DIY Pull-String Pinata

I love the DIY blog Young House Love. They posted this pull-string piñata project in May, and since late summer / early fall is the most common time of year for birthdays (there’s one in particular I’m looking forward to!), I thought I’d share it now.

This craft is ideal for young kids who are still too little to bash the crap out of a big kid pinata.

Pull-String Pinata

What You Need

  • Water + Flour (2 parts water to 1 part flour, for the paper mach)
  • Punch balloon (available at Target)
  • Old newspapers, cut into strips
  • Hairdryer (if you need your paper maché balloon to dry in a hurry – otherwise you can air dry)
  • Exacto knife
  • Kid-friendly treats
  • 9 30″ lengths of curling ribbon
  • Duct tape
  • Hole puncher
  • 3 Cardboard tabs (you can cut tabs out of an old cardboard box)
  • Two long pieces of ribbon
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape


What To Do

Mix two parts water with one part flour to make the paper maché.


Blow up a punch balloon.


Cut some old newspapers into a bunch of strips.


Paper maché your newspaper strips to the balloon.


Let your paper mach balloon dry overnight or dry it with a hairdryer.


Once the paper mach is dry, pop the balloon


Turn the balloon shell over, with the bottom facing up, and with your exacto knife, cut out an exit flap for the treats to fly out of.


Now, add your kid-friendly treats.


Punch nine holes in the exit flap.


Thread your 9 30″ lengths of ribbon through the holes and duct tape them to the inside of the flap.


Add three small cardboard tabs and secure them with duct tape. Fold your exit flap under the carboard tabs.


Turning the piñata over, fold four pieces of duct tape around the top hole and punch a hole in each. Loop two long pieces of ribbon through and tie the ends. This is how you’ll hang your piñata.


Hang your pinata somewhere convenient so you can apply your tissue paper “fish scales.”


Using one pack of tissue paper in a color of your choice, cut out your fish scales, folding the paper to cut multiple pieces at a time. Apply your fish scales from the bottom up, taping the top of each scale with scotch tape.


Work your way around in rows. When you reach the top, fold the top scales into the hole and tape the inside.


Now you have a finished pinata!


Hang your piñata outdoors or indoors if you prefer (another perk of the pull-string concept). When you’re ready, have each tot at your party grab a string and pull. The treats will come out without anybody having to be blindfolded or accidentally getting whacked with a plastic bat!

You can also make this a Halloween piñata by using orange and black tissue paper and filling the piñata with your fave Halloween candies.

What other DIY projects have you done for kids’ birthday parties? Share your ideas in the comments below, and I may feature you on ediTORIal!

  • Casey Reid

    This is so cute and doesn’t look too hard!

  • kristin shoemaker

    This could not be better timing for me as I will be busy in the next few weeks making one Yoda and one Candy Shop Pinata for my son’s Birthday Party. Thank you for sharing this Tori!

  • Suzanne Brown

    cutie, cute, cute!

  • Suzanne Brown

    OMG just checked out younghouselove I’m now in love with yet another blog. how will I ever sleep at night LOVE the house tours!!! I am the biggest SUCKER for old homes redone!! I love thinking of all the memories, stories, laughs, tears built into walls, floors wood in old houses…sigh…

  • Kelly_kpb

    I can’t help but think of younghouselove as the local neighbor kids, as they live in what was my old stomping grounds back in my high school years. To find them on your website, well, that’s just awesome, and to see other people share the joy that is a local hometown hero, well, RICHMOND REPRESENT!!!

  • homemoma

    my son is a huge fan of angry birds, so we made red angry-bird pinata. it was a huge hit!

  • Arianna Hisle

    I love this Tori – thanks for the idea & the “how to”

    I can’t wait to be a mom one day!! I know i’m young, but I am so eager to be a wife & mommy – 1 more year :)

  • Jeanne Tutt

    omg you are so creative! love it!

  • Brandi Foxworth

    call me crazy but i am so doing this for my 21st birthday party!!! HEEHEE(: who says you cant have a pinata at an adult bday?

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks Tori for such a fab idea!(:

  • Cordia

    YHL is my favorite blog. They inspire me all the time. I made a Jack O Lantern pinata for my Halloween party and it was a hit. It was almost too pretty to let the kids destroy! I wish I could post a pic of it on here somehow!

  • Mouna Chamssy

    Oh how great !!! In Belgium we don’t use the pinata on birthday parties but … I think I’m gona start from this year on with it ;o)

  • homemoma

    this year we made anohter angry bird pinata. Green pig this time

  • homemoma