How to Make a Dragon Piñata

  • 01 of 11

    Homemade Dragon Piñata

    Dragon Piñata
    Christine Gauvreau

    When it comes to ready-made dragon piñatas to purchase, the options are limited. You can, however, make your own, which is a great way to customize your creature to match your dragon party theme.

    On our first try, we discovered that a papier-mâché piñata is actually easier to make than it appears, but that the project is very messy and time-consuming. When planning a homemade piñata for your party, make sure to calculate the time it will take for each layer of paper to dry (sometimes 24 hours per layer).

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  • 02 of 11

    Gather Your Supplies

    Gather your supplies
    Christine Gauvreau

    To make your own dragon piñata, you will need:

    • A balloon
    • Two bowls (one for the papier-mâché mixture and one to set the balloon in as you work)
    • Flour
    • Water
    • Strips of paper
    • Tissue paper
    • Two paper towel tubes
    • A cardboard box
    • Scissors
    • Glue or decoupage medium
    • Decorative accessories of your choice (googly eyes, feathers, etc.)
    • Treats for filling the piñata
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  • 03 of 11

    Cut the Strips

    Cut the strips
    Christine Gauvreau

    Cut several pieces of newspaper, old catalog pages or paper towels (sturdy kind) into strips, approximately one-to-two inches wide. You can do these as you go along, but to will want to do them in large batches to save time.

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  • 04 of 11

    Assemble the Head, Neck and Tail

    Assemble the head, neck and tail
    Christine Gauvreau
    1. Cut the paper towel tubes in half to form 4 equal parts.
    2. Tape two of the halves together, side by side. This will be the dragon’s head.
    3. Attach the head to another tube, which will be the dragon’s neck.
    4. Carefully attach this to the balloon.
    5. Scrunch one end of the remaining tube to form the tail.
    6. Attach the last tube to the other end of the balloon.

    Note: This can be done after the balloon is covered in papier mache and dried; just before decorating. However, to make it as sturdy as possible, we recommend assembling first and then sealing the entire body together with the flour paste.

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  • 05 of 11

    Make the Paste

    Make the paste
    Christine Gauvreau

    To make papier-mâché paste, mix equal parts of flour and water in a large bowl.

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  • 06 of 11

    Dip Strips and Apply

    Dip strips and apply
    Christine Gauvreau

    Dip the strips of paper in the paste until coated, and apply to the balloon figure until it is covered. Leave an opening where you can later pop the balloon and add the filling. Allow the first layer to dry completely before repeating the process. A sturdy piñata will need at least four layers. You may need to do one side of the balloon at a time. You can use a fan to help speed the drying process.

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  • 07 of 11

    Pop Balloon and Fill

    Pop balloon and fill
    Christine Gauvreau

    When your piñata is completely dry and you are satisfied with the strength of it, stick a pin into the part you left uncovered to pop the balloon. The balloon will pop and pull apart from the structure. Remove the pieces of the balloon.

    Add the treats through this opening.

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  • 08 of 11

    Patch the Hole

    Patch the hole
    Christine Gauvreau

    Use a piece of cardboard to patch the hole. Then add another few layers of papier-mâché to seal this cover. Allow it to dry.

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  • 09 of 11

    Cover With Tissue Paper

    Cover with tissue paper
    Christine Gauvreau

    Cut rolls of crêpe paper or sheets of tissue paper into squares. Glue them to the dragon in an overlapping pattern, in the colors of your choice.

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  • 10 of 11

    Add Wings, Horns and Spikes

    Add wings, horns and spikes
    Christine Gauvreau

    Cut the cardboard box into two wings, two horns and a few lengths of spikes. You will need to curve the bottom of the lengths of spikes to fit the shape of the balloon. Tape them into place and cover with more tissue paper.

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  • 11 of 11

    Add Eyes and Fire

    Add eyes and fire
    Christine Gauvreau

    Cut two circles out of the cardboard. Cover with tissue paper and glue googly eyes into the centers. Glue the eyes onto the dragon.

    Cut the shape nostrils out of cardboard and cover with tissue paper. Cut flames out of orange cardstock or foam board. Attach to the dragon to appear as he is breathing fire.

    Add any other finishing touches you desire. Once all the glue has dried, your piñata is ready to go!