I am just giddy about these little cuties today! Last night my mom threw a dinner party to celebrate my birthday (this week) and my daughter’s birthday (next week) and I made each of the kids their own pinata…the punch-out party hat kind! To say they were thrilled was an understatement…I had to answer “Can we open them now?!” about 200 times. Even the adults thought they were pretty darn cool. These are such a fun little project and would be perfect for any party, but I can especially see making these for New Year’s Eve covered in glitter paper with confetti, gourmet chocolates, after dinner mints, and a mini bottle of liquor thrown in!!
Now for those of you who know my mom and her highly acclaimed cooking and entertaining abilities, it will come as no shock to you to hear that the meal was FABULOUS! My friend Alli was there (we’ve been best friends since I was in 5th grade, so 28 years now…sheesh, that sounds like a lifetime!) with her kids and her hilarious husband Jay, who is by far my mom’s greatest food cheerleader. You know that scene in What About Bob? where Bill Murray is moaning and groaning over the food? Yep, that’s pretty much how it is, with a few “Oh my goodness, if this was the last meal I ate before I went to heaven, I’d die a happy man” musings thrown in.
Our birthday dinner menu included roasted pork loin topped with bacon jam (yes, you read that right…BACON.JAM.), roasted carrots-parsnips-sweet potatoes-sweet onions, kale Caesar salad (she used a whole can of anchovies, no eggs, and added seasoned croutons), sauteed brown sugar cinnamon apple wedges, and the Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart that was on the cover of Fine Cooking magazine this month. Divine! Trust me, if you recreated this dinner for Thanksgiving, your family would thank you. Bob-style moans and groans all around.
- party hat (the design doesn’t matter) or party hat template (this post by Oh Happy Day contains a link to her free printable party hat template)
- cardstock, wrapping paper, book pages, or other decorative paper…or fabric! (Fabric hats are definitely on my DIY list to try!)
- Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue
- foam brush
- hot glue (optional)
- tissue paper
- items to decorate your hat: pom pom trim, ribbon, tulle, garland (my shiny orange + black fringe garland was from the Halloween section at Walmart), tissue paper fringe (aka: festooning, if you’re searching for it at an online party shop or Etsy), pom poms, pipe cleaners, etc.
pinata fillers: shredded paper, mini cups of playdough (my homemade glitter playdough recipe here), balloons, candy, mini glow sticks (I found these glow stick spinning tops in the $1 section at Target). Other ideas include mini toys, coins (real or chocolate), snack packs, bundle of crayons with small coloring sheets, jacks game, etc.
Step 1: Carefully take apart your party hat so that it lays flat. Trace onto the paper of your choice and cut out. Reassemble your party hat. Fill your party hat with shredded paper and toys/candy of your choice. Make sure that objects do not extend beyond the rim of the hat.
Step 2: Cut piece of tissue paper that is approx. 1.5-2 inches larger than the rim of your hat. With your foam brush, paint Mod Podge onto the outside rim of the party hat, approx. 1 inch down from the top all the way around. Place the tissue paper square over the top of the filled hat and press down the sides, flattening as you go. (I set my cone in a tall glass during this process to keep it steady and prevent the contents from spilling.)
Step 3: Holding the party hat in your hand, coat a large section of the hat with Mod Podge (using the foam brush) from the rim to the tip. Grab the paper hat template that you cut out of decorative paper and line up the wide curved end of the template with the rim of your hat. Press onto the hat, adjusting as needed . Add another section of glue to the hat and continue wrapping the paper around until the entire hat is covered. If desired, run a line of hot glue at the seams and press to seal (if the Mod Podge is not holding well enough).
Step 4: Now comes the fun part–decorating! I made four different styles of party hat pinatas for you today. For these two orange polka dot versions, after I covered the base with patterned cardstock, I used hot glue to add handles–an orange pipe cleaner on one and a length of black twill ribbon on the other. I then hot glued garland trim around the rim/base of the hat and cut off a small piece to hot glue to the top like a pom pom.
For the black and white polka dot version, I hot glued a length of white mini pom pom trim to the polka dot paper and then hot glued individual white pom poms (from the craft store) around the rim of the hat, plus one for the top. For the more elegant glittered tulle version, I paired it with black and white pinstripe paper (it reminded me of a man’s suit or tuxedo). Using glittered tulle from a 6″ wide roll (found at Michaels in the ribbon section), I hot glued the edge of the tulle around the rim of the hat, leaving approx. 1/2 inch overhang. I glued two layers of tulle, then a length of black twill ribbon over the top. Cut a 1 inch wide strip of tulle, gather the tulle and tie with the strip to secure.
When your guests are ready, start a 3-2-1 countdown and then have them PUNCH through the tissue paper to reveal their surprises! So much fun. The great thing about these party hat pinatas is that they act as a carrying case for all the goodies even after they’ve been opened. My kids and their friends used the little handles to carry them around like purses all night.