Monday, October 10, 2011

Pull-Tab Pinata Pumpkins

Well, first of all -Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!  So thankful today for all of the excellent and caring surgeons, doctors, nurses, and staff at the Ronald McDonald House and other organizations that have helped make this HARD year a little more pleasant and easy than it could have been.  Also thankful for my baby girl and that she is here with us today -you have been through so much in your one year and we are so glad to have you here with us.  Thankful for family and friends who have been here for me whenever I needed anything.  Ok, I will stop before I start blubbering....

My baby just turned 1-year-old and we are having a family birthday party to celebrate.... but since we have had to wait until October, I decided to do a Halloween theme.  For the loot bags (not really bags at all, but you get the idea) I made some small pull-tab pinatas -one for each of the cousins/siblings that will be there.


I blew up some balloons to the size I wanted, then just paper mached (I think I just made up a word... haha) them.  I know there are about a billion paper mache recipes out there, but honestly I don't have a recipe and I've been making pinatas since I was a kid.  I just chuck a few handfuls of flour in a bowl, add a handful of salt, and then add water until it is kind a runny paste.  I did a bunch of layers (not sure why I failed to take more pictures of the process...).  Here they are all done and ready for paint.

One tip I do have, though, is that you can do multiple layers at once, without letting it dry in between.  Also, if you use some small glasses or mugs to hold them up to dry it is easier than a balloon rolling around on your table.  I put a small piece of plastic wrap over the rim of the glass (and kind of tuck it in in the middle, following the shape of the glass) to prevent it from sticking.  

So I painted them orange (a couple coats).  And cut a small hole in the top.

And added the loot.  Dollarama had some great finds in with the Halloween stuff.  And I found some cool whistle/noisemaker things at Michael's -shaped like skulls, bats, pumpkins, etc.

Draw and cut out some pumpkin leaves (I used these for name tags for each of the kids).

And don't forget the stem. 

I cut a piece of orange construction paper (I would have used tissue paper if I had any) that would cover the hole.  And add a slit to insert the stem.

Fold the stem in half and insert into the slit.

Fold back the "tabs" on the bottom of the orange paper and glue into place.

I took some green wrapping ribbon and tied one end to one of the prizes in the pinata.

Then put the other end up through a hole (oh, forgot to mention -make a small hole in the paper beside the stem... I used an X-Acto knife).   Make a similar hole in the base of a leaf and put ribbon through that as well .

Put the prize tied to the ribbon into the pinata.  Put glue (I used tacky glue) all around the opening.  Then lower the paper into place and attach.  I found it helped to cut small slits around the edge of the paper to help it conform to the curves of the pumpkin.

Put a small dab of glue on the pinata to secure the base of the leaf down.  Then curl the loose end of the ribbon using the edge of your scissors.

Then all that's left to do is add the face.  I just used a black marker.  
What do you think?