Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Make a Chicken Pinata for a Barnyard Themed Birthday

The Peanut wanted a barnyard themed birthday party a few years back. 

First, I decided on a barnyard theme after finding these cute barns and packs of barnyard animals for a dollar each at Target. Unfortunately, while we were there, she saw the pinatas. So what do I do, the sucker of a mom that I am, I agreed to make a chicken pinata. This is probably not the right way, but it's what I did.

1. Go to a dollar store. I found mine at the Dollar Tree. They sell two packs of punch balloons.

2. I found a recipe for Papier-Mache Paste in Family Fun magazine, but the link doesn't exist anymore.  Here's the recipe: 
Combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl.
Add this mixture to a saucepan of 2 cups boiling water and bring it to a boil again.
Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Let it cool; it will thicken as it cools. Once it does, it's ready to use.

3. Then I dipped strips of newspaper in the paste and covered the balloon...after covering the table with a vinyl table cloth and placing the balloon on a large plastic bowl so it wouldn't stick to the table.

4. The whole thing was pretty sopping wet sticky, so I added another layer of paper using very little paste.

5. Dry it over night.

6. I added a third layer of newspaper the next day. Then a layer of yellow tissue paper. The next day I added two more layers of tissue paper. Now...if you're not idiot like me, before you do the layers of tissue paper, this would be a good time to add the string wrapped around all four sides for strength and stability. If you are an idiot like me, then you can always punch a hole on either side of the top and push the string through...just don't expect it to hold for very long, thus no impressive center piece to the living room decorations. Whatever.
7. Once it's all dried, cut a slit in the top SLOWLY. The balloon will start to pop and deflate. Once it's done sounding like the whole thing is going to implode, pull out the pieces of the balloon and fill it with candy. Then cover up the opening with more tissue paper.
8. I used the leftover streamers, cut into around 2 1/2 to 3 inch strips. Don't be anal about it, just cut the streamers, they don't have to be exact. Then using a glue stick, I stuck the strips on. Initially I thought the glue stick wouldn't be sticky enough, but really, it's fine.

9. Then I finished it off with construction paper cut outs so it looked like a big chicken as opposed to a big Easter egg.
10. To hang, either stick an eye hook in your ceiling and string it up, or do what I did and wrap the string around some random pole and let the kids whack away.
Let me add this...don't be lame and do the pull string one. It's a pinata. Let the kids have fun and hit it. We did three hits per kid. No one cared who broke it, or if they got a turn, they were all just happy to get to the candy.
Also, I know this seems very time consuming, but really it wasn't. My daughter wouldn't' help because she doesn't care of getting her hands all slimy. So I did it at night with a glass of wine while watching TV. And well worth, a little for the parents who thought it looked impressive, but more because the kids all thought it was cool and was so excited when they saw it.
It's also a really cheap to make...easily under $5. The candy was the expensive part at $7.50. I probably should've just used her leftover Halloween candy. I'll keep that in mind for next year.

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