In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

Make Your Own Pinata

Use some things you already have around the house and some crepe paper streamers to make your own pinata for you child's' birthday. (or in my case, for a full grown man's birthday party!)

And the best part?  There is no paper mâché involved!  No waiting for days while layers of soggy tissue paper try to dry in humid summer weather.

In fact, you can whip one of these up in an evening!

You will need:
  • A stiff cardboard box
  • some thinner cardboard, such as a cereal box
  • two empty toilet paper rolls
  • tape and scissors
  • crepe paper streamers and a sheet or two of tissue paper
  • paper and a marker for eyes or other details
  • a zip tie, piece of wire or length of sturdy string (to create a loop for hanging!)

Start by cutting a donkey shape out of your stiff cardboard box. Cut it out twice so that you have two pieces that are the same. This looks more like a dog than a donkey. Maybe he needs a longer neck...

 There we go, that's better!  
(I know he still looks kinda doggy-like...bear with me, the ears will make him look more like a donkey!)

Cut  4 inch wide strips of  cereal box. Tape them to your two donkey pieces to make him 3-D.
I started with clear craft tape and pretty quickly switched to tuck tape.  If you don't have tuck tape, that's okay. Duct tape will work too.

Poke your wire, rope or zip tie through his back.  This will be the loop from which you hang him up.

Leave a flap of cardboard not taped down so that you can add the candy later.

Make the donkey's ears by cutting a slit in a toilet paper roll...

...and then squishing the roll closed and taping it, like this.

Repeat with the other toilet paper roll.

Tape the ears to your donkey's head, and you have a donkey all set to be covered in crepe streamers!

The important thing to remember when building your pinata is that you want a child to be able to break it, so don't go crazy with the tape!

Next, cover the bottom of the donkey's feet with tissue paper. Just fold the paper up over his ankles like a present and tape it in place.

Then make some ruffles by folding crepe streamers together and cutting little slits in it. 

Unfold the streamers and start taping it to your donkey.

Make sure to cover the underbelly too.

Half way done...

Candy!  Stuff the pinata with candy!  

Be smarter than me and don`t use chocolate if you intend to hang the pinata in the hot sun hours before the party begins.  Lesson Learned.

Cover the back before completing the sides.

Draw some eyes on paper and tape them on.  bundle together some pieces of streamer to make a tail.


And the final step?  Let some of your favorite people beat the pulp out of it with a plastic stick!

If you do make your own pinata I would love to hear about how it turns out!


  1. Your pinata is so cute, I love the colors! My kids would have a lot of fun making one, I'll have to keep this in mind for the next party. :)

  2. Hi,
    Great idea! Just wondering how long this project took to complete?


  3. fantastic! im going to make one! sounds so easy to make, & yours looks fabulous. thanks for the easy step by step instructions

  4. That's awesome. I imagine it's a similar process if you want to do something other than a donkey, correct? We're having a pool party so I'd like to do one in a shape that fits the theme a bit more closely.

  5. Recently found this and love the idea! I've already started making a Thomas the Train one...hopefully it turns out as well as your donkey! Thanks :)

  6. Making one right noe for my family reunion! Super excited to see the kids tear it up! Thanks!

  7. Great step by step instructions, my daughter and I made one together for our Mexican fiesta night!

  8. Great idea! So much simpliar than the paper mache I was about to attempt. I think I will be able to modify this to a dinosaur fairy easily.

    1. Well, I was going to post a picture, but I can't seem to figure out how. I made a pink dinosaur pinata for my daughter's 5th birthday. It assembled very easily, the most tedious part was gluing on all the frindge!

  9. That is awesome. I want to make a pinata now!

  10. I used these step by step instructions to make part of my Halloween costume!! It turned out fabulously and I'd love to send you a picture. If you send instructions I will do so.


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  12. Did you make the stick too? If so how did you make it?

  13. Amazing! Thanks so much for your blog this is just what I needed and it turned out perfectly!!!

  14. That is awesome my kids want a veggie tales party n this just gave me an idea how to make the piñata. Omi for the stick u can use a broom stick n just decorate it like she did the piñata different color paper to make it colorful u can cut the paper just like she did it for the pinata n just wrap different colors around the stick it's ez I've made one before

  15. Hey, this blog post was really helpful, made one for my sister today :)

    Have a look if you'd like:


  16. hey, i really love your guide and would love to try it myself.
    therefore one question:

    how big is the cardbord-donkey-shape you show in your 2nd picture? (cm / inches / ..)

    thy for your help in advance :D


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