I love surprises.I also love miniature things. This ornament combines those things perfectly. A miniature piñata! To be totally honest, I don’t relish the idea of breaking one of these open after I finish it, but I still like to nestle some confetti and maybe a secret message into the body of the piñata. A fun, little secret that’ll make me smile every time I see it hanging on the tree.
But the payoff of breaking it open is amazing if you want an extra-special surprise for someone. Maybe a small piece of jewelry or a super exciting message or the last clue in an epic scavenger hunt; the possibilities are endless!
Gather Your Materials
- Paper towel or toilet paper roll
- A sheet of cardstock paper
- Crepe paper
- Hot glue gun
- Foil paper
- Optional (for mini ornaments):
- No hole sequins (~6 mm in diameter)
- Thin wire
- Round nose pliers
Shop Craft Supplies
A Note Before We Begin
The order of some of the steps is arbitrary. I go in the order that works for me, but that might look a little different to you.
For example, you have two options when it comes to attaching the arms.
- You can cover the entire body of the star in crepe paper, including the sides and then attach the arms.
- You can also cover the front and back of the body in crepe paper, attach the arms, and then cover the sides.
There is one thing that is not arbitrary.
Always start at the bottom when gluing your fringe. The fringe edges should always slightly overhang the bottom edge of the surface you’re working on.
Step 1: Make the Piñata Body
Using your paper towel roll, outline two circles on your card stock, and cut them out. Cut a ~¾ inch piece off your paper towel roll. This will be the body of your piñata.
Make a small hole in your paper towel ring. You can use your scissors (carefully!), a pen, or anything you have on hand that will make a small hole. Insert both ends of your string into the hole, and tie a knot. This will be the top of your ornament, so keep that in mind as you go.
Hot glue one of your card stock rounds to cover one end of your paper towel ring. Once it’s dry, fill your piñata! You can put a fun note, confetti, a small toy, or really anything that fits in here. You can also leave it empty! This little ornament does take quite a bit of work, so you may not want someone to break it unless it’s a really good surprise. Cover the other side with the second card stock round. Trim any edges that are sticking out. This is the body of your star.
Step 2: Make Piñata Arms
Use this template to make the arms of your star. Outline the shape on your card stock five times and cut them out.
Carefully fold each piece of card stock into a cone shape and hot glue them together. They will be ugly at this point. Don’t worry; no one will be able to tell once you’re done.
Step 3: Add Fringe!
Cut out several ~½ inch (or smaller) strips of crepe paper. The length doesn’t matter at this point because you will cut it as you go. Then, cut a roughly ¼ inch fringe along each strip. This doesn’t need to be precise.
Starting at the bottom of the body of your ornament, hot glue a strip of your crepe paper, with the fringe hanging very slightly past the bottom edge. Cut off excess.
Continue gluing strips of fringe up the body of the piñata until it is covered. Repeat on the opposite side.
Step 4: Fringe the Sides & Arms
Decide how you want the points of your star distributed around the body. Use something sharp to make small holes at the points where you want to place each of the arms, and stick toothpicks in them. This will help you orient the arms and stabilize them later when you start attaching them.
Attach your star’s arms by filling each cone with hot glue and sticking it onto a toothpick. Hold it in place until it’s dry. If you feel like the arms are not stable enough, you may need to add a little hot glue to each arm’s base. As long as it’s not applied too thickly, it will get covered up by the fringe.
Now it’s time to attach your fringe to the sides of the ornament. You want the fringe to overlap both sides of the body just slightly, so glue one strip of crepe paper to either edge, letting the fringe barely hang over for both. Decide which side of the ornament you want to be the front, and keep gluing fringe strips up from that direction. Tear the strips as you go to get the right length. They can be slightly overlong as, again, this will get covered up.
Once you have covered the entire body of the star, it’s time to cover the arms. Starting at the base of the arm, start wrapping your fringed strips of crepe paper around it, hot gluing as you go. You can do this in tiers, cutting the paper for each tier as you go, but I find the wrapping faster and easier, and it’s difficult to tell the difference once you’re done.
Once you’ve covered the arms, you can then make the fringe that will hang off the edges. Cut five pieces of foil paper—1½ to 2 inches wide (minimum but really can be as long as you want) by 4½ to 5 inches long. Cut a fringe, leaving just about ½ to 1 centimeter uncut at the edge.
Wrap the uncut edge of one of your foil fringes around the tip of each arm, gluing as you go.
Before I decided how to decorate it!
Step 5: Make Mini Ornaments
I made some tiny ornaments for my piñata, but you can decorate however you want. You can also use multiple colors of fringe if you’d rather decorate them that way. For me, I wanted something shiny.
To make them gather some wire, a handful of 6 mm sequins without holes, scissors, hot glue, and a pair of round nose pliers.
Twist the end of the wire into a small loop using your pliers, and cut it off using your scissors. Attach the loop to the back of a sequin using hot glue. If you’re quick, you can press your ornament directly onto the piñata while the glue is still tacky. If not, you can add a little more hot glue or carefully touch the tip of your glue gun to the dried glue on the back of the sequin to make it tacky again. Press them onto the finished piñata!
Liz is a small business owner who spends her free time making colorful things, running book clubs, and shopping entirely too much. You can join a book club and browse the fruits of her shopping habit at her store Perdita.