DIY Piñata - ala Disney's Coco | Week 41 | #52wonderfilledweeks

Looks awesome right? Read to the end to see it all lit up under a black-light!

If you've ever wondered why we don't throw big parties yearly for ourselves or our kids here's your answer...we tend to take a theme and really run with it...over the top doesn't begin to cover it.  That said, P's Land of the Dead, Coco party is going to be epic and I seriously cannot wait to see her face when she sees it all put together.  I had a light playing week so I was bound and determined to knock out as much as I could for her party.  You'll see it all when I post party pictures but I thought I would share with you the big project for this week...which turned out to be the easiest and cheapest project I've done so far for this birthday bash...really, less than $10 (even less for me since I had everything on hand already except for the tissue paper) and maybe an hour of my time.  

But first...just when you think things are ticking along you get the bright idea to take advantage of a slow week and start some fall cleaning...which includes washing your couch covers...which leads you to discovering why or how your one year old is able to always find feathers...our ten year old Ikea couch cushions tore on the inside...sending feathers all thru the cover...what a freaking mess.  Three cushions were tore open.  So far I've only repaired two because they are a huge project! I had to collect all the feathers I could so my cushions wouldn't loose their "oomf" then I had to whip stitch the rips closed and added another patch over top with some old sheets I keep around specifically for things like this.  The cushion pictured below took me several hours to fix...the upside is that they are almost done.  The covers are sooo much cleaner now and I (hopefully) won't have any more feathers needing to be fished out of Bubba's mouth any more.


But back to this week's super awesome project...the piñata is something that I've been making in my head for a few weeks.  P specifically asked for the guitar and I figured that would be easier than the number 5.  I saved an Amazon box almost two months ago thinking it was just about the perfect size for the project.  Trust me when I say this is EASY!


First I traced one half of my actual guitar onto some cardboard.  I only traced half because only half of my guitar matched the shape of Hector's guitar from the movie.  I cut out the half shape when I was done.


I grabbed my saved box and traced the guitar shape onto the box.  I used the box seam as my center point to line up my stencil with.


You need to do this twice, once for the front of the piñata and once for the back.




I saved the sides of my box and kept it in one long piece.  This will become the sides of the piñata.


Using my quilting ruler I marked a three inch strip down the middle of my long stretch of cardboard.


Next I took a box knife and carefully scored (DO NOT CUT THRU) the three inch strip that I marked and scored perpendicular to the strip about every inch or so.  


Next you need to cut on your score marks up to (but not thru) the marked lines.  You are essentially "clipping the corners" in sewing terms so you can bend your cardboard more easily.


With everything scored you can see that I can now easily bend and flex the cardboard siding.


I started about a foot from the end of the longs strip and bent the cut pieces in as I matched the edge of the guitar cut out with the folded edge of the strip.  I did remove some of the cut notches every now and then to make curving around the tighter corners easier.  


I attached the second body piece while folding the notches down and inside the piñata.  I wrapped packing tape around several points on the guitar but was careful to not "over" tape it.  After all I need a bunch of five year old to be able to bust it open!


Then I jumped on Illustrator and resized my guitar photo prop cut out, if you missed last week check it out here.  I knew I would need certain elements to be printed and glued on.  I'm pretty sure they do this for most piñatas.


Initially the guitar neck was too floppy so I double up the cardboard. Hot glued the two pieces together and then hot glued it to the body.


I bought three packages of white tissue paper from Dollar Tree.  I didn't even end up using a whole package so, yah, CHEAP project.  I laid out the tissue paper and cut it into two inch wide strips.  Then I took my scissors and cut the fringe pieces.  I didn't measure just went at it and tried to only cut one inch slits.


I tried Tacky Glue but I didn't like how it looked...it sort of balled up and I could see it thru the tissue paper.  Thankfully I had some Mod Podge on hand and it was perfect.  I think I probably used about one half cup of glue for the whole thing.  I grabbed a paint brush (my favorite ones are these from Ikea) and just went in three inch sections.  Starting with the sides first.  


Starting at the bottom center of the piñata, I would brush glue on and then place the uncut edge of my tissue strips on the glue.  I would rip off the excess (as you can see in the picture below - we will clean up the edges later) as I went.  I overlapped each piece/strip by about one half inch and before I knew it I had the sides done! Also I was worried that I should have painted the box or plastered it in tissue paper before adding the fringed strips but no need to worry.  You can't see any of the box thru the paper at all!



When I would finish with one section (side, front, back) I would let the glue set for a few minutes and then trim the edges with some scissors, just feeling for the edge of the piñata.


You can see the side facing us has been trimmed and the far side has not.  I was also worried that trimming the edges I would see the box...but again, nope!


To finish the guitar I printed all the extra pieces from my Illustrator file, but I made sure to only print the outline for the colored pieces.  If you are familiar with the movie then you know it has gold accents all over.  Since we're having a black-light I thought it would be cool to color those in with a highlighter so they pop in the darkened space.  It worked perfectly.  I used my paint brush and Mod Podge on the back of the pieces and pressed them into place.  I think it looks just as good (if not better!) than any of the piñatas I've ever seen available for sale in any store.


The last thing I had to do was poke a hole for a wire to hang from (in my case I used a zip tie) and cut the candy door.  I was certain that doing either of these things was going to ruin my creation...but it didn't!! I may add a tiny piece of tissue or two back over the door after it has been filled but this thing is solid, literally the size of a real guitar and has all the wow factor we wanted in both regular light and the black-light!


What do you think? I can't wait to see all the kids trying to destroy it...I'm so very curious as to how long it will take them to break it open!! Two weeks...two more weeks and we get to see everything put together...eep!

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