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Need Cuban piņata help...

#1 2002-08-07 18:39:00


Need Cuban piņata help...

Hello There:o)

Can anyone provide me with some help and tips for making a Cuban piņata? I need some advice on how the ribbons are placed on the piņatas. I've learned that the trap door/hole is cut in the bottom, the child/children pull on the ribbons, candy, toys, etc fall out. Since these piņatas are not broken the child can keep his/her piņata. 

Are there any books specially related to piņatas, including patterns?

Thank you all in advance for any information. It is much appreciated.

Best Wishes:0)


#2 2002-08-08 19:25:21


Re: Need Cuban piņata help...

Hola Mary!

Trap Tip:  Simply put a hole in the flap and insert the ribbon. The ribbon or strong cord can be pushed through and knotted on the inside of the flap.  Then the knot should be secured with masking tape or hot glue for extra strength.  I use a durable cord.   Make sure the hole is completely covered with paper mache' after it is inserted.  This is done before the pinata is decorated.

Keep in mind that it has to be strong enough to pull the flap open without being pulled off of the pinata.  A well secured, large knot prevents the cord from pulling out.  Even a button could be used to block the hole.

Test this on a cardboard box first to understand the mechanics of it.  Make sure that the flap itself will support the weight of the candy.  There will probably be some tearing or breakage, though it can easily be glued back into place.

Some Realities:  The pinata will probably spin.  Some candy may not come out unless you make multiple flaps.  If lucky, your beautiful work will remain in one piece, provided that it is not yanked , tossed or otherwise  pulled down from its hanging position.  smile

I don't have any pics of my pinatas.  Though, as far as  pinatas go,  I've never heard of a specifically Cuban one other than using indiginous Cuban motifs.  Could you mean the star shaped ones?
The origins being that the 7 points  representing 7 deadly sins.  If so, the ribbons are placed on or through the tips of the points.

Such fun!  There's more but I don't want to tie up the forum.  Please contact me if you need additional or detailed info, as well as further pinata talk and related mache' projects on Latino themes.  I also have paper mache' instructional guides  in progress on various topics.

Much success on your project and have a great mache' day.



#3 2002-08-27 23:59:52


Re: Need Cuban piņata help...

Hello Rozani!
I would like to know if you know anything about making puppets. The type I need assistance in making are the big puppets with big full moon faces. The puppet should be able to be carried in parade where I can attach a wood rod to the head and the puppet's clothes just flows down. Any where between 4-5 feet tall!
Any suggestions/info sites I should dig for? I really would like to try this out!
Thanks in advance for any help!


#4 2002-08-30 18:14:19


Re: Need Cuban piņata help...

Hi Karla.

I can suggest enlarging the scale of an otherwise normal sized head.  Choose an armature such as chicken wire and work from there.  That's the easy part.  There will probably be a harness involved, which is the hard part.  Therefore, I will refer you to a great site with info on related works.  Within this site there are extraordinary mask makers, articles, events and more.  It is a highly international site with lots of references.

Please  check out the Maskmakers Web at http://www.maskmakersweb.org.  You can also access them from this site in the "Links" section.  Go to the "Gallery" where there are  mask makers and artists, some of whom specialize in mache' puppetry and big heads.

The "Festival" section at Maskmakers Web may provide additional insite into this form of puppetry.  There are articles pertaining to mumming and street performers as well.  Thanks to Jackie's site, I was able to make a connection with them and I hope you will also.

Good luck on your project.  Sounds awesome.



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