I finally have time to post more projects from my Boo‘s Artsy Birthday Party. Here’s a tutorial for her Paint Can Piñata. As long as you can get your hands on some tin snips, this is an easy and inexpensive project.
Pull-String Piñata: This type of piñata is for younger children. There is no bat involved, and every kid gets to feel like they were the one that exploded the piñata. The piñata is filled with candy, but instead of hitting it with a bat, each child holds a ribbon and pulls on it when you say, “Go.” A few of the ribbons are attached firmly enough to a trap door that–when pulled–they open the trap and the candy spills out. No one gets hit in the head, and you get to use the piñata again for another party! (If you are worried about some kids getting tons of treats while others get almost none, simply fill a ziplock bag of candy/toys for each child, and fill the piñata with the bags–instead of with loose candy. Each child gets a one bag. –Happy kids. No tears!)
- One unused paint can (you can buy them at home improvement stores for $4-$5)
- Part of a cardboard box–at least as large as the bottom of the paint can, plus 3 or so inches
- Ribbon streamers (I’m a recycler. All of those streamers are previously used.)
- Leftover house paint and/or acrylic paint
- Duct Tape
- Tin snips (or anything else that you can use to cut the paint can)
- Candy for filling!
Turn the paint can upside-down so that you are looking at the bottom. Using tin snips, cut out the center (the paint can has handy concentric circles on the bottom that you can use as a guide). Immediately cover the cut edge with duct tape. (Your children and your fingers will thank you! No need for slicing fingers!)
Place the can on top of your cardboard and trace around the outside of the can and around the inside of the hole you just cut. Cover the back with duct tape, and flip it back over so that you can see your traced lines. Move about 1/2 toward the center from your inside circle, and cut out a round hole–leaving 1/3 of the circle uncut. (This will fold back to make your trap door where the candy will come out.) You can cut along your center circle instead, but it might be a tight squeeze for the flap to open up.
Trim the cardboard into a large circle (leaving about 2 inches from the traced outside edge of the paint can). Cut notches into the circle, slightly overlapping the outside circle. Place your “sun shape” on top of the paint can and fold and squish it until you can get it inside the can. (Don’t worry–it can squish a lot without being damaged.) Push the squished sun down into the can and center the cut flap over the hole in the bottom of the can. Test your flap to make sure it opens! Now, use one hand to push the cardboard down as far as you can, while you use the other hand to tape around the inside–holding the cardboard in place.
Now you will attach the pull strings. You only need two or three strings firmly attached that will actually pull open the trap. I chose to attach three. Poke three holes into the front of the trap–away from the part that folds. Thread one ribbon through each hole and knot on the inside of the can. Tape over the knots. Attach the rest of your ribbons however you would like (one per child). I taped some to the outside center of the flap and others on the outside edges (I taped those inside the can). Make sure the ribbons are not loose! Tape well.
Cut three 1 x 3-inch rectangles from thick cardstock (I used the back of a notebook). Lay them inside the can, across the cut edge of the trap door. Tape them onto the trap door. The untaped side should overlap the edge of the trap door–keeping it closed. (You can see the tabs a little better in the top right image below.)
Now the fun part! It’s time to paint. So that you don’t get paint all over the ribbons, collect them in a plastic bag and tuck them inside the piñata. Using house or acrylic paint, tip the paint can and drizzle paint down the sides. I originally used all types of paint. (In the picture, I am squirting tempera paint.) Tempera paint does not work. It dries funny on the metal and peels off easily. Leftover house paint worked the best, with acrylic craft paints coming in second. (Fabric paint didn’t work either.)
Put the can in the sun to dry, and you are done! Fill it up and get ready to party!
I have tons of artsy party ideas to share. Here are the posts I have finished so far: (Images are linked.)
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