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!

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