Friday, June 1, 2012

Kid-Friendly Friday

Happy Friday! That means it's time for another Kid-Friendly project. Ok, today's project isn't totally kid-friendly. Mom or dad (or responsible older sibling, if those exist :) ) need to help with this one. It's a birthday cake pinata! No party is totally complete without one. Sure, it would be much easier to go out and buy one, but when you make your own, you can design it any way you want. I'm pretty sure the birthday kid would be the coolest kid in the class after making his or her own pinata. The only downfall is smashing into it afterwards. Make sure you take lots of pictures beforehand, though. So here's the tutorial.

Cardboard, lots of it, broken down to lay flat
Pencil or marker
Scissors or craft knife
Tape- masking or packing
Tissue paper and/or streamers
Toilet paper or paper towel roll (for a candle, optional)
Yellow cardstock (optional)
Popsicle stick (optional)
Treats to fill it up

Step One: (Adult or child, depending on age)
Decide how big you want your cake to be. My layers are 14", 12", and 10". There is more than enough room inside to fill with toys or treats. Once you figure out your sizes, it's time to draw the circles for the layers onto the cardboard. I used a pencil and string to make my circles, compass-style. Or you could use any circle template cut to size. You will need 2 circles of each size for each layer. Cut circles out. (A craft knife works best, adults only.)
Drawing the circles
6 circles for cake layers

Step Two: (Adult)

Now we need to make the sides of our cake layers. Find the distance around your circles. Here are some measurements to help you out:

8" circle= 25" strip
10"= 31.5"

12"= 37.75"

14"= 44"

16"= 50.5"
(If yours are bigger or smaller, figure out the circumference. Just Google "circumference calculator.")

After you know how long your cardboard strips need to be, decide how tall you want your layers to be. (Mine are 3". I wouldn't go smaller than that, otherwise it might look pretty sickly. No one wants a short cake!) If you need to make the strips longer, you can tape pieces together. Make sure to use a ruler when drawing out your strips. The sides should be as even as possible so they meet the circles neatly. You should now have 2 circles and one long strip for each of your layers.
Tape pieces together if needed
3 strips for sides, 6 circles

Step Three: (Adult)
We need to make sure there is a way to get the treats in, so now we cut a smaller circle into each of the layers, EXCEPT the very bottom one. I used a 9" cake pan for the middle holes, and a coffee can for the top. You should have 1 whole circle (bottom) and your doughnuts (rest of circles). Keep one cut-out circle for later.

My 14" layer, 9" circle inside
5 doughnuts, 1 whole circle

Step Four: (Adult or child, depending on age)
It's time to put the cake layers together. Tape the sides of the strip to each of the corresponding circle. Bend the strips slightly to help them turn in a circle. Don't worry about how it looks; everything will get covered up. Once each layer is done, stack and tape them together.
Taping the edge to circles
Three layers done

3 layers, stacked and taped

Step Five: (Child)
Now the fun starts. There are a bunch of ways to decorate it. You could rip or cut squares of tissue paper and cover it that way. Or use fringed tissue and crepe paper. That's how I covered mine. Fold a length of streamer in half, hot-dog style. Add fringe to the open side (unfolded side). Put glue on the pinata where you would like it. Put paper on pinata on closed side. I would suggest working from the bottom up so you cover the unfringed part. Keep working until everything is covered, except of course the hole in the top. Also cover the circle you saved from step three, and the paper roll (for the candle). Add any extra sprinkles or decorations you want from different colors.

Start at bottom with decorations
Mostly decorated

Extra top piece decorated, with "candle"

Step Six: (Child)
Tape 4 lengths of ribbon to the top of the cake. (12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 if it was a clock.) Make a knot out of all the free ends of the ribbons. If you want to, cut two flames out of the cardstock. Glue or tape the flames to popsicle stick and stick into the roll. (You have two pieces so you can't see the stick)
Decorated cake with strings to hang
Cardstock flame with stick

Step Seven:(Adult, or child if you aren't worried about the candy disappearing...)
Fill your pinata! Tape the top piece with the candle onto it after filling. No fair (or fun) if everything starts falling out of the top! Have fun!

I would take the candle out before having people hit it. Don't want candles flying everywhere!
(I hope I covered everything. Let me know if you have any questions!)

Stop by tomorrow for Cupcake Saturday!

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