Happy Birthday!!!

Monday was Son’s 4th birthday.  I can’t believe it.

I had already shared with you all the invitations I made for his big Fire Station Birthday Bash, and all this week, I will share the other details of my party prep and planning, along with other things that made his day special.

I’ll begin with the biggest project of all.  Son specifically requested a pinata.  Seriously.  He saw one on Curious George on morning, and the idea stuck.  Being the awesome mom that I am, I obliged.

Like most people, I had only done paper mache a handful of times, and those times were all before I graduated Jr High.  So I had to do some quick research, but thanks to the internet, I found a recipe for mache paste pretty easily.  It’s just flour and water.  So here’s the break down…

I made a basic armature out of thin cardboard, also known as chip board.

Since the birthday was fire station themed, I decided to make my pinata look like a fire hydrant.  That meant I would need something rounded for the top.  I knew just the thing…

I figured I would need to make the bowl part first so that it could dry.  I set Son to work cutting strips,

while I mixed up the paste by adding water to a bowl of flour until I had a silky consistency.

I covered my bowl with plastic wrap, and then began dipping the paper strips into my paste, and then draped them over my bowl until the whole thing was covered.

I set it out in the sun to dry.  Once it was, I had to get it off the bowl.  Turns out this wasn’t going to be so easy.  I thought it would just slide off, but the plastic wrap stuck too well to the bowl.  In the end, I was able to slide a sheet of paper under the wrap to release it from the bowl.

I added three short cylinders to my cardboard form, and also decided to cut out some of the armature to create the details found in an actual fire hydrant.  In the end, it seems this detail was unnecessary.

I added rolls of paper to the top and bottom, and then I began covering my cardboard hydrant with more paper mache.  After one layer of paper, I let it all dry.

Apparently, if you add too many layers of paper mache, before it dries, the paper can mold, and who wants a moldy hydrant?

Once it was all dry, I made a paper loop, and began attaching that to the top with more mache.

As much as I liked my newspaper hydrant, I knew it had to be red.  I needed new supplies.

I mixed some glue with water, painted my pinata with the glue, and then covered it with a layer of tissue paper.

Then I cut tissue paper into millions of squares.  Too many, it turns out…

I applied my squares to the pinata to create a shingled effect.  As I shingled it, I cut a door in the back, and then filled the pinata with nearly 15 pounds of candy, cheezits, and fruit snacks.  I shingled over the door, and let everything dry before I moved it off the table.

We hung the pinata from a porch at the fire station.

The pinata was a hit, pun intended.  The kids loved it.  One parent even asked if I made it from a kit!  I think my family was proud.





Filed under DIY, Home Making, Toys

3 responses to “Happy Birthday!!!

  1. Megan

    How tall did this turn out to be?

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