As it turns out, blogging is slightly more difficult for me in the summer months. And…while we’re throwing out statements of confession; I’ll add that 4 or so months ago, I may have considered a lapse of over a month (!!) without a post, a failure and simply ended this “project” as a whole.
Instead I think I’ll reignite this fuse and celebrate the fact that my distraction came from a month filled with summery goodness – family, beaches, friends, rooftop afternoons, and boardwalk cocktails (more on that later). And… if we’re celebrating, what better way than with your very own personal pineapple piñata.
Piñatas are comically easy to make. So, why do we resort to buying the donkey/star/popular cartoon head, at the nearest party supply store? Personally, I’d imagine it has something to do with the idea of handcrafting your perfect piñata only to watch a frenzied swarm of kids clamoring to swing wildly at your master piece in hopes of crushing it with a single blow. whoa…I know.
Luckily, I’m not suggesting you make anything this ridiculously cute just to have it smashed apart.
There will be no smashing these piñatas. And maybe that means calling them piñatas at all is wrong. But I’ve come to terms with that. You should to.
balloons (I used water balloons since I had them around and they were a perfectly petite pineapple size)
paper mache – flour, water, newspaper
tissue paper in green and yellow
Start by mixing your paper mache. Flour and water… that’s it. Pour a cup of flour into a bowl and add water slowly while stirring your mixture until it’s a thin glue consistency. The thickness is really a matter of preference. I like working with a thinner mache, but it will also take longer to dry.
Tear your newspaper into thin strips. This next step you can do as you go, but I find it much easier to do a little prep. So, dip the newspaper strips into the bowl one at a time, drag each across the rim to remove excess “goop”, and lay the strips over the rim of the bowl for easy access as you go.
Blow up your balloon, and cover it completely with your paper mache in one layer. This will dry pretty fast, and can be helped along with a sunny spot or a hair dryer. The single layer was plenty for me, but if it’s feeling a little fragile; feel free to add an additional layer once the first is completely dry. If you want your piñatas to be able to stand on their own (say, as the cutest ever place cards) then press your piñata onto a flat surface firmly while the paper mache is almost dry to create a standing base.
Once your piñata has dried, the balloon inside may have already popped. If not, this next step will accomplish that. Take your x-acto knife and cut a small door into the back of your piñata. You’ll have a built-in hinge with the outer layer of paper mache, but if it seems too weak you can reinforce it with a strip of duct or masking tape.
Cut a row of pineapple “hair” from your green tissue paper, as if you were cutting a row of tissue paper grass. Some of the blades of grass I tore from the rest, and some I kept connected. Fold the very bottom of the tissue back to adhere to the pineapple. A glue stick makes this so easy to attach, and you can rearrange your tissue as you go until it’s just right.
Once your pineapple has the perfect “do”, cut a strip of yellow tissue paper and fold it accordion style. Snip the two bottom corners off of the folded square, leaving the top flat. I cut a few rows and had them ready, but you can cut as you go too.
Again, some of the sections I left attached and some I separated. You’ll decide what works best for different parts of the pineapple. Glue these around the pineapple, starting at the bottom and with the cornered edges facing down. When you get to the door, make sure you don’t glue it closed.
When you reach the top with 2 rows of yellow to go, flip the last row of yellow tissue paper so that the the cornered edges are facing up. Glue the very last row over the green tissue paper edge, and then glue the second to last row below that one to cover the flat edge of the yellow tissue paper.
Take your x-acto knife (a safety pin works great too), and poke a small hole in the bottom of the door. Attach a brad here. Poke another hole below the door and attach your second brad here.
Tie your small piece of string around the door’s brad, and in a knot. Leave the string hanging as it will be used to wrap around the lower brad to secure it closed.
Fill your pineapples with candy, and close the hatch!
So, like I said…wrong or not, is there anything cuter than your own personal pineapple piñata?