Last behind-the-scenes-at-the-baking-party installment- the piñata! There could be no other piñata for Jenna, if you knew her. It was cupcake or nothing. Given that her birthday falls at a time in the year when the weather is more likely horrid than not, we asked her what kind of piñata she wanted - the bash-up sort for outdoors (or garage, if the weather was foul), or the pull-string indoor sort. She picked the latter, and it turned out it was an outdoor one after all, because the weather was so divine that day.
Here's how we made ours - in cardboard, of course.
First, we made the cupcake liner part - a circular base and a curved side.
It was not refined, because there was no way to curve something that was essentially "cut on the bias" when it came to the flutes of the cardboard. It didn't curve smoothly, but we did the best we could.
Before gluing on the base, though, we divided it into three sections and cut a trapdoor in each.
Then we glued the wrinkled curved side on, and partitioned off the entire interior space into three separate sections. Why? To prolong the game! Last year's Rapunzel piñata lasted three ribbons. Some kids didn't even get to pull a ribbon. So this year we wised up, and used three doors. When one was opened, two others remained, at least long enough for everyone to have a chance to pull a ribbon or four.
Then there is another loose circle of cardboard to close up the candy section
and support a big puffy frosting top.
I used fabric, stuffing (there might have been a random stuffed animal in there, too) and a big circle of red fleece gathered into a ball for a cherry. Everything was only basted or safety-pinned together so I could dismantle it and reclaim the fabric later.
The plain cardboard cupcake liner was then handed over to Jenna to paint.
All to herself, we promised her. So when Emily and Kate were at school, Jenna had the time of her life dictating colors and deciding patterns.
And when it was dry, we installed the ribbons*, added tissue paper frills for distraction (since we had some particularly analytical 7- and 8-year olds at the party),
hung it up,
got everyone in line,
and let the guessing begin!
The game went on for a good amount of time because of the three doors.
Jenna later reported that this was her favorite part of the party because she was the lucky person who pulled open the first trap door. I am sorry to say that Kate did not enjoy this as much as we thought she might, because she didn't feel she could keep up with the mad rush for candy. Everyone, however, felt very sorry for her, and donated copious amounts of their loot to her while she stood there with fat tears running down her cheeks. I remembered to write to the mothers after, to tell them what excellent sports their kids were. High-fives all round!
* For the ribbon installation and general construction of a basic pull-string piñata, see last year's Rapunzel piñata post here.
P.S. I've updated the original party post with links to the individual-elements posts, and added the Baking Party to the party page under the blog banner, so you'll be able to find all these ideas more easily.
And with that, we are done with parties for 2011!