Piñata – Mad Science, Eye Balls and Halloween

Original Mad Science Party Piñata with eyeballs and pouring liquid with step by step instructions and pictures.

 

Just last weekend, I held a big birthday bash for my little ones at our condo swimming pool and function room.
DS is really into science at the moment and requested a science themed party to celebrate turning the grand old age of 8 (DD who shares the same birthday and was turning 4 wanted Hello Kitty but I was at a loss on how to combine the two so thats being planned for another day). Ever the dutiful mother (I try my best), I set out on the internet looking for supplies. Needless to say, there is little out there in the way of pre bought for a science themed party and although I was tempted to purchase a load of petri dishes, test tubes and safety goggles, I refrained in the name of saving the planet and money and went on the route of creative solutions instead.

I’m not going to lie and say it was easy – because preparation was spread over a few weeks and those who know me well know that when I get an idea in my head I have to see it through. There was many an hour leading up to the party where I spent with melted marshmallows, puffed rice, sugar syrup and melted chocolate making the “geode birthday cake” and coloured paper and glue making the decorations and a piñata as well as planning the science experiments and pool games (it was a combined science and pool party).

On the actual day of the party I was too busy running around like a headless chicken to get any great internet worthy pictures (next year I will insist that Mr Lip dons a camera around his neck and a t- shirt with the word “photographer” in large font on the front and back – no chit chat or socialising with the other parents for him next year – he will have to work!).

In the calmer moments of my preparation I did remember that I am one of the Ordinary People and that it made sense to document some of my creative endeavours for a “create post” (sometimes I get a bit carried away with a “make” and I completely forget to take images for a post). Below I bring you my “Home made Mad Science Piñata” with step by step instructions and some pictures.

You will need

Black marker pen
Corrugated card board
Cutting mat
Metal ruler
Craft knife
Scissors
Tape
Crepe paper (or crepe paper streamers)
Glue
String
Selection of coloured papers and pens

Method

1. Using a ruler and marker pen, draw out the shape of a conical flask onto a piece of corrugated card board (I recycled the box that my new dining chairs where delivered in).

science pinata step 1
Step 1

 

2. Protect your working surface with the cutting mat and carefully cut around your drawing with a craft knife and metal ruler.

3. Using the flask shape that you just cut out as a template, make a second identical shape by drawing around it onto another piece of card and cutting it out as in step 2.

4. With the metal ruler as a guide, cut out strips of card for the sides of your piñata. Mine were 7cm wide but you can make yours slightly narrower or wider depending how chunky you want the piñata to be. You should make enough to go all the way around the outside edge of your conical flask with a 2-3 cm overlap.

5. Assemble the structure of the piñata by taping at right angles, the long edge of the cardboard strips to the edges of one of the conical flask shapes. Remember to leave an opening for your sweets. Make a flap by leaving a section of the card board strip untapped. This should be slightly longer than the desired size of your opening to enable you to tuck the end in.

6. Tape the remaining flask shape onto the other side of the strips as you did in step 5. You should now have a basic conical flask shaped box with a small opening for sweets and a flap which you can tuck in to close the opening.

science pinata step 6
Step 6

 

Now for the decorating

7. Roughly mark on the sides of your box where you want the line of your “potion” to fall, then using glue and the crepe paper (cut to size) or crepe paper streamers cover the narrow sides of your conical flask in the relevant colours making sure your paper is wide enough to fold over and cover the edges of the adjacent side (You may find that you will need 2-3 widths of streamers if your sides are wide).

8 a. If you are using streamers skip to step 8b. If you are using crepe paper fold it so that it is 8-10 layers deep and cut out even width strips to make streamers. The amount you will need depends on the size of your piñata and how densely you stick them together (in a later step) so you can make a few to start and make more later if you run out. skip to step 9.

8 b. If you are using pre bought streamers, unravel them and fold into manageable lengths about 8-10 lengths deep.

