How to Make a Pinata for Cinco de Mayo

My Homemade General Zaragoza

I love celebrating just about any holiday that comes down the pike – and Cinco de Mayo is no exception!  Aside from the Kentucky Derby and Mother’s Day, it’s my favorite May holiday :)  We had a Mexican exchange student when I was a child named Edward (Actually, Sergio Eduardo de la Fluente) who started me down the path to loving Mexican culture – and I still love it.  Here’s how to make a pinata to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (or any party at all) – it’s a fun project to do with the kids and incredibly cheap!

You’ll Need:

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 3 Cups Warm Water
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • 1 Balloon – Punching Bag Balloon for large pinata
  • Newspaper, cut into 2 inch wide strips.
  • Long piece of Twine or string


Make a paste with the flour and warm water by mixing it in a bowl, stir until the lumps are gone.  Squeeze in some glue for extra staying power!  Begin dipping strips of newspaper into the mixture and placing on the balloon.  Smoothe the strips onto the balloon with your hands.  Cover the entire balloon and then wrap your long piece of twine around the balloon like you would a ribbon on a present.  (Start at the top of your pinata and lay them down the sides so they criss-cross at the bottom, then back up again to leave both ends dangling out at the top)  Tape them to the balloon and let dry.  Repeat the wet newspaper step, covering the twine as well, until you have 2 layers of dried newspaper strips covering the balloon with the twine basically glued between the two layers.  Add a third layer if you want to make it EXTRA strong.

Once dry, pop the balloon with a needle.  Decorate your pinata with paint or tissue paper.  Leave your twine hanging out so that you can tie your pinata to a branch or other object.  Fill with candy, small toys, stickers,temporary tattoos, makeup and costume jewelry (for a lady party), or whatever your party dictates!

  • To make a flower, cut out construction paper petals and take around the sides.
  •  To make a character or other figure, wad up extra newspaper, shaping it into limbs, and paint it – then glue it to the existing pinata with a hot glue gun.
  • A traditional Mexican pinata is a star shape, with crepe-paper streamers hanging from it.  Use posterboard to make cones and glue those to your balloon-shaped pinata to make a star.  Paint the whole thing and glue streamers to each point of the star.


  1. [...] It’s the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby – and it’s also Cinco de Mayo!  That makes it Cinco de Derby – and it’s a beautiful day for a party!   So don your Derby hat (just throw something crazy together – you’ll fit right in) and get your pinata ready (read our post on How to Make a Pinata HERE) [...]

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