Eco-friendly piñata

27 Jun

by Flickr user Roo Murdock

by Flickr user Roo Murdock

Guest post by my crafty sister Sarah.

A traditional piñata, while definitely a lot of fun, is an incredibly wasteful endeavor. Here are some ideas for “greening” your next piñata:

Note: begin this project a couple days in advance of the event – it will take a few days to completely dry out.


  • A biodegradable balloon – ask your friendly Trader Joe’s clerk for one.
  • A pipe cleaner or two.
  • Glue – mix flour and water (and food coloring if you like) to a not too thick but not too thin consistency.
  • Newspaper – don’t buy one for this purpose alone; get it out of the recycling! Then cut it into 3” wide strips (you’ll probably need 40-50 total).
  • Contents – instead of the requisite individually wrapped (and therefore wasteful, not to mention unhealthy) candy, consider stuffing the piñata with (depending on the age of the invitees): funky pencils and erasers, stickers and temporary tattoos, lip gloss, toothbrushes, rechargeable batteries, coins, small hand soaps, and other small items.
  • Decorative items such as tissue paper, magazines, paint, glitter, etc.


Blow up balloon and tie it off. Then it’s time to get messy. Lather the newspaper strips in the glue mixture and wrap them flat all around the balloon. You’ll need two or three layers total. Decorate the outside using recycled items (a magazine collage perhaps?) or low-VOC paints. Or perhaps you save the tissue paper that often accompanies gifts? It can be torn into small pieces and formed into flower-like bunches and glued on for a three-dimensional effect, or simply laid out flat in geometric patterns. Be creative!

Allow to dry – up to 2 days.

Once dry, cut a small v-shaped hole, just large enough to insert the prizes. Before filling, form a loop out of the pipe cleaners by folding them in half and glue the ends inside the piñata thus forming a hook for a rope to go through. Then fill it, seal the hole, string said rope through the hook, dangle it from a tree, and swing away!

When the piñata has burst, and its contents been retrieved, simply remove the pipe cleaner and toss the rest in the compost bin!

Editor’s note: I used to make piñatas. Why don’t I do that anymore?


One Response to “Eco-friendly piñata”


  1. Thanks, planet! « Everybody’s Invited! - November 17, 2010

    […] Eco-Friendly Piñata […]

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