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How to Make a Pinata Koala Bear

A piñata makes an entertaining addition to a party for any age or theme but cost might keep some people from the experience. With a few inexpensive household and craft items, anyone can create a piñata in the shape of a koala or most any other item. You need no special skills or supplies. The craft takes minimal time and effort to successfully implement. Additionally, children can create the piñata as a pre-party craft or decoration.

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  1. Blow up the two balloons and tie off. Cut or tear newspaper into 1-inch by 5-inch strips. Place a couple of inches of liquid starch, a suitable substitute for traditional paper mache mixtures, in the bowl.

  2. Bend half the paper clip out at a 45-degree angle. Tape one flat side of the paper clip to the side of the large balloon with masking tape. This creates a hanger for the piñata.

  3. Dip newspaper strips into the starch, removing the excess by running the strip between two fingers as you remove it from the bowl. Cover both balloons completely in smooth, liquid starch soaked newspaper strips. Cover the part of the paper clip that rests against the balloon but leave the other portion sticking up. Place each balloon on a small bowl to dry.

  4. Use masking tape to firmly attach the cardboard tubes to the dried large balloon side opposite the paper clip, creating koala legs. Attach the dried, small oval head balloon to the end of the body balloon so that the tied off portions of the balloons meet and are covered with masking tape.

  5. Fold newspaper into two large ear-sized squares. Fold the corners of the squares in to round them into ear shapes. Secure the corners with masking tape then attach the ears to the smaller head balloon using masking tape.

  6. Cover the entire koala in liquid starch soaked newspaper strips. Cover all masking tape joints as smoothly as possible. Place the koala on an overturned bowl to dry.

  7. Paint the dried koala in a mix of brown and grey acrylic paint mix with heavy brush strokes to give it texture. Acrylic paint provides durable, waterproof coverage. Allow paint to dry completely.

  8. Paint black eyes, nose and mouth details on the koala's face. Cut three sides of a small rectangle in the koala's body. Fill the piñata with candy then tape the rectangle shut. Hang the piñata using the paper clip portion left sticking up from the body.

  9. Tip

    Traditional paper mache mixture can be used in place of the liquid starch.


    Allow all paper mache and paint to dry completely to avoid mildew and rot.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 large round balloon
  • 1 medium oval balloon
  • Newspaper
  • Large paper clip
  • Liquid laundry starch
  • Small, shallow bowl
  • 4 toilet paper-sized cardboard tubes
  • Masking tape
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Water

About the Author

Elizabeth Stover, an 18 year veteran teacher and author, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland with a minor in sociology/writing. Stover earned a masters degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas, Arlington and continues to work on a masters in Educational Leadership from University of North Texas. Stover was published by Creative Teaching Press with the books "Science Tub Topics" and "Math Tub Topics."

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