Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Allison: "Paper Bag Piñata"

Hello, hello!  My name is Allison, and I'm the middle child in our crazy, fun family.  Don't believe everything you hear about the middle child... only some of it is true.  :)  First off, I am SO EXCITED that we're doing this blog! I think it'll be tons of fun to see what my creative sisters are up to, and love the opportunity to share my projects, ideas and favorite blogs.

A "quick" introduction of myself:  I live in Arizona with my amazing husband and beautiful little eighteen-month-old, "I".  We're expecting a second little girl at the end of August, and this blog should be the distraction that I need to get through an Arizona Summer while pregnant.  Gross!  If you'd told me 2 years ago that I'd be participating in a crafting blog, I would have politely told you that you were insane!  It wasn't until my first pregnancy that I got the courage to open my brand new sewing machine, which had been sitting in its box for a year, and finally learn to sew.  Thanks, You Tube!  I started quilting which promptly opened the crafting floodgates.  I LOVE creating new things and can't wait to share them on this blog and to steal my sisters' ideas in the process.  Oh!  I should probably mention one more thing.  I can pretty much guarantee that I'll have the longest blog posts of my sisters.  I like to talk.  I find that typing out my thoughts only makes the problem worse.  So, I apologize now for my long winded-ness.

Now I have a story to tell you.  I'll try to give you the short version, but if you read my introduction above, I'm not so good at that.  :)  Here we go:

"Once upon a time, not too many years ago, there was a sweet, humble, BEAUTIFUL (and I mean beautiful!) fifth-grade teacher.  She loved teaching and loved spending her days with her students.  But every week, on Friday at precisely 2 pm, her stress levels would go through the roof and she would feel a dread swell up within her.  It was Art time for an entire hour!  Feeling a lack of creativity and/or originality, she usually headed to the Internet in search of something to fill this time.  With Pinterest non-existent in those days, ideas were harder to come by, but somehow she always found a last minute idea to fill the time."

Okay... that was overly dramatic.  I'll admit.  Today's tutorial is a project that my fifth-graders enjoyed to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  These little piñatas are relatively easy to make, and distracted thirty ten-year-olds for a whole hour.  Enough said!  Here are the supplies you'll need:

* paper lunch bags

* crepe paper streamers (or tissue paper)- your choice of colors

* scissors

* glue stick

* candy/goodies of your choice

* hole punch (optional)

Step #1- I'm a lazy crafter, so I usually try to find the fastest, quickest way to do something.  Start by pre-cutting 5 or 6 six-inch strips of paper of each color (depending on how many colors you're using).  Then cut approximately one inch into the side of the paper, about every half inch.  Stacking the paper and cutting each set of colors at the same time will save a lot of time here.

Then start at the bottom of the bag, apply glue to the bag, and place the first piece of cut paper so that about 1/2 an inch hangs off the bottom of the bag.  Apply another strip of glue, and place the next piece of paper so that the cut part overlaps where the previous paper was glues.  I shifted my paper over, so that the cut lines were more alternating.

At this point, you just keep going, in your decided pattern of colors.  Stop about 1 1/2 inches from the top, giving yourself room to fold the bag over after filling it with goodies.

Step #2- Next, turn the bag over and trim off any excess paper that may be hanging off the side.  Careful not to cut too closely to the bag itself.  I may or may not have accidentally done this.  :)

Step #3- Now, turn the bag over again and start from the beginning!  Folding down the bottom flap so that the bag lays flats will make this process MUCH easier.  Once you're done gluing, fold the top flap or opening down at the last piece of paper glued to the top.  This will give a more polished look to the opposite side.

Once flap is folded, glue one more strip of paper to the folded flap.  This will more or less conceal
the flap.

This next part really depends on how much more work you'd like to do.  I did the work to show how it can be done.  You can leave the sides with no paper, with the brown bag showing through, or you can glue more crepe paper down.  To do this, lay the bag down flat.  Then fold the side so that it lays open.  Apply glue to half the side, and then take one long piece of paper the length of the bag, pressing it to the fold in the middle.  Repeat on other side.
(Someone isn't an experienced tutorial writer and may have forgotten to take a picture during the process.  Pretend it has the sides completed.)

This last step is optional, but I think it really makes the piñata.  Cut 8 or 9 long pieces of crepe paper, of varying sizes and colors.  Glue or tape (the lazy way) them to the bottom of the bag.  Next cut each piece up the middle so it looks like you did more work than you did.  Then stuff your piñata, staple or tape it shut, punch a hole or two in the top to hang it, and you're done!!  Now get out of the way, as your children take wild swings at a hanging object.


*I found that crepe paper was easier and faster than tissue paper.  It's already the right width, so less cutting is required.

*Lay the bag flat as you glue the crepe paper on.  Much easier than having it already open, as other tutorials suggested.

*Fluff the paper up a little when you're done.  It looks better and will give more dimension.

*Make multiple piñatas and fill with newspaper to use for parties or family gatherings.  They make a colorful, fun and inexpensive decoration!

*Don't stress out during this process.  Remember... this is supposed to be fun for you and your kids!

I hope you all enjoyed my very first tutorial attempt.  I'll get better... promise.  :)  We'd love to hear your comments, suggestions or experiences as you follow our projects and ideas with us.  Until next Tuesday...  Hasta Luego y que disfruta el cinco de mayo!!



  1. Awesome!! I know what my kids are doing tomorrow!

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  3. Allison, I want to make one of these for myself!! Lovely!

  4. Yes, I love this craft! I think I could actually figure it out with your great tutorial!

  5. I forgot to sign that last comment