ScrapHappy November 2021

It’s been a loooong time since I made anything with papier machè. And in this last week, I’ve been reminded of the reason for that: it’s a bugger. And I have no patience. But I had volunteered to make a pinata for a friend’s grandson, who has his sixth birthday party this coming weekend, so I had to stick with it.

My first two attempts were thwarted by shoddy balloons. They just don’t make them like they used to. A balloon covered in newspaper and drying glue that bursts at 7.30 in the evening right outside your back door isn’t funny. I thought it was bad people firing a warning shot. The second attempt was a less dramatic fail – the balloon simply detumesced overnight and I woke up to a shrivelled mess.

My third attempt was more successful because I followed my friend Kathryn’s advice: make two halves then machè them together. As you will know, the shape gets a little trapdoor cut into it so that sweets can be shoved in. I bought nine packets of sweeties – only 95% of which actually made it into the pinata. I had to be sure they were good enough, obviously.

I had no idea how many layers of paper I should use – I didn’t want it to be so flimsy that it collapsed before Quenton had a chance to give it a good couple of bashes, but I also didn’t want it to be so rock hard that he couldn’t break it at all. All I can do is hope it’s right. By the time I’d given it a coat of white paint, I hated the damn thing. I’ve made some odd stuff in my life but this would probably win first prize. I couldn’t face doing anything much about the general unevenness of the surface so decided my best option would be to glue on some long scraps of fabric.

Technically, the only non-scrappy things used to make this were the balloons. And of course, the sweets. I doubt this will inspire anyone to make a pinata but I hope it gives you a good laugh!

I’ve been inspired to write a ScrapHappy post by Kate at Tall Tales from Chiconia. Other people who often publish a ScrapHappy post on the 15th of every month are:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill (me),  Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlysKerryClaireJeanJon, Hayley, DawnGwen, Bekki,SueL, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn2BearCarolNoreenPreeti
EdithJule and Esther


27 thoughts on “ScrapHappy November 2021

  1. katechiconi

    That is a truly terrifying piñata. Well done on persisting despite resistance from your materials! And naturally, one should always test sweeties before one hands them over. Is there any other way?

  2. onesmallstitch

    a six year old will love it, hope he has a super time whacking it. He (I’m sure it is a “he”) would make a great front door decoration at Halloween – make all the little tricksters work for their candy.

  3. cedar51

    Well the result looks like it will fit the birthday party completely – love the “testing of the sweeties” one needs to make sure they won’t poison anyone – as for the quality of a balloon, that’s not good at all…

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      I used to have a little manual pump thing to blow balloons up for my daughter’s parties when she was small, but it’s long gone. Luckily I only had to blow up four with my own lungs to produce this monster.

  4. Going Batty in Wales

    I remember doing papier mache at junior school – one afternoon every week for a term to make spill holders shaped round an old (glass) sauce bottle to sell at the fete! Put me off for life!

  5. nanacathy2

    Well I think it is terrific and much nicer than the commercial ones. Now you need to make another and do a You Tube. It’s also a totally wonderful and original scrap happy project.

  6. insearchofitall

    I’m glad I found this one in the buried pile from my month of moving and traveling. Whatever you think of it matters little. I’m sure Quenton will or has loved it. Perfect for a young man. I think it’s so what kids want these days. How brave to try something you haven’t done in a while. I always have to do a refresher course when I’ve abandoned a craft for a great while. I also would never give candy to children unless I made sure that it was up to standards. My waist line proves it.

  7. Nice Piece of Work Post author

    He did love it! Loraine sent me a video of all the kids whacking away with their bats and sticks, and it finally shattered on about the sixth attempt. They scampered around picking up the sweets like squirrels in a field of nuts.


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