Last updated on September 10th, 2021
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One of my favorite parts of party planning is choosing the party favors. It’s so much fun picking out unique little gifts to send guests home with.
So when we recently hosted a beading fiesta, I couldn’t wait to get creative. Oh, a beading fiesta is exactly that – a beading filled celebration. So. Much. Fun.
Although the jewelry the kids designed was part of the favor, I still wanted to send home something fun to enjoy later. I couldn’t help myself. Something about the excitement when kids get a little treat to go home with.
So, I crafted a DIY Mini Rainbow Piñata for each guest. They were pretty simple to make and really fun to fill.
My favorite part. When guests spotted them on the craft table when they came in. They were so excited to have such a pretty little gift to take home.
Filling your DIY Mini Piñata on a Budget
When we were looking at party favors for our beading fiesta, I didn’t have a very big budget to work with. Most of the party expenses were going to pay for the beading experience, so there wasn’t much left over for favors.
In addition, favors are completely optional for parties. Especially these days. I have hosted a number of parties in recent years where I’ve skipped party favors completely. Kids don’t even seem to expect them any more.
But, for some reason, I wanted to create a special one for this fiesta theme. A mini piñata to be exact.
Before filling your piñatas – big or small – figure out your budget. Just like stocking stuffers, even though items are small, they can really add up. Know how much you want to spend in all before you get started. This helps you be sure that you don’t go overboard when shopping.
If you aren’t terribly particular about your piñata fillers, you can get a piñata assortment bag here and be finished (affiliate). You can get different assortments of toys (including squishies and snap bracelets) to unicorn theme with key chains.
My biggest rule with filling the piñatas was that we couldn’t include junk. I wanted the small items to be useable and fun.
Since it was back to school time, I focused on small back to school trinkets – erasers, mini pens, pencil toppers, pretty paper clips, mini notepads and pencil sharpeners. You can also add an assortment of stickers including scratch and sniff.
To stay within my budget, I headed to the local dollar store. There I was able to find a huge assortment of piñata sized items without breaking the bank. And they were so much fun to shop for.
Some other piñata filler ideas include temporary tattoos, mini keychains and bouncy balls. You can also include some candy (because what’s a piñata without sugar). Make sure that any candy you choose is all prepackaged. This way the kids know that it’s safe.
If you have kids that love crafting, you could also purchase an assortment of craft supplies. Package pony beads in small cellophane bags and include elastic cording for easy stringing (affiliate). Or you could include an assortment of Perler beads with a small Pegboard. Other ideas include pom poms, mini pipe cleaners and felt stickers.
What If I Don’t Have Time to Make DIY Mini Piñatas?
If you’re in the middle of party planning, mini piñata favors might not be your biggest priority. Instead of making your own mini piñatas, you could purchase them pre-made.
This star mini piñata (affiliate) is a completely done for you. Or you can select a traditional donkey mini piñata or a colorful heart shaped one (affiliates). All you have to do is fill them when they arrive.
If you are having a bigger party, though, purchasing pre-made piñatas might be out of the budget. Making them isn’t that hard and could be worth the time investment.
And if you have a family that likes to craft, you can set up the decorating of the piñatas as an assembly line. Have each family member decorate a different section of the piñata. They will be finished just like that.
Do I Have to Use a Star Shape?
I made this DIY Mini Rainbow Piñata as a star shape since I thought it was a fun addition to a beading fiesta. There were a lot of star beads to choose from and it seemed a pretty generic shape.
But mini piñatas can come in all different shapes. You can make any shape that you think will complement your party theme. Try a donkey for a traditional fiesta or cupcake for a birthday. You can also make these for the holidays. Think tree, snowman or even a heart for Valentine’s Day.
Decorating your mini piñata with fringe will be the same process no matter what shape you use. So, choose the shape that best fits your fiesta theme.
How to Make a DIY Mini Rainbow Piñata
You Will Need:
Recycled Food Packaging (Cereal Boxes work best)Star Shape Pattern (download the template I used here)
Thick Masking Tape (affiliate)
Rainbow Colored Tissue Paper (I used a non-traditional rainbow with pink, orange, yellow, lime green, turquoise and lavender. You can also use traditional rainbow colors if desired. (affiliate))
White Glue or Craft Glue
1. Print the star template on medium white cardstock (affiliate). Cut out the template. If you are using a different shape for your mini piñata, make a template for the shape needed.
2. Using recycled cardboard from food packaging (cereal boxes work best), trace the template. Cut out the first shape. Then, trace that shape (not the template) on the cardboard to make a second shape. This will help both shapes be more similar.
3. On another piece of cardboard, measure 1 1/2″ strips. Cut out each strip. You will need two strips to go around the edge of each mini pinata.
4. Place down one of the star shapes with the printed side facing up. Taking one of the cardboard strips, attach it to the end of one of the star’s points with masking tape.
Carefully, wrap the strip around the star shape. Attach the strip to the star with masking tape as you go.
Note – For this star shape, you will need two cardboard strips. When you start the second strip, attach the end underneath the previous one with tape. This will let you continue wrapping it around your star without interruption.
5. If you’re filling your mini piñata, make a small trap door on the side so recipients can easily get into it. You can fold the end of one of the strips up to make a door. Then, slide it underneath to hide it until the piñata is ready to be opened.
6. After you’ve finished building the edge of your mini piñata, fill it.
7. Place the second star cutout on top of the mini piñata. Make sure that the blank cardboard is facing up. Attach the top star cutout with masking tape.
8. Choose one sheet of each color of the rainbow tissue paper (affiliate). Take the first sheet and fold in half.
Cut 1 inch strips – 2 of each color for the mini piñata. Repeat for each color of the rainbow.
9. Holding one strip of tissue paper, fold in half multiple times. Starting on one end of the fold, make 3/4″ deep cuts along the strip to create a fringe. Continue with each strip of tissue paper. This will make your fringe.
10. Starting with the purple fringe at the bottom of the star, glue down pieces along the edge. Trim each piece after you reach the edge. Add a second row of purple on top of the first, being sure to leave an overlap.
Note – When crafting your mini piñata, it’s important that you start layering the fringe at the bottom. The fringe look won’t work if you begin at the top.
11. Continue decorating with the fringe – blue, green, yellow, orange and pink. Use two to three strips for each color. Stop when you reach the top of the star.
12. For the edging, choose one color of tissue paper. Make additional fringe pieces to cover the sides. When adding the fringe to the sides, start at the bottom of the star’s point and work along to the top of the opposite point.
Continue decorating with fringe until the sides are completely covered. Let dry.
13. Once the fringe layer has dried, give it a hair cut with scissors. This will make your piñata look more well groomed and ready for gifting.
14. To add a hanging ribbon, cut a piece of 1/2″ ribbon. Create a loop and attach to the top of the star with glue. Let dry.
15. For the back of your DIY mini piñata, trace the star template onto a piece of coordinating cardstock. Cut out. Glue to the back to conceal the cardboard and secure the ribbon loop. Let dry.
This DIY mini piñata makes a wonderful party favor. Give as a thank you for a birthday party, Cinco de Mayo celebration or even a back to school send off. You can even skip filling it and use as a DIY decoration for your fiesta celebration instead.
Love this idea and want to save it for later? Be sure to pin it below.
Planning a fiesta celebration? Check out this cactus inspired Free Printable Fiesta Bunting. Designed for our family’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, it’s the perfect decoration for your fiesta’s mantel or dessert table.
And if you’re looking for other fiesta party printables, you can find an assortment of fiesta fun in our shop here. Or if celebrating with rainbows is more your vibe, you can find lots of ideas with our Rainbow ABC Birthday Party.