Friday, April 9, 2010

Elmo Birthday Pinata Tutorial

My grand daughter Bianca's 3 year old birthday party was coming up, and let me tell you she made sure to let me know that Elmo was what she wanted for her birthday. Its funny even at three years old they can have such an adorable personality. I thought that it would be cute to give her a big Elmo Pinata as the main theme for the party. I went on the hunt driving to several stores with no luck in finding a big Elmo pinata, determined not to let my gran baby down, that's when I decided that I will just make my own like my grandmother use too. I still have fond childhood memories of being fascinated by my grandmother Rufa's ability to make home made pinatas for me and I would like Bianca to have those same memories. I remember the outside of our house would have 7 to 10 pinatas hanging from some old yellow rope that she tied around two big wooden telephone poles, for neighbors and on lookers to admire and possibly purchase. My grandmother used to make hers the traditional way with a ceramic crock for the body. I will show you a much easier way by using newspaper, while still implementing grandma's old homemade glue recipe. So lets get started! and please don't forget to leave a comment so I know how this turned out for you. (I love feedback!) Also see dinosaur pinata tutorial

Supplies:News paper lots of it. Large bowls. Masking tape.
Flour, wire, pan to make the glue. Red, yellow, white, paper crepe , and a large balloon. White tissue paper, 2 inch Styrofoam egg. 2 pieces white paper towel. 1 piece of black feltTo make paste. Mix 1 cup of all purpose flour with 2 cups of water. On medium heat cook for 15 minutes. Stirring constantly until it thickens.
It should look like this when complete. This will be the paste you use to make the pinata.
Put glue on 3 pieces of newspaper and smash to take on the shape of the large bowl. Make two of these bowl shapes. One will be the top of the head, the other will be the bottom of head. We will put them together to make Elmo's football shaped head.
Cut newspaper into 2 by 8 inch strips. Use these to reinforce the paper shapes.

This is the paper bowl after reinforcing with paper strips. Trim away the excess paper. let dry over night.
For the body part of Elmo, grease a large balloon.

Paste strips of new paper with homemade paste.
Let dry over night. It will get hard when dry. Poke 2 holes 3 inches apart, in the middle of bowl shape. Push wire through. Add 1 more wire. Making a total of 2 wires. secure with masking tape so wires won't move. These wires will attach head to body.

Trim excess paper on the sides of the bowls. The wires will stick out at the bottom of the paper bowl shape.
Bend bowls into football shapes
Fit one bowl shape, into another bowl shape. Hold together with masking tape. This will allow you to be able to attach the paper strips with the paste. Let dry over night.
In the mean time prepare the crepe paper. Wrap crepe paper around your hand to create wraps like the example on the table.

Cut half way up, spacing 1/8 of an inch apart.

Open cut strips, and insert your fingers. Take scissors to curl shape on the cut ends
We will use these strips to cover Elmo.
Cut a square hold on one side of egg shaped body part. This will allow you to put your hand inside to attach head to body. It also will be where the candy is stored.
Poke on top of egg shape 2 holes 3 inches apart. Pull the wire from the head through the body, tighten and twist wire so it doesn't pull apart.
Cut 4 feet of wire. Like wise poke 2 holes on the bottom of the body shape 4 inches apart. Pull the wire through. Then cut 4 feet of wire and repeat for the arms. Also at the back poke 2 holes close to arms. Pull wire through for hanging.

Take 2 pieces of full size newspaper and scrunch around wire. Fold excess wire make the legs as long as you like. Repeat for the arms. To hold in place wrap masking tape around newspaper.
This is what the legs should look like with the tape temporarily holding it together.
Here's the arms and legs done.

Add newspaper strips with glue. Let dry over night.
Start wrapping crepe paper around legs. Take 2 pieces of white paper towels, shape them into 2 inch balls. Wrap tissue paper cut into circle shape around them.
Paste them to the head of the pinata.

Cut strips of white crepe paper at 1/2 inch flaring up like the red paper. Wrap the paper around both eyes. Cut 1/8Th off bottom of Styrofoam egg shape. Take your hand and shape an indention on the flat part of the egg, so when attach it will match the curve of the head.

Wrap around the egg yellow colored crepe paper also cut at 1/2 inch. Wrap rest of head with the crepe paper. Then attach the nose. Out of felt cut out mouth shape like this, and eye ball dots like this. Attach mouth with glue held with pins til dried. Last attach eye dots that what gives Elmo his personality. Elmo


  1. I just love the picture of your granddaughter kissing Elmo. It's the most beautiful pinata I have ever seen.

  2. Thank you. I really enjoyed making my little granddaughter happy.

  3. Hi Rosy,

    I want to make an Elmo Pinata for my grandson Lucas's 1st birthday party. I will follow your directions...wish me luck.



  4. I know you can do it. Let me know how your grandbaby likes it.

  5. What kind of wire do u use to attach the body to head?

  6. Green flower wire the type they sell at Walmart, or Micheal's.

  7. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this with us, I had bought the Elmo piñata from toys r us and didn't like it one bit and then my grandma suggested we made one at first I thought she was crazy lol until I saw ur blog our piñata turned out beautiful really similar to urs I LOVE it and so does my daughter...really the whole family I just hope we don't cry when it breaks lol again thank u!!

  8. This is simply awesome.. Very well done and very well detailed for others to try it out! Thanks!

  9. Awesome!!!! Love it and thank you!

  10. Thank you for sharing. I will try this for my daughter Frankie's first birthday in October. She loves Elmo. Hope ours will turn out to be as great as yours.

  11. I am planning to make this pinata for my son's first birthday and i was wondering if u have a video tutorial. I love getting crafty especially when it saves me a few bucks. Thanks for sharing.