Do you hide a pickle ornament on your Christmas tree? This is the first year in a long time that we won’t be – with a toddler running around, we’ve skipped all glass ornaments on the tree this year. I love the tradition though, it’s a fun one that’s just the right amount of silly. I’ve been admiring the pickle tree that Jordan Ferney shared on Instagram and it got me thinking that a mini pickle pinata would be so fun. They’re almost like Christmas crackers since you can put small holiday treasures and treats inside! And you might remember that we actually have another pickle pinata on the blog from a little while ago – Abby made these adorable pickle pinata valentines! I used green mylar to give these pickles a festive look, but you can easily swap in any green tissue or crepe paper if that’s what you have on hand. Wouldn’t these make fun gift toppers for friends and family?
what you need:
- Long skinny balloons
- Balloon pump
- Paper mache paste (half water, half flour)
- Green mylar
- White glue
- Gold cupcake papers
- Gold pipecleaners
- Craft knife
Tie a knot partway down the long skinny balloon and use the balloon pump to inflate it. You may need to guess and check the placement of the knot a few times to get the right pickle shape. Once you’re happy with the shape, tie the balloon.
Mix your paper mache paste if you haven’t already – I used a mix of about half water, half flour (slightly more water) – and rip strips of newspaper. Dip the newspaper strip into the paste, use your fingers to remove any big blobs, and then smooth onto the balloon. Repeate this until the entire ballon is covered with one layer. Let dry on a cooling rack, or similar, and then repeat with at least one more layer.
Once the second layer is dry, use a craft knife to cut a small trap door into the pickle. Remove the deflated balloon and fill with small holiday goodies and candies.
Cut a piece of gold pipe cleaner about 3″ long. Bend one end into a hook and insert the other side into the hole at the top of the pickle left from the balloon knot. Use white glue (or tape or hot glue) to secure the pipe cleaner in place, doing this from the inside of th pickle through the trap door, if possible.
Cut strips of mylar about 1″ wide and use scissors to fringe the edge. Apply stripes of white glue at the bottom of the pickle and start by placing the fringe at the very bottom of the pickle and slowly spiral your way around the pickle. The very bottom part can be tricky but once the rest is covered you will barely notice it and can trim any wonky fringes to better show the pickle shape if needed.
Once you get to the trap door, you can either go right over it or cut the mylar to stop and start at it. If you cover it completely, the pickle will have to be broken to get the candies out, so if you want the pickle to stay intact, it’s best to cut the mylar around the trap door – the door will still mostly stay shut if you press it into place.
At the top of the pickle, it can help to cut the mylar into smaller pieces to better fit around the curve. I cut the strip into small pieces of about 3 fringes and glued those in place, overlapping so that they still covered the newsprint.
Note: to make this step easier, you can use regular green crepe paper, or if you have access to metallic green crepe paper, that would be your best bet! It will stretch to fit the curves of the pickle better than the mylar does, and you’ll still have the nice shiny finish.
Once the pickle is covered, cut a mini gold cupcake paper in half. Cut out the half-circle left from the base and set aside. Use the ruffled edge to make the metal ornament top, trimming as needed to form a nice-sized cylinder to sit atop the pickle. Glue into place around the pipe cleaner.