Crafting a Jackalope Ranch Pinata for the Mutant Pinata Show (Part One)

With the annual Mutant Pinata Show only a few weeks away, we've been busy researching methods and inspirations for our very own entry. 

The show, which will be at Bragg's Pie Factory in March and April, features creations from local artists, school art programs, and creative community members (you can check out our slideshows from previous years to scout the competition). Entries for this year's show are due to Bragg's Pie Factory on March 1

There are tons of ways to make a pinata. This year, we're going with one of the quickest and simplest ways -- a balloon base. Once you have the desired shape in balloon-form, you just have to paper mache, and personalize. This project will take about one to two days to finish because you have to let the pinata dry. All right, lets get started!

  • Two Balloons (you will need more or less based on what shape you want to make)
  • Tape
  • Lots of newspaper
  • A large bottle of glue or Elmer's Paper Mache Art Paste
  • Scissors
  • Tissue Paper

1. First, you will need to lay newspaper down all over your work space to prevent a disastrous mess.

2. Next, blow up the balloons to the shape you want them. In this case, we made one little balloon for the head and one larger one for the body.

3. Tape the two pieces together to make the desired shape.

4. Next, make the paste. If you are using the regular bottle of glue, dump it into a large dish and mix it with water until it is about the consistency of milk. If you are using the Elmer's Paper Mache Paste, mix in two parts water and one part powder.

5. Cut the newspaper into strips so that you can lay them onto the balloon.

6. Dip the paper strips one strip at a time into the paste and cover the strip evenly by pinching the top of the strip with your fingers and sliding your fingers down the length of the strip.

7. Lay the paper strips covered in paste on the balloon and leave a small hole at the bottom for the candy (Note: If you're making a pinata for the mutant pinata show, organizer Beatrice Moore says candy is optional, and must be non-perishable). You will want to put one layer of the newspaper strips on the balloon then let it dry and apply one more layer.

8. Once both layers of the paper mache are dry, take a needle and pop the balloon underneath the newspaper exterior. If it is dry enough, and if you created enough layers, the balloon should pop and the outside paper layer will stay intact.

9. Now it is time to decorate the pinata. You can simply paint it or you can cover it with colored paper to decorate it. 

(Watch out next week for our post on how to decorate the Pinata and our finished product ...)

For more information on the Mutant Pinata show, check out the Bragg's Pie Factory website

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Jayson Swearingen