Skip to content

52: Communal Piñata

March 19, 2011

WOOOO! This post completes my first year of Something a week. Let’s celebrate.

Um… Celebration, let’s see… I’ve had this bird piñata hanging around the house for a while. That’ll work.

Here it is, in the background way back in July:

My plan was to fill it with something and release it into the wild to be smacked into oblivion by strangers. Only problem was, I couldn’t decide what to fill it with.

I had some entertaining suggestions from people I know. Someone suggested filling it with dental hygiene products for the ultimate disappointment. Another person suggested a sack of fake blood, which would be terrifying and potentially disastrous. And of course, I could always go the traditional route and stuff it with candy. They were all good suggestions, but nothing quite fit for me.

I decided, instead, to fill it with smaller piñatas. But first, I had to make tiny piñatas.

I like using cereal boxes for light construction. They’re in that sturdy/flexible area between paper and corrugated cardboard.

I made a pretty rough model of a standard horse/donkey piñata, and left it in pieces. It’ll be much easier to wrap this way.

Here it’s being dry fit, to see how it will look later. More pictures and the exciting conclusion after the jump.

I cut strips of tissue paper about 1/4 inch thin. Then I wrapped. For a loooooong time. Much too long for a throwaway project, but my audience demands quality, and I am not one to disappoint.

That tiny bowl is full of watered-down glue. The process is as follows: Paint with glue and wrap, paint and wrap, paint and wrap.

Cover completely.

Slice through the top layer with an X-acto knife.

Fluff it up.

I made a donkey,

a bird, like the bigger one,

and the standard unlicensed knock-off piñata. Say “Hello” to Spongepaul Redpants.

Here’s one for scale.

I only made 3, because it took forever. Construction is quite intricate when it’s that small, and I have big fingers. I’m going to guess an hour and a half for each. It was fun, though.

I decided to write a couple notes to the potential smashers.

The first one encourages you to participate. I know I’d be a little hesitant of a unattended piñata.

The second one gets folded up and goes inside.

It offers a little explanation, granted not much of one, but that’s kind of the point.


Once everything was packed in, I had to wait until it wasn’t raining.

I went out to my primary target that I had scouted the night before, and threw the rope over the branch. It was too short.

I had to go with my secondary choice. Less traffic here, but the piñata is one of the only things of interest, so maybe it will work out.

When I jumped to grab the other end of the rope, my camera fell out of my pocket and hit the ground. That makes 2 cameras in 3 weeks.

Sorry for the crappy phone photos. I’ll go back to check on the progress when it’s lighter outside.

Update #1:

It’s a few hours later, and everything appears to be going fine. There’s a noticeable crack in it. I can’t tell if anything’s come out yet. I did see a couple people stop, read the sign, and hit it.

People seem to be hitting it once and moving on. It’s a very Seattleite let-everybody-have-a-chance attitude.

Update #2:

He’s dead, Jim.

I went back to check a few hours later, and it was all over. The bird was split in half.

Any last words, Mr. Toucan?

During the time it was up, I sometimes watched to see how people were reacting. It was fun watching from afar. I saw a lot of people take swings, a few people walk by without noticing it, and a ton of people consider it but decide it was probably a trick.

I cut down the piñata carcass and went home.

The little guys were all gone, except one little bird. I think he broke his delicate ankles from the fall.

WHY?! NO! Take me instead!

The others and the note were nowhere to be found. I didn’t see who grabbed them, but I hope someone has given them a good home.

See you next week.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2011 8:59 am

    I have decided that you have entirely too much time on your hands….

    Can’t wait to see the after photo’s though!

  2. March 19, 2011 2:37 pm

    You should have put more pinatas inside the small pinatas 😐

    • March 19, 2011 5:11 pm

      Believe me, I considered it. The problem would be making them small enough to get into the big pinata, but big enough to house smaller ones. It didn’t seem worth it.

  3. Annie permalink
    March 24, 2011 5:35 am

    I’m trying to decide if I would have taken a whack or just walked on by. Either way, I certainly would have wanted to hit it. Did you supply something to hit it with? I think there is a pole in the top photos. If so, I’m impressed that no one stole the pole.

    • March 24, 2011 9:32 am

      Yeah the pole was just a length of PVC pipe hastily wrapped in strips of tissue paper. I guess it is weird that nobody stole it, but they put it back in exactly the same spot each time.

  4. March 29, 2011 4:57 pm

    Thanks for putting the updates up. Yes, I’m boring and pathetic enough to have been wondering what ended up happening.

    I was wondering myself if I would have “taken the bait” and wacked it or figured it was a joke?

    I love the mini-mini pinata idea!

  5. June 17, 2011 1:10 pm

    This is one of the most creatively pointless things I’ve seen in some time. It’s nice to see some damn whimsy in Seattle. Keep up the good work!


  6. Sue Donim permalink
    October 29, 2011 5:09 pm

    Actually, I think a piece of candy should go in each mini-pinata

  7. November 18, 2011 1:37 am

    OMG! Lil’ baby donkey pinata is so cute! I want him! 🙂

  8. xoxojy permalink
    November 18, 2011 9:18 am

    i would have loved to see this out on the street somewhere.

  9. May 9, 2012 7:47 am

    This is hilarious! I stumbled upon it as I was searching for inspiration to make a piñata as my contribution to a “Doce de Mayo” fundraiser this weekend. I really want to do the same…it would be SO interesting to see how people in England would react.

  10. marly permalink
    September 7, 2012 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the great ideas and patterns, about to attempt a donkey for a nursing home,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: