While browsing the web for birthday pinatas for birthday decorations, we ran across Meaghan. Being as she was a local gal, we had to ask if she might be interested in educating the rest of us in how to make a great pinata. In addition, we thought she might confirm for us how to search for birthday piñatas, specifically with the fancy accent over the ‘n’. Here’s her story, plus a few tips on how to make a pinata!
Theme up your Birthday…with Your Piñata!
Piñatas can be a fun and artistic way to make any celebration a smash, especially birthdays. In fact, it was my own birthday that gave me the inspiration to become a professional piñata artist and start my company Your Piñata, based out of beautiful Vancouver B.C.
Sometimes it just takes looking at something, whether it be an actual object…or just an activity, and realizing that with a spark of imagination, you could do it better! That was what happened with me, for piñatas. A few years ago I really wanted a unique piñata for my birthday and realized how disappointing those piñatas in stores can be, especially the birthday ones. I marched down to the library, took out a how-to book on piñatas and made an amazing, original creation: a pink poodle!
The poodle got smashed at a local Vancouver talent show called Talent Time, and after that first piñata, the requests for birthday piñatas came flooding in. I got requests for everything from caricatures of the birthday boy or girl, to exotic wild animals, famous and not-so-famous celebrities, and so many cartoon characters—you name it. I had discovered my passion, and from there I decided to make the leap and leave the high end retail industry for a life wrist deep in flour and water, crafting custom-made piñatas.
Some of my most bizarre requests have included a five foot long goose, a caricature of the notorious dictator Kim Jong Il, and most recently a CEO riding a bull hugging the president…riding a bear! The crazier the concept, the better. I love a challenge when it comes to piñatas!
One of the most fun parts of this job is detailing each piece, which make my custom piñatas different from any you might find in a store. For example I’ve had requests to make people’s pets, bosses and friends, and I not only ask for pictures but also personal details that will surprise and delight them. For example, getting the accessories or activities the birthday boy or gal like just right, or a physical trait that everyone knows, such as a mustache or a beauty mark. It’s the details that count here.
Since my piñatas are so intricately detailed, my clients often ask me if they’re actually meant to be smashed, and I say of course! That’s the whole point of a piñata. It’s always interesting to see, depending on the celebration, what they choose to fill the commissioned piece with. I even put some piñatas back together… for clients with smasher’s regret. Since my business started I’ve been getting diverse requests for all kinds of events, not just for birthdays. Those of us that have experienced such birthday activities know how much fun this is, and I know that it’s the joy of smashing a piñata for my birthday that got me started.
Tips on How To Make Birthday Piñatas
If you’re on a budget but still want to make your birthday party a hit (if you know what I mean), it’s not difficult to whip up a basic homemade piñata. Here are some Tips and Tricks:
- To make a piñata you’re going to need the following essentials:
- newspaper torn into strips,
- some cardboard if you’re making anything like ears or legs
- and paint.
- Don’t forget time! Piñatas need time to dry before you can bit them with your best shot.
- I may like to take on challenges as a piñata artist, but you don’t have to! Pick a shape that you won’t find too difficult to make around the basic balloon shape, for example if you want to do a cartoon character remember that you can do just their face, or make a round shaped fruit like an orange.
- If painting a face or cartoon isn’t your strength, don’t worry! Traditional Mexican piñatas often have fringed coloured tissue paper glued all around them instead, so you only need to paint the underneath one solid colour and you can easily make the fringes with a pair of scissors and a glue gun.
With these pinata building basics, you too can get started on making your own. However, if you’re ever looking for an authentic piñata artist, you can check out some of my other pieces at yourpinata.com. All that is left now is to figure out what your best smashing tool is!
written by Meaghan June 26, and Marisa September 27
Thanks ladies! And congratulations again Meaghan on getting your pinatas featured on ELLEN! That is a massive achievement unto itself! I am sure the requests for birthday pinatas will start rolling in.
Meaghan, you might need to start looking for a bigger space…or even a production line.
Congratulations once again and for more great birthday ideas, check out more amazing articles from our great writers.
Jeff and Chris.