinatas last more than one game you could always learn to make your own. Follow these directions to learn how to make a variety of colorful pinatas using paper mache techniques. This is a very simple pinata design but you can always make more complicated ones. The ideas you learn here can be applied to making a pinata for a birthday party or any occasion.


  • Large, round balloon
  • Newspaper
  • Paper mache paste
  • Paint
  • Crepe paper
  • String or yarn
  • Masking tape

Paper Mache Instructions

Paper mache can be very messy so take measures protect your work surface and anything else the paste might come in contact with. Blow up your balloon as large as it will go. Grab a bowl that your balloon will fit on top of and cover it with plastic wrap. Set the balloon on top of the bowl.

Tear several newspaper pages into strips--you'll need a lot! Tearing the newspaper into strips instead of cutting them will allow them to lay flatter on the balloon. The strips should be about 1-inch wide and 6-8 inches long. Set these aside next to the balloon.

Browse through this collection of paper mache paste recipes and choose the one you prefer. The simplest recipe is the no-cook paste. Make the paste in a glass or metal bowl (it might be a little harder to wash the paste off of plastic).

Dip the newspaper strips into the paste you made. Remove any extra glue on the newspaper piece by running it through your pinched fingers. Spread the newspaper onto the balloon. Continue doing so, making the strips go in all different directions until your balloon is completely covered. Make sure you leave a small hole on the end where the balloon is tied so you can remove the balloon and fill the pinata. Let the first layer dry.

Add two or three more layers of paper mache to your balloon. Allow each layer to dry completely before putting on the next layer. Once it is dry, pop the balloon and remove it through the opening you left.

Decorating the Pinata

The fastest way is to decorate your pinata is to paint it with bright designs. After the paint is dry, hang some crepe paper streamers from the bottom. Consider wrapping strips of crepe paper around your pinata and cutting fringe along the edge. You can also decorate your pinata using squares of tissue paper.

To hang your pinata, poke four small holes evenly spaced around the larger hole in the top. Thread a piece of string, yarn or even fishing line through each hole and tie them together at the top. Cover the holes and secure the string further using pieces of masking tape. Tie a longer piece of string onto these and use it to hang up the pinata. Just remember to stuff it with candy or small party favors before you play!