Monday, November 16, 2009

How to make a piñata without using Paper Mache

My son really wanted a piñata at his birthday party, but I couldn't find any that weren't pink or Dora...and they were at least $15 a piece.  I thought maybe I could make one for cheaper, and so I set out on a quest to figure out how to make a piñata.  Everything I read said that you have to use Paper Mache which I have done before, but I don't love it.  It takes a long time and is messy.  I was stumped.

Then the weirdest thing happened.  I went to be thinking about how to make a piñata and I woke up knowing how to do it.  My brain must have worked on it all night, because I went downstairs and did it without giving it a second thought.  It worked so well that I thought I would give you all a piñata making tutorial.

1.  You will need a cereal box (or some other type of cardboard box, but it can't be too industrial or the kids won't be able to break it), a roll of streamers in the color you want, masking tape, scissors, and twine.  I thought I would use the hole punch reinforcers, but I just used the tape instead.
2.  Cover the bottom of the box with a strip of streamer.
3.  Cut slits into the streamer going half way up.  Make the slits about 1/2 an inch apart.  You don't have to measure it, just eyeball it.  You also don't need to make them perfectly spaced.  This creates the fringed look.
4.  Begin wrapping the streamer around the box.  I taped it down on each side each time I went around.  You want the streamer securely attached to the box.  Wrap it so that it overlaps.  Keep the wraps close together and it will look fuller when you get done.
5. Just keep wrapping until you only about 1.5 to 2 inches at the top of the box.
6.  On both sides of the box, you will need to put 2-3 layers of tape on both the outside and inside of the box.  After you have the tape in place, take your scissors and punch a hole through the box.  The tape makes the holes stronger.  Then run your twine through.  You can use twine, yarn, rope, or whatever you want.  Just make sure it is strong enough to hold the piñata while people are hitting it.
7.  To finish off the box, keep wrapping around until you get to the top.  Just work around the twine sticking out the sides.  At the top, you will want to make some tape balls like the ones pictured here.  It will take 2 strips of streamer to cover each top flap.
8.  I found it easier to cut the slits after I had the streamer taped to the box.
9.  Cut a space out of the streamer where the box lid closes so that you can close it when you are done.
10.  Cover the other flap the same way, and leave the little tab uncovered.  You won't see it when you close the box.
11.  You can tape the box shut if you want to.  I did not and it wasn't a problem.  Of course it was a bunch of 5 year olds whacking it, not adults.
12.  To finish it off, I used a Spiderman napkin.  I could have just taped the napkin on like this and my son would have been happy with it, but I decided to take it a step further and cut Spiderman out of the napkin and put him directly to the box.
13.  The last step is to "fluff" your fringe and then you are done.  Enjoy!!

How much did this cost?  The box, tape, and twine I already had.  I bought the streamer and napkins at Wal Mart.  The streamer was $.97 and the napkins were under $3.00 for a pack of 16.  Now that is a cheap piñata!

I'm also linking this to Metamorphasis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch.  Just click on the link and it will take you back so you can see what everyone else is up to.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to J!!

J turned 5 last week.  J is a thoughtful, tender hearted boy.  He has been through so many physical/health issues in his short life, but through it all he has kept a smile on his face.  I have learned so much about patience and enduring your trials well from him.  I have also seen him show unconditional love to everyone around him.  He is a really great boy and we are so blessed to have him as part of our family.

We have a tradition in our home that we ALWAYS have cake in some form on our actual birthdays.  We also decided to celebrate the big birthdays with friend parties and the not so big birthdays with family parties.  The "big" birthdays are 5, 8, 12, 16, and if they are with us 21.

We sent spider web cupcakes to school and had a little family party that night.  Then on Friday, Dad took a 1/2 day so we could do his big party with all of his friends at the fire station.  (Dad is a volunteer fire fighter).  It was so much fun!!!  We had a tour of the fire station, all of the kids got to try on the fire fighter clothes, we played a game, ate junk, whacked a piñata (which I made), and ate cake and ice cream.  Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New items in my etsy store!!!

I have spent HOURS crocheting over the last few weeks and am happy to announce that my crochet beanie hats and crochet flowers are finally listed in my store!  I still have a few more to list, but there are plenty to choose from, so go take a look and tell me what you think!

All hats and flowers are made from 100% cotton yarn, and come in infant, toddler, and child sizes.  (I can make an adult size for anyone interested).  The flowers are on alligator clips, so they can be clipped to the hat or to the hair.  You can buy one hat and several different flowers and easily change your look without breaking the bank.

Here's a sneak peek of a *few* of them...

Monday, November 9, 2009

How to get gum out of hair and off of stuff

Gum is not allowed in our house.  I know this makes me a mean mom, but my kids won't keep it in their mouths, and therefore it ends up on random things in my home.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that some of the suckers my kids got for Halloween had gum in them, and what did we end up with...yep...gum on random things in my home.  Want to know how to get it out?

Hair and skin

The best way to get it out of hair or off of skin is to use peanut butter.  Yes, peanut butter.  Something about the oil in peanut butter makes the stickiness of gum go away and it breaks it down so it can be removed.
This is J.  He wanted to know what would happen if he stuck his gum in his hair.  Once he finally came to me, it was all over his hands, and stuck pretty good in his hair.  Here's what you do.
Put a blob of peanut butter on top of the gum and start smooshing the gum and peanut butter between your fingers.
It takes a few minutes, but you will start feeling the consistency of the gum change.  Once this happens, pinch the gum between your fingers and slowly pull it out.  Add more peanut butter as necessary.  Just keep doing it until all of the gum is out.
Then wash the hair.  I usually use dish soap first because it is made to cut grease.  Then I follow up with shampoo when I bathe them.

Carpet, furniture, cloth, etc.

Peanut butter also works on these things, BUT you don't want to use it unless you can wash the item with hot soapy water and then rinse all of the soap out.  If you can't wash the item afterwards, then the next best option is to use an ice cube and freeze the gum.  Then you have to slowly pick it out.  It does take a while, so go slow and be patient.  You would hate to hurry through it and end up hurting the item you are trying to save.

You can also use peanut butter on stickers where the paper pulls up but the sticky stays behind or on the left over stickiness of a Band-Aid.

I hope none of you ever have to use this information.  If you do, send me a comment and tell me about it.  We can commiserate together!