I want to make this for my sons party. Exactly how would I properly attach the head if using a balloon to the body if using cardboard. Would posterboard work fine for the body?
Answer from Piñata Boy
Think of it in terms of making a hollow statue that you will decorate. The statue underneath can be an unsightly combination of cardboard, papier mâché, and masking tape, because you’re going to hide all the ugliness with the decorating.
If you make the body out of thin cardboard and the head form a balloon, you can use masking tape to attach the head to the body, then cement it in place using strips of papier mâché. Masking tape alone might not be enough to keep the head attached once the kids start whacking.
I don’t normally use poster board to make the target areas of a piñata because it doesn’t break easily when it is hit with a stick, and it gets very wavy if you apply papier mâché to it. I generally use thin cardboard in these cases instead. Thin cardboard has the same problems, but it doesn’t get quite as wavy and I can make it more breakable by punching holes in it with a knife before decorating. Poster board can be used, but it will keep its shape better if you can support it with something. For example, if you need a cylinder, don’t just bend the poster board into a hollow tube and then apply papier mâché. Instead find a stack of cans or something that you can wrap the poster board around to help give it some support while the papier mâché is wet.
The ninja’s sword is a non-target area, so it can be crafted however you want. You can use corrugated cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil, for example, or cut the blade out of balsa wood or basswood from a hobby store. (If you use corrugated cardboard, make sure the corrugations run the length of the blade, not sideways across the blade, or the sword might bend along the corrugation lines.) A folded piece of poster board or thin cardboard might also work for the sword. You just want to make sure the sword is lightweight so it doesn’t tip the piñata too far forward.