You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Besides, I am sure that we all know at least one person who has a bit of Irish in their blood, and we can celebrate in their honor! I happen to have a very dear Irish friend, and she has the best St. Paddy’s traditions. Since she is expecting her first child, I know that she will eventually want some kid-friendly celebration ideas. I am sure a shamrock piñata would be at the top of the list! You could throw an entire party, and have the kids break the shamrock apart, or you could share some fun St. Patrick’s Day goodies with your child(ren), and re-use the piñata each year! It would be a great centerpiece for your corned beef and cabbage dinner, too!
what you need:
• 6” Heart balloons
• Wax paper
• Paper mache paste (1 cup water, 1 cup flour)
• Newspaper strips
• Balloon pump
• Cereal box cardboard
• Masking tape
• Sponge brush
• Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint (in “New Shamrock”)
• Box cutter
• Candy and prizes
Draw a 4 ½” long stem on your cereal box, and cut it out to use as a tracer. Trace it onto the box two times, and cut out the stem pieces. Next, cut a ½” strip of cardboard, about 13 inches long. Tape the strip all the way around one stem, using masking tape. Cut off any excess. Tape the second stem piece to the strip, until you have a little 3D stem.
Use your balloon pump to blow up three 6” heart balloons, and make them as close to the same size as possible. Tie the balloons together at the ends.
Mix your paper mache paste in a bowl. Dip a newspaper strip in the paste, wipe off the excess, and glue the strip to one of the balloons. Continue to paste strips to all three balloons, until they are completely covered. Use some smaller strips to connect the balloons where they are tied together, making the connection as smooth as possible! We recommend 2-3 layers of newspaper strips.
Wrap the stem in paste-dipped newspaper strips, and push the stem up between the balloons. Allow the entire shamrock to dry (on a cooling rack, if possible), and you may need to prop the stem up to make it level with the shamrock. It is best if you can let it dry overnight.
Use a sponge brush to paint the entire shamrock green. You may need to use some glue to make sure the stem stays attached to the balloons.
Cut three sides of a rectangle into the back of each “leaf” of the piñata. Carefully pull out the balloons, and shake out any dried glue flakes. Fill the piñata with St. Patrick’s Day goodies, like chocolate coins, temporary tattoos, candy, etc. Close the little doors, and if necessary, place some Washi tape over them to keep them shut.