Ask Holly: Making A Shark Piñata

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 15, 2012 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (11)

What do you do when your kid wants a shark-themed birthday party and the party store does not carry shark pinatas? You do what my parents did for me back in the Stone Age between the invention of the wheel and sliced bread. You make one of course!


Making a piñata is super easy. Don’t get too caught up in making it perfect. Keep in mind that this thing will be never be hanging in the Guggenheim. It will, however, will be bashed to bits by a bunch of children and then quickly kicked into the corner as the mad rush to gather the candy innards begins.

See slide show below for step by step pictures.


Here is what you will need:

  • A balloon
  • Newspaper torn into long strips
  • Liquid starch
  • White glue
  • Grey, white and red tissue paper
  • Foam core or poster board
  • White card-stock or poster board
  • Strong string or twine
  • Scissors and or and utility knife for cutting foam core
  • Candy

Step One: Blow the balloon up to the size you would like the piñata to be.

Cover the balloon with newspaper strips soaked in starch

Step Two: Pour the starch into a large bowl, then dip a strip of newspaper into the bowl saturating the strip. Take two fingers and run them down the strip to remove excess starch. Place the strip around balloon. Keep doing this criss-crossing the strips until the balloon is completely covered about one and a half times. For older children you can cover the balloon with two layers.

Step Three: Let it dry for about two days. If it feels super weak in an area add more strips of newspaper.

Step Four: Cut a circle, with a sharp knife, where you would like the top of the piñata to be. It only needs to be as big as the pieces of candy.

Step Five: If you’re making a shark,  draw lines on the piñata for the mouth as well as the top and bottom. If making another style, draw your design out first before covering in tissue.

Step Six: Cut the red tissue paper into strips. Spread white glue over a 3″ x 3″ section and then scrunch tissue over the glue covering the newspaper the best you can. Continue doing this until the mouth section is covered then start on the silver parts and then white parts of the shark leaving an open space where you’re going to place the three fins and tail.

Step Seven:  From foam core or grey poster board, cut out three fins and tail. If using white foam core, coat each side with glue and lay tissue over the top. It looks fun when it is a bit crunchy and layered. Finish on all sides and let dry. With white glue or hot glue attach the fins and tail to the pinata.

Fins and tail cut out from foam-core

Step Eight: Cut out eye shapes from card-stock and draw eyes on with a marker. Glue them onto the piñata.

Step Nine: Cut out about 22 triangle shaped teeth about 1 1/2″x 1 1/2″ and glue them around the shark mouth boarder overlapping each tooth a bit.

Step Ten: Glue tissue any place where the newspaper shows through.

Step Eleven: Lace strong twine or string using a metal skewer through the top of the pinata making sure that when the piñata swings that the string will hold in place and not tear. Fill the piñata full of candy and you are ready to beat the thing with a bat and destroy it.


Questions? Just Ask Holly!

Supplies available at AC Moore  and Michael’s


  1. POSTED BY Jenn  |  March 15, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    If you want it to be more realistic, fill it with candy and red meat.

    © 2012 Ask Jenn™ LLC, Inc. .com/net/biz/us

  2. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  March 15, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    Or fill it with barbie parts with the ends painted red. Then watch the look of horror on my older daughter’s face as the pieces fall to the floor.

  3. POSTED BY Jenn  |  March 15, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    You can’t eat Barbie parts, though.

  4. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  March 15, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    Says you!

    Why not fill the whole thing with red velvet cake?

  5. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  March 15, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    someone should make edible barbie parts. with red velvet flavoring.

  6. POSTED BY Kristin  |  March 15, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    That shark is cool. And I LOVE the idea of a bunch of doll parts falling out. What about those wax lips and teeth, severed jelly-fingers, chocolate eye balls, a few peeps, and a cadbury egg or two. FUN!

  7. POSTED BY wayne robbins  |  March 16, 2012 @ 12:40 am

    Kristin – that was the best.

  8. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 16, 2012 @ 12:44 am

    Dang, this stuff is good.

  9. POSTED BY wojtaljr  |  March 16, 2012 @ 1:22 am

    heres a tip, to be sure of even coverage, use news print , and collered tissue paper , do a layer or newsprint covering the ballon, then a layer of the colored paper til the news print is covered, repeat to desired thickness.

  10. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  March 16, 2012 @ 5:52 am

    For those wondering what the difference is between newspaper and newsprint, newsprint is blank:

  11. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  March 16, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    I left weak spots on the pinata because after you add the tissue it becomes very strong. It still took three rounds of hitting this thing with a bat to make a dent in the thing.

    Keep in mind the age of the child before you add too many layers and if you do make sure you have a saw to hand.

    You could also fill the thing full of chum. Just an idea.

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