My kids don't think it's a party without a pinata.
I think driving into town just for a pinata is a waste of gasoline and time (yes, call me a killjoy if you like).
We can't use a balloon covered in paper mache because we have one child with a latex allergy. That would have been my go-to method for creating a homemade pinata in the past. What to do?
Oh, to count the problems a country mom can conquer with an oatmeal canister, some Elmer's School Glue and a bin full of tissue paper. Not only does it make a fine (if a tad too sturdy) pinata, it makes for a full afternoon of messy crafting fun.
First we dug in the craft bins for tissue and a suitable cardboard canister. We didn't choose a cereal box because the shape of the oatmeal box seemed like more fun. Upon further review I might choose to use a cereal box because it might be a little easier to break.
Then we cut a millionbajillion squarish pieces out of stacks and stacks of pastel tissue paper. If you were very patient you could make a pattern. We are not that patient.
Then we spread Elmer's in small patches on the canister and on the lid. A couple of girls worked each side of the pinata. Picking up a square at a time, we twisted the tissue around the eraser end of a pencil (remember this technique from making tissue daffodils in preschool?) and pressed the twists onto the glue-y cardboard tube.
Presto-chango, over a mere two hours of mess the cylinder became fluffy and princessy and fit for a birthday fiesta.
We poked two holes in the top of the canister walls and threaded a long loop of curling ribbon through. Then we filled it up with candy and treats and popped the decorated lid on. Don't forget to decorate the bottom too!
It was kind of hard to break but it was really pretty for a freebie.