We are part of a New Year’s Eve of Eve celebration, and every year our family creates an “even better than last year” piñata for everyone. For 2022, we had a Dr. Seuss theme, so we made a Grinch head. We took full video footage of its creation and destruction and hope to post it at some point. If it’s not here yet and you want to see it, we suggest sending us a message politely telling us to get off our butts and post it.
We used a punch balloon for the main scaffolding and then added four layers of papier-mâché to cover it. Once the paper dried, we popped the balloon, covered it with three more layers, and began applying crumpled papier-mâché to start sculpting the features.
After the main shape was done, we applied a smoothing coat of paper and then used a thin coat of drywall compound to finish smoothing and provide a white background to cover the newsprint. We used colored tissue paper for the base color of the parts and tempera paint for the details.
The eyebrows and eyelashes were made from dyed feathers, and the teeth were created individually from crumpled and rolled paper bound with masking tape for shaping. We then applied the same thin coat of drywall compound and some white paint with a touch of yellow for effect. Hot glue held both the feathers and the teeth in place.
We fill the piñatas with an assortment of goodies: individually wrapped teas, chocolates, hand warmers, mints, and so on, along with numbered ping pong balls.
A nearby table is stocked with gifts brought by us and the guests for a “raffle.” Everyone gets to take a maximum of one numbered ping-pong ball from the defeated piñata, and then we call out numbers bingo-style at the end. Each person, in turn, gets to pick a gift from the table, with the first called getting first pick. We have everything from scrubby pads to bottles of cider and farm gift baskets. It’s more fun than I care to admit!