9. With the streamer still folded, taking a pair of scissors and snip lines (about 1/3rd depth of the streamer) into the long side of the streamer creating a fringe.

science pinata DIY step 9
Step 9

 

10. Starting at the bottom, glue a length of the crepe fringe to one of the uncovered sides of the piñata. Make sure that you only glue down the non fringed section. Cut off the the excess.

11. Continue into the next lines with remaining lengths of fringe until you run out or need to change colours (I started with green and moved onto white)

12. Continue steps 9-11 till you have finished covering one side.

13. Flip the piñata over and continue covering it in the same way (steps 9-12) till the whole thing is covered.

14. Carefully neaten up the piñata by trimming around the edges.

science pinata DIY step14
Step 14

 

If you are running out of time, there is no reason why you can’t just jump to step 25, but for me it was lacking a bit of “omph” as I really would have chosen a florescent or brighter colour like orange if I was buying materials purposely for this project (I had just used what colours I had left over from a previous project).

A moment of genius gave me the idea to add interest to my piñata by making the liquid pour out, then seen as though we are just around the corner from Halloween I was inspired to add colour by adding a twist to the science theme and making it a “mad science” piñata by decorating it with “monster eyeballs”. this is how I did it:

15. To make the pouring liquid, take a crepe streamer as in step 9, but repeat the snipping on the other side- this will give you a double sided fringed streamer.

16. Stick one end of the double fringe to the mouth of your conical flask and twist a few times before folding it back on itself and sticking the other end down on top of the first end. This folded twist stops it from un-twisting itself when you let go of it.

17. Repeat step 16 as many times as you like with varying lengths and/or colours till you are happy with the look and fullness of your twists.

science pinata step 17
Step 17

 

18. Using whatever coloured paper you have and in any colours of your choice, cut out circles of varying sizes.

19. Stick 2 or 3 circles of varying sizes on top of each other to resemble an eye ball (largest on bottom, smallest on top)

science pinata step 18-20
Step 18-20.

 

20. Using any coloured pens that take your fancy, add details to the eye balls. I had fun drawing blood shot eyes and adding all sorts of detail to the irises. Adding a white dot near the middle of the pupil really made them pop.

science pinata step 20
I started out relatively safe by picking “natural” eye colours but then started to really have fun when I stepped it up a level and opted for a whatever goes attitude, here are a few of the finished eyeballs. The stronger colours really made them look more “monster like”.

 

21. Stick the eyeballs all over your piñata, not forgetting to stick some onto the spilling liquid.

science pinata step 21
Step 21

 

22. Cut out the numbers and letters “1000 ML” and also some thin strips in black paper.

23. Cut out a white rectangle.

24. Arrange and stick down onto your piñata to resemble markings on a conical flask.

science pinata step 22
Step 22 – 24

 

25. Using a sharp object, punch holes in the sides and thread with a string for hanging.

23. Fill with candy and away you go!

DIY science pinata, conical flask pinata, pinata, party
The finished piece. Don’t you think it is really effective?

 

pinata sweets, eyeball chocolates, mentos, nerdes, burger gummies, sweets, candy
Here is just a selection of the sweeties that went into the pinata, I chose a few “sure win” favourites and kept it relevant to my theme by adding “Mentos” as we did the “Mentos cola experiment”, I was also just so excited when I found these chocolate eyeballs, which completely fit in with my pouring eyeballs piñata.

 

I hope you enjoyed this make x

 

Tips

You could use a black marker pen to save time on step 22, but I felt that the black paper gave a sharper finish.

This project would be a fun project to do with the kids, especially the older ones. Younger ones could help with elements like glueing and drawing on the eyeballs, especially if you aren’t a perfectionist and don’t mind a bit of mess (I didn’t ask mine to help as I was making it as a surprise).

Don’t get all excited to fill with candy before threading the string through as most likely you will need to empty them all out again when the sting doesn’t pass through with all the sweets in the way (I learned the hard way).

You can use this method to make any theme of piñata that you like, just change the initial shape you choose to draw in step 1 (keep it a fairly simple shape though) and follow all the steps through but with different themed detailing.

 

Image credit: Anna Hui

 
 

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