I have always been fascinated by crafting party supplies. When I was a kid I made a homemade piñata using paper-mache and a balloon. Now I was eager to try my hand at a real cardboard DIY piñata. Since the release of Disney’s new live-action Dumbo movie, I knew exactly which design I wanted to make. Another thing I love about crafting is the challenge to make a craft as inexpensively as possible. Check out this Dollar Tree DIY Dumbo Piñata tutorial that I made for only $3.
I purchase a white presentation board in the office and school supply aisle of my Dollar Tree for $1. If you have an old cardboard box laying around, then you can save money and make the shell of your piñata for free. To keep the Dumbo piñata simple, I went with a Mickey head design. By using two different size bowls from my kitchen, I traced a Mickey head shape on the cardboard.
I freehand drew Dumbo’s hat between the Mickey ears. Your drawing does not have to be perfect since you will be covering it with tissue paper. The final design does not look much like my drawing, so trust me, anything even close works.
After your draw your outline, use scissors or a box cutter to cut out your first piece. Then use that piece to trace so the front and back of your piñata are exactly the same.
To make the sides of your piñata, you’ll need more cardboard. Since cardboard easily bends it is perfect to wrap around in the circle shape of the Mickey head. I made the sides of my piñata between two and three inches wide. This allows enough room on the inside of the piñata to hold candy, small party trinkets or fill it full of confetti!
Slowly add hot glue to the edge of your piñata backing. Then place your side strips standing up in the hot glue. Work your way around the shape of your homemade piñata.
At the top of your pinata, make your side piece overlap slightly so you have a trap door to fill your piñata.
Once you have the side glued around the back of your piñata, it is time to add the top piece. Follow the same process by adding glue to the edge of your side piece and place the front of your piñata glued down. Some people prefer to use tape to hold the pieces together, do whatever works best for you.
Once your cardboard pinata is ready, the fun part begins!
I purchased my tissue paper at Dollar Tree and only used a few pieces. I bought a grayish blue for the Dumbo head and a package that had pink and yellow for the hat and ears. You may have tissue paper in your wrapping or craft stash. Otherwise, this is where the other $2 comes in.
One trick to cutting tissue paper in strips quickly, is to roll the tissue paper and cut smaller pieces. Then when you unroll it you will have straight cuts of longer strips. This saved me time. Make your pieces about one inch wide. Then use your scissors to cut slits along the length of each strip to give a frayed look.
Use Elmer’s Glue to add your strips of tissue paper to your cardboard pinata starting at the bottom and working your way up. You want to overlap your tissue paper slightly so you only see the frayed ends. I covered the whole Dumbo pinata with blue tissue paper except for the hat, which I used yellow. Then I went back over the ears in the center to add pink to bring out Dumbo’s colors.
I used a piece of red and yellow ribbon that I found in my craft stash (previously purchased at Dollar Tree) to make a collar around Dumbo for his signature look. I used glue to hold it to the piñata.
To hang my DIY Dumbo Piñata, I used twine. I poked holes in the flap I overlapped at the top of the piñata and the back of the piñata to hold closed after filling with confetti and to hang.
The most satisfying part of making this piñata was watching the confetti fly! My son had such a good time knocking it around until it busted open.