Turkey Piñata

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Turkey Pinata
Total Time afternoon or evening Ages all-ages

Celebrate Turkey Day with this fun fowl piñata.

What you'll need

  • Batch of papier-mache
  • 14-inch balloon, inflated
  • 10-inch-wide bowl
  • 1 two-page spread each of regular newspaper, comics, and plain newsprint, torn into 1 1/2- by 11-inch strips
  • String
  • 9-inch orange balloon, inflated
  • Cloth tape
  • Black marker
  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Yellow construction paper
  • 9-inch red balloon, not inflated
  • 20- by 30-inch sheets of tissue paper: 1 red, 1 yellow, 3 orange, 2 brown
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Wrapped hard candies

How to make it

  1. Mix up a batch of papier-mache.

  2. PIÑATA BASE: For stability, place the inflated 14-inch balloon in a 10-inch-wide bowl. Drag a strip of newspaper through the paste, wipe off the excess with your fingers, and place it at an angle on the balloon. Place a second strip so that it slightly overlaps the first.

  3. Continue until the balloon has been covered except for a 2-inch square at the top, through which the candy will go. Allow 24 hours to dry. Cover the leftover paste with plastic so it doesn't dry out (if it does, add warm water) and refrigerate.

  4. PIÑATA HANGER: Wrap the middle of a length of string around the bottom of the balloon, pulling the ends up to the top; tape it to the balloon in a few places. Knot together the ends of the string 6 inches above the square opening.

  5. Cover the balloon, including the string but not the square opening, with a layer of comic strips that have been dipped in the paste, placing them at a different angle from the first layer. (The colored strips help you distinguish one layer from the other.) Next, cover the balloon with strips of plain newsprint going in a third direction. Smooth over any rough edges as you work. Allow the papier-mache to dry thoroughly.

  6. THE HEAD: Once the papier-mache has dried, hang the piñata from the string to decorate. Tape the orange balloon head to the wider end of the piñata with cloth tape. To make the eyes, draw two circles on white paper, then draw a black pupil in the center of each. Cut out the two circles. Tape them to the face of the orange balloon with loops of tape.

  7. To make the beak, fold a small piece of yellow construction paper in half. Cut out a 3-inch-long triangle at the fold. Tape the beak and the red balloon (for a wattle) to the orange balloon.

  8. THE TAIL: Overlap three full sheets of tissue paper (one each of red, yellow, and orange) so that the top inch of each sheet is visible. Next, fold the stack in half so that five strips of color are visible. Fold lengthwise accordion style. Gather the paper together along the bottom edge to form a fan. Staple to secure. Tape the fan near the knot end of the piñata body.

  9. LEGS: Cut two turkey feet and two 14- by 1 1/2-inch strips for legs from the yellow construction paper. Accordion-fold the strips, then tape the feet to one end. Tape the tops of the legs to the underside of the piñata.

  10. FEATHERS: Cut the remaining sheets of tissue paper lengthwise into 4-inch-wide strips. Next, fringe each strip with 2 1/2-inch-long slits set an inch apart. Cover the uncut portion of each strip with glue. Stick the strips to the piñata so that the fringe sticks up. This will provide the feathers with lift so that they stick out. Layer the strips horizontally from bottom to top until the entire surface, except for the opening, is covered.

  11. After decorating the piñata, pop the balloon and remove all the fragments. Fill the turkey halfway with candies, cover the opening with tissue paper, and it's ready to hang.

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