Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DIY: Pull String/Apart Castle Pinata

Store-bought pull string Castle Pinata = $25

DIY Pull string Pinata: Cardboard box + Gift Wraps + Balloon Strings < $3

For CJ's 4th birthday, She wanted a castle pinata. When we looked for one at the store, It looked so expensive! We decided to make our own Pull string Castle pinata - Each child pulls a ribbon, but only one pulls the trap door open releasing all the candy!

CJ was pretty impressed with the pinata. She said "Mommy I don't like the store one, I love my castle pinata". Smiles, smiles!!

Due to lot of decoration activities planned for the Birthday,I didn't take pictures along the way of doing this Pinata. But I will try to explain the main parts of the pinata - Hanging support for the Pinata and the Trap door.

Pull-string pinata is pretty basic and simple. I got the inspiration from ikatbag blog - Rapunzel pull apart pinata

Materials used

Sturdy Cardboard box
Glue stick/Mod podge
Gift wrap paper
Curly balloon ribbons
Construction paper
Poster board(for the turrets)
Big needle head needle such as basting needle
Dritz Quilting Quilter's Basting Hand Needles Size 7-6/Pkg

Trap door:

Cut a large trap door, hinged on one of the four edges.

Cut a length of curly ribbon and securely glue to the wrong side of trap door so that the free end of the string hangs out as shown in the picture. This is the main opening string for the trap door.

Hanging support for the Pinata:

We had CJ's birthday get together at our friends place and had no idea how we will be hanging the pinata? J(My husband) and I decided to create four balloon ribbon hooks as support for hanging the pinata with yarn. In this way, we had the freedom of deciding the yarn size at the time of hanging.

A closer view of the hook structures

Thread the needle with Balloon string

From the inner side of the cardboard box pass the needle

Loop back the needle to the inner side of the cardboard. So that u will get a hook structure on the outside.

Fasten the loose ends of balloon string to a knot in the inner side as shown below.

Trim the excess strings out

Make four hooks in the four corners

After creating the hooks, we glued the top of the box with a strong glue(you can use hot glue too). Thread the yarn to the hooks and hang which ever way is convenient.

After the trap door and the hanging support is made, it's time to decorate. We decorated our pinata as a castle. You can make it any structure.

For the walls of the castle, we used pink gift wrap paper, you can also make it as ruffled with crepe paper. For the windows and Door, we used purple color construction paper.

Turrets of the Castle

First I made the template of the front turret on a poster board

For the side turrets, I cut half the size of the above template

After the turrets were made, I spruced it up with purple gift wrap paper.

Glued the turrets to the pinata box.

Here's a before and after picture

Attaching the other ribbons and candy

Turn the pinata upside down, trap door facing you. Add the candies(we added/substituted fruit snacks for candies) through the trap door.

Cut equal lengths of ribbon, add the balloon strings based on the number of guests. Place the balloon strings around the edges of the trap door, leaving around 6 to 8 inches of string inside the trap opening. Close the trapdoor shut, this will hold the ribbons in place.

The kids took turns to pull one string each. We just had six kids and so it was lot of strings for them. It was real fun, after three rounds also they didn't get to the main string. They got into action, all of them together pulled all the remaining strings and out came all the fruit snacks.

Though the pull string pinata was a blast and fun, the kids wanted a bash up/hitting pinata, May be next time we have to make a paper mache pinata!


  1. How cute! And love how it isn't "destructive". I have always been in two minds about the pinatas that you break...

    Thanks for linking to Kids Get Crafty!


  2. This is fantastic! My son just went to a birthday party where there was a pull-string pinata. I had never seen one before! I've only ever done the hit-it-with-a-stick kind. Thanks for the DIY on this one, I think I'll have one at his next party! :)

    Visiting from the It's Playtime hop! I would love it if you stopped by my blog to say hi! :)

    Mandi at boredombustingmommy.blogspot.com

  3. very cute! thanks for linking at Link Your Mess, again! :)

  4. This is awesome. I have done pinatas before that no matter how hard we hit it, it wouldn't break. This is a perfect solution to that.

  5. Fantastic.. my daughter would love this..very ingenious and Thank You so much for sharing

    Cheers from Bangalore ,India
    Dr Sonia S V

  6. This is a great idea....a homemade Pinata! Lovely!

  7. What a lucky little girl you daughter is:) I love the castle pinata:)

  8. Love the castle, and your tutorial is great!! Thank you so much for sharing and linking up!!! Happy Birthday to your DD!

  9. Abso,utely fantastic!! Totally loved this!

  10. I love this!You have some fantatsic projects on your blog, I'd love for you to link some of them up to my blog link party this weekend, http://mumofalltrades.blogspot.com. Hope you can make it and thank you!

  11. I've always wondered how to make one of these! Your tutorial is great. Thank you, Esther!


  12. What a neat idea! I never heard of a pull string pinata before, but that's great...then it doesn't get ruined and smashed to pieces! Thanks for sharing at One Artsy Mama!

  13. What a creative post.. Great blog you have here...I am officially following ya with smiles :)) I am hosting Project Pink Blog day today and I would LOVE for you to link this up and share with all the lovely ladies please.. TY SO MUCH.. http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/2011/10/project-p-i-n-k-countdown.html