The piñata may have actually had its origin in China as a good luck tradition for the new year, notes Wendy Devlin of MexConnect. It is said, however, that the Mayans had a similar tradition by breaking pots with sticks while blindfolded to obtain the treasure inside. Today, piñatas are used for children's parties. They are made from paper mache and filled with candies and other small treats. A rubber duck piñata is a sensible and popular choice for a gender neutral child celebration.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 balloons
- Strips of newspaper (about 1.5 inches thick, roughly torn)
- Cloth tape
- Yellow tissue paper
- Orange tissue paper
- Strong cord
- Cardboard paper
- 1 cup flour
- 8 cups water
- Utility knife
- White paint
- Black paint
Inflate both balloons. One should be twice as large as the other to make the body and the head of the rubber duck. Cover the smaller balloon with cloth tape so that it forms a round shape. Cover the larger balloon with cloth tape so that is takes on a slightly more oblong shape. Connect the two balloons with tape so that the smaller balloon sits on the top left-hand side of the larger balloon. This will be the basis of the body.
Cut out three triangles about 5 inches in length from the cardboard. Instead of making a point at the corners of each, cut the triangles so that they are rounded. Take two of the triangles and tape their bases together and then tape it to the front centre of the smaller balloon. This will form the beak. Take the last triangle and tape the base of it to the top back of the bigger balloon, also centred, to form the tail. Cut two oval shapes, 2 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter. Paint them white with a black circle in the middle of each to create eyes.
Make paper mache paste by combining the flour and water in a saucepan and boiling the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow the paste to cool and thicken.
Take the strips of newspaper and dip them individually into the paste and place them onto the balloons. Let them overlap slightly. Allow 24 hours for the strips to dry completely and repeat three times to create three layers.
Create a trap door near the top back of the duck's body by taking a utility knife and cutting two vertical lines that are 2.5 inches long and 4 inches apart then connecting them with a single horizontal line. It should resemble a door. Pop the larger balloon and remove. Make a trap door for the duck head in the same manner and remove the smaller balloon.
Cut the yellow and orange tissue paper into 1.5-inch strips that are 3 inches long. Glue the yellow tissue paper onto the duck's head, body, and tail so that it is covered completely. Use the orange tissue paper to cover the beak. Glue the cardboard eyes to each side of the duck's head
Use the knife to create two small holes at the centre of the duck's body. Lead the cord through both and tie them securely near the base so that one end of the cord is still long enough for the piñata to be hung.
Open the trap door and fill with candies and treats so that it is completely filled. Hang the completed duck piñata from a high area.
Tips and warnings
- If you cannot wait to create three layers, add a new layer of paper mache after 12 hours. After the final layer is finished, let it dry for 24 hours.
- The cord should be more than 3 feet long, but less than 5 feet.
- Never allow a child to use sharp object as it may result in serious injury.
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