My birthday often falls on Thanksgiving, and as a child, that meant that I got to replace turkey dinner with pizza! Now, I can’t imagine replacing such a delicious feast, but “kid me” was very grateful. Although I wasn’t a fan of eating turkey, I am sure I would have loved to receive a cute little turkey piñata! This year we are spending the holiday with my in-laws, and the cousins will be together. I thought it would be fun to make a mini piñata for each kiddo!
These little roasts could be filled with prizes and favors to occupy children during the long wait for dinner. It would also be fun to fill them with candy corn and treats to serve after the feast, for the non-pie-eaters. If these little fellows survive the day, you could definitely keep them for next year! Kids could look forward to finding a new surprise in their turkey each year. They could even be used as place cards, or around a centerpiece for decoration. If guests arrive before Thanksgiving Day, this would be a fun pre-Thanksgiving activity for all the crafters. So many possibilities!
what you need:
• Paper-maché paste (1 c flour, 1 c water)
• 1-2” strips of newspaper or packing paper (newspaper is thicker and will make a sturdier piñata, but packing paper is plain, and doesn’t require as much paint for coverage)
• Clear tape
• Water balloons (3 per piñata)
• Mini Styrofoam eggs (2 per piñata)
• Box cutter
• Sponge brush
• Small paintbrush
• Paper straw (1 per piñata)
• Apple Barrel Paint (caramel and white)
• Paint palette
• Cookie cooling rack
• Wax paper
• Balloon pump
Blow the first balloon up to full size to create the body. Blow the second two up about halfway, and then let air out until you have a nice round turkey “leg” that looks proportional to the body.
Cut your paper straw into four 1-inch pieces, then line them up and tape them together in pairs. Tape the lip of the “leg” balloons to the straw pairs, and tape the wide end of a mini Styrofoam egg to the opposite end of the straw pairs. Finally, fold a piece of tape into a circle, and tape the legs to the body, slightly underneath it, and with the balloon end of the legs at the wider end of the body. Tape the lip of the “body” balloon down.
Coat a newspaper strip in paper-maché paste, and smooth it out over the balloon “roast”. Continue to stick the paper strips to the roast until it is completely covered. Allow it to dry overnight, and then apply a second coat of newspaper strips. We did this step over wax paper, and dried the roasts on a cookie cooling rack.
Once the second coat of paper-maché is dry, use a box cutter to cut 3 sides of a rectangle on the bottom of the turkey to make a door for filling with candy or prizes. You will need to be able to stick two fingers in to pull the balloon out of the turkey body. It should come out easily.
Paint the turkey body “caramel” using your sponge brush. Mix a little bit of caramel paint with white, and use this mix to paint the “bone” on each leg. Allow the paint to dry, and then fill your piñata with paper shreds or confetti, and goodies!
Happy crafting and Happy Thanksgiving!!