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How to make a quick homemade pinata

Updated on August 22, 2015

Make a homemade pinata in 20 minutes for under $5!

Are you planning a kid birthday party? Do you need a pinata that matches your birthday party theme? Do you get tired of paying $20 for a birthday pinata that will last 5 minutes and then get thrown away? As a busy mom of 7 kids (who all want a birthday party!), I needed to find a cheaper alternative for a fancy pinata. I don't have time to make a paper mache birthday party; often I have just a few minutes. Well, here is my favorite idea for making a quick and easy and cheap pinata that the kids love! My oldest daughter just turned 12 and she had a movie themed birthday party. Of course she wanted a pinata. (You never outgrow candy!). Here are my step-by-step directions, complete with pictures. You can make this pinata with just a few "ingredients." Read on and save money!

Save some money with this cute, quick and easy homemade pinata!

Assemble your Pinata supplies

The main part of the pinata is a paper grocery bag

All you need for this pinata is a large brown paper grocery bag, some glue, some twine, a few rolls of streamers (depending on what colors you choose), 2 pieces of paper, a marker and crayons to color your theme picture. You can reinforce the top of your pinata with packing tape if you'd like. If you are not thrilled with your art skills, you can print out a picture using clip art that goes with your theme. I draw simple line drawings to decorate the front and back of my pinata. Since this was a movie theme, I drew a simple movie camera that matched one of the decorations I had bought.

Draw and Color a picture for the front and back of your pinata - Or you could print out a clip art picture

I use simple line drawings and color with crayons. I simply copied the movie camera that was on a purchased decoration for the movie themed party.

Glue your picture to the front and back of the bag - You can even cut out the picture if you'd like to

Cut strips of streamers about 12-18 inches long - My kids love to help with this part!

The streamers don't have to be precise. You can rip off lengths of the colors you are using. We chose 3 colors that matched the rest of the decorations.

Paper Streamers

This is really the only thing you need to buy. You can use streamers to decorate and use matching streamers for your pinata!

Get some streamers to make pinatas

Lego City Coordinating Crepe Paper Streamer Set (3)
Lego City Coordinating Crepe Paper Streamer Set (3)

These basic color streamers will match many various party themes. Or choose colors that match your specific theme. A roll of streamers will make several pinatas.


Glue streamers below picture - Alternate colors

I simply put a line of glue across the bag and then glue on streamer strips. Do this on the front and the back of your pinata. I then open the bag and glue 2 or more rows on the sides of the bag. This picture shows the beginning of the streamer assembly. I also glue a "frame" around the picture. (The glue does not show once the bag is dry.)

Punch holes and string twine to hang the pinata - It's a good idea to reinforce the top of the bag with packing tape first

You can use a regular hole punch to put holes in the top of the bag for your twine. I recommend reinforcing the top with clear packing tape first so that the bag doesn't rip off at the twine when the pinata is hit. I skipped this step because I was out of tape and the party was almost ready to start! Once you have the holes punched, fill the pinata and gently gather the top of the bag. You can hang the hole pinata to dry, or it can dry while it is hanging ready for the kids to come! Make sure you leave enough twine at the top to hang the bag from a tree or whatever you are hanging it from.

Ready for the Party!

The pinata was a "HIT"

Candy Scramble! - Another frugal tip: Use brown paper bags for the candy bags

The kids don't care if their bags aren't fancy! They are just after the candy.

Would you use this pinata?

Would you use this pinata to save money?

See results

Hey, It's Me Mario! - Mario Bros Party Pinata

Here's another Pinata I made for a Mario Birthday Party. Find out how to have a great Mario Birthday party here: Super Mario Brothers Party Ideas.

And make a cool Mario Birthday cake with these directions: How to Make a Mario Birthday Cake.

Here's a homemade Army pinata I made - Change the colors, the picture, and the theme, KEEP THE SAVINGS!

If you'd like to have an army party, you can look at Army Birthday Party Ideas for more information!

A Pinata I made for a splash party

Here's another option: layer the streamers along the bag, then glue a picture onto the side.
Here's another option: layer the streamers along the bag, then glue a picture onto the side.

What did you think of my homemade pinata?

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    • profile image

      Meg 2 years ago

      Love this!! Thank you!!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      This is a great idea! I love the idea of saving money on something you're going to destroy anyway. :)

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 5 years ago

      Great idea. Nice lens.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      My granddaughter has already let us know she wants a pinata for her 4th birthday in November. I'll remind her mom about this great home made pinata idea - she'll love it.

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 5 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      Very clever! I like how quick it is and that is reuses something around the house. Blessed

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      Happy New Year - may 2013 be your best year ever!! Lots of love and many blessings to you and yours.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      Cool idea- the Mario in particular looks like it's store bought. It would be fun to make with the kids. I love your pun- it was a hit:) Blessed!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      In my family, we always have pinatas for kids birthday. This is really useful.

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 5 years ago

      I love it! Well done!

    • profile image

      Kellenmadagan7 5 years ago

      I love it

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Fabulous idea and directions!

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      I enjoy reading this lens, well done!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Very creative - pinned to my Crafts I love board and Squid Angel Blessed. i remember making a pinata with a balloon that we blew up and covered with papier mache.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      I love your homemade pinata! Such a creative and easy to make party "favor!" Kids love pinatas!

    • SailingPassion LM profile image

      SailingPassion LM 5 years ago

      I've always wanted to have one of these, and now I know how to make one, so thanks! :-)

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      This is very fun! What a great idea! I'd love to add this page to my How To Throw an Awesome Bigfoot Birthday Party lens...would that be okay? SquidAngel Blessed! :)

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      I love the idea... Store-bought pinatas can be so expensive and all you do is break it apart.

    • ottoblotto profile image

      ottoblotto 5 years ago

      Great pinatas!

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      This is such a fun idea and you can customize it to any theme you desire without hunting around all over the place for something which fits.

    • PamelaU profile image

      PamelaU 6 years ago

      It's great, but I do prefer shop-bought ones. I think if I was a bit more handy I'd have a go at making my own, but I'd like to use cardboard instead.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      What a terrific idea, and very useful to ensure the kids have fun without spending a lot of money! Plus involving the kids makes it even better.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Oh, what a fun and delightful pinata lens. I love the easy instructions that anyone can do, but your photos stole the show.

    • maytheforcebewi profile image

      maytheforcebewi 6 years ago

      Very clever you are awesome!

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 6 years ago

      Great idea! I've never had a pinata before, but this is a great idea for a birthday! :)

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      Nice! I loved the one you made me, mom!

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 6 years ago

      Nice. Fun to make and fun to whack!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Such a wonderful pinata! ~ This comment is for anyone else who stops here - I was lucky to be in the room while Carol was creating this awesome pinata. I honestly had no idea how she was going to make one with the materials she had spread on the table, but in a few minutes she had it all put together and filled with goodies! ~ Great job, my friend! =D

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Such a great idea! Easy too. Thanks for the pictures. That really helps.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 6 years ago

      Love the idea ... I was puzzled by whether or not the brown paper bag would last long enough to allow everyone a chance to take a swing, but apparently it worked well. I've made a lot of homemade pinatas in my life, but you're right, they take a little time to let the starch dry and stiffen the newspaper. Very nice idea, shared well. Kudos!