Friday, May 21, 2010

Project: Robot Pinata Tutorial and Subsequent Bashing

I don't feel that any party can be truly complete without a pinata. There is nothing more fun than beating the crap out of something that fits in with your theme. And who doesn't like large quantities of candy and junk food falling from a gaping wound? Here's how to make this gorgeous hunk of metal-inspired tissue paper and cardboard:

1. Since robots are usually squarish, use a thin box as the base. Tape up any seams so that it will be easier to cover but then use an X-acto knife to put large slits up the front and back so that it will have a convenient weakness during the beating.

Supplies for the foundation: box, 1 cup flour (or wallpaper paste), 1 cup water, strips of newspaper, 2 tbls. school glue

2. Use only one coat of the papier mache. Do one side then wait for it to dry before starting the back. Leave a huge hole in the top so that there will be a place to dump the loot.

3. Cut wide strips of silver tissue paper then cut 1/2" ruffles in all of the pieces. Use a brush to apply the adhesive so you don't get goop all over your hands.

Supplies: silver tissue paper, scissors, matte medium (or mod podge or school glue), older paintbrush

4. When all 4 sides are covered, cut tiny holes in the top of the box to insert wire for hanging.

Supplies: X-acto knife, wire

5. Thread the wire (about 12" for each piece) through the holes and wrap them very well. Put the loot in the pinata. Big Lots has great loot. Be careful not to put too much stuff in it or it will be too heavy.

6. Finish the top with 3 or 4 layers of the tissue paper and glue so that it will hold up to repeated beating.

7. Finally cut some slits in the sides and thread a slinky through each one. It may be easier to do this before you put all the loot inside and seal it up. Or you can just glue some arms to the sides or have no arms at all.

Then to decorate to maximum cuteness, you can use toilet paper rolls wrapped in plastic Christmas paper for the legs and use hot glue to attach some feet. Zadie helped me with the face and the belt.

Supplies: Slinkies from Target's dollar bins, random bits for features

8. Hit the pinata with a large stick until it busts open and the kids fly into a frenzy of grabbing treats. My brother suggested we put a blanket on the ground to catch the loot. That was a good idea. Mr. Lemon wrapped the end of the stick with a rag and duct tape. I guess he thought it would lessen the blow if the stick happened upon the head of another child. Luckily that did not happen. But check out how in this very shot the leg of the poor robot is flying through the air.

9. Gather the loot. Enjoy!

If you are sufficiently inspired, please let me know. I started a flickr pool for robot party ideas.