As I mentioned in my Pusheen the Cat party post, my daughter usually chooses a theme for her birthday party that doesn’t exist in the party stores. This year, it was Pusheen. Now, before this party, I can’t say that I had ever really wondered how piñatas are made, but once my sweet girl asked for one in the shape of Pusheen, I knew I had to go right to the source of all knowledge on piñata-making: Pinterest. Yay, Pinterest! There I found an awesome tutorial from Katy at A Shade of Teal, which I modified for Pusheen-making purposes. Thanks, Katy! You rock!
Now, I will say that while this was a fun and easy project to make, it was not a quick project. You can’t just whip a piñata up the night before your big to-do. Allow yourself a couple of days at least, or more, if you can. There are a few steps involved that require drying time, and the more complicated your design/character, the more time you may need to finish it. Just so you know.
Luckily for me, Pusheen is all one color, except for the details, and she’s not a complicated shape. I think she came out awfully cute. It was a shame she met such a violent end at our party. Those kids had NO mercy!
For this project, you will need:
A cardboard box (large enough to accommodate the size of your desired piñata)
Sturdy tape (blue painter’s tape, masking tape, duct tape, your call)
Craft glue*, such as Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue
Regular all-purpose flour
Crepe paper, 1 roll was enough for my Pusheen
Cardstock or other colored paper for details
*optional, depending on the strength of your tape
Essentially, the first thing you need to do is build yourself a Pusheen-shaped box. I knew I was not going to be able to draw Pusheen free-hand and have her come out looking like herself, so I borrowed a projector from a friend and projected a picture of her onto the cardboard box, tracing around the shape with a Sharpie.
Repeat this tracing process twice, so you will have a front/top piece and a back/bottom piece to use when building your box.
Make sure you trace the details of the face, stripes, and outline on the front piece of your piñata. This will help with placing those parts later.
Awww, she’s already cute! This is a good time to make a template of the face and other details to use later, since you’re going to cover them all up when you add the paper maché. I used parchment paper for this, but you could use tracing paper if you have it. Lay it on top of your piñata and trace all those details onto it.
Lark had fun coloring this in for me. Now, if you have decided that you have time to make a piñata, you also have time to do this step. I know it may seem a bit superfluous, however, so is making your own Pusheen piñata from scratch, friend. I’m just saying, as your friend, and as someone who has been known to do such things myself. Occasionally. Ahem.
Anywho, since you are going to cover up all the details on the front of the box with paper maché here in a minute, the template will help you know where to stick the eyes and all that stuff on at the end. Don’t try to do that without a guide, or you may be frustrated there in the final stage of this project (which, if you are like me, will happen late at night with a glass of wine, so really, the less thinking you have to do, the better).
You may have noticed that I changed the snack Pusheen is eating from the donut originally pictured to a chocolate chip cookie, at the request of the birthday girl. That much, I figured I could do freehand.
Next, cut out some 8″ x 4″ cardboard rectangles to form the sides of the box. (There will be gaps in between these.) Fold 2″ in on either end. Attach to the back piece like so:
Then repeat this process, attaching the other end of your strips to the front piece. My blue tape held the cardboard well enough at first, but I wanted to make sure it all stayed together for the paper maché process, so I also glued the cardboard strips in place using Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. Don’t come apart on me now, Pusheen!
This is the best time to add something to hang her up with, too. I used a zip tie poked through the top cardboard rectangle. Try to get it positioned so she’ll hang straight, if you can.
That didn’t sound right.
ANYwho, this next part is really fun and will take you right back to 3rd grade art class: paper maché! Cut several newspaper strips. Size isn’t all that important. As Katy mentions in her tutorial, 1/2 cup flour and 1 cup water work well for adhering the strips.
Dip the strips in the flour and water mixture, pulling them through your fingers afterward to remove excess liquid. Smooth into place all over your piñata and let dry completely. This may take several hours to overnight.
Now you’re ready to snip crepe paper strips. Lots of them. This is a good do-with-a-glass-of-wine phase of the project. Sensing a theme, are we? You have no idea.
Now you all think I’m some kind of drunken, piñata-making lush. I promise, I’m not. You can’t get these kind of results without some self-control, y’all. I’m just saying, snipping the crepe paper is kind of meditative, and you get into the zone, you know. The Craft Zone. Yeah, that’s it.
Crafting is ALWAYS better with wine, as if I even need to point that out. Please.
(So is blogging, by the way.)
Take long strips of crepe paper, fold them back on themselves, and snip the bottom half. Once you have a pile, start gluing them on from the bottom of the piñata up.
Just let the strips overhang the sides of the piñata, you’ll fix all of that later.
And we’re gluing, and we’re gluing…
When you do the sides, stick to the bottom-up method. Start at the bottom and go up, row by row. Trim where needed.
Now, here is where you’ll be glad you made that template.
I used cardstock leftover from our Pusheen party invitations to make the front detail pieces. I trimmed the details out of the template one by one, positioning them on the front of the piñata as I went using the template as a guide.
I glued the face, cookie, and all the other details right on to the crepe-papered piñata front with Aleene’s Fast Grab glue. That stuff works great.
Leave an open space in the bottom of your piñata for adding the candy. I left the bottom of my piñata unfinished, slit a flap in the newspaper there and added the candy before using grey duct tape to cover it all up. You could definitely cover it with more crepe paper, but Irish dancers always have a lot of duct tape to hand, so I used that.
That’s my birthday girl, adding the candy to Pusheen. Cover the bottom once you’re done.
Before you know it, there she is.
She’s SOOOOO cute! Ahh, Pusheen! She made a great centerpiece, until her time came.
To think, all of that just so the kids can whack her with a baseball bat. Ah, well. That’s why we do these things. For the kids.
And now you know how to make your own piñata, Pusheen or otherwise.
That’s a skill I never planned to add to my resume, I will say. But I’ll bet there are more hand-made piñatas in my future. And if I can make one, so can you. Go on and give it a whack.
I do apologize profusely for that pun. Really. That was TERRIBLE.
It must’ve been the wine talking.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. Links are provided purely to be helpful. If I could have bought a licensed, legit Pusheen piñata, I probably would have, but desperate times call for DIY measures, y’all.