Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to make a Pinata

How to make a pig pinata to be precise. The last time I made a pinata (a chick) was for my neice's first birthday, 5 years ago (before I started blogging). I have learnt a couple of tricks since my first attempt.

What you will need:
- 2 balloons
- a rubber band
- loads of newspaper
- flour
- water
- ice cream container
- 5 toilet rolls
- sticky tape
- egg carton
- string or rope
- paints (and paint brush)
- lollies

Blow up 2 balloons, making sure one is smaller than the other (small one is the head and the big one will be the body). Fasten the ends together with a rubber band

To make the gluey paste I mixed 50g plain flour and about 120-130ml of water together. You will need to make about 5 batches of this by the end of your pinata. I preferred to do one layer at a time, allowing each layer to dry for a day before I started the next one. It's personal preference, some people like to do the whole thing in one day but I found that doing each layer allowed me to keep track of exactly how many layers I was up to (I think 5 layers is enough. The pinata I made for my neice had about 8-9 layers and that was way too thick and just would not break. In the end one of the stong adults had to smash it open which isn't really fun for the kids!)

The ice cream container is to hold the ballon steady while you place the gloopy newspaper on it. Trust me, you will need both hands

I like to start off with the neck first because I think it's the trickest part.
Tear the newspaper up in rectangular shapes (make a stack of these before you start the sticking process. For the rest of the body and head I tore square shapes).
Dip the newspaper in the gloopey paste then place it lengthways so that the paper is sticking to both balloons.
Continue this process right around the "neck"

Now I like to stick rectangular pieces sideways on top of the first layer

Neck done. Then I get onto sticking the square peices all over, head and body.

For the legs I cut out 4 toilet rolls. Kinda looks like some helicopter propeller. Reason for that is I can stick the 2 sides down easily with some sticky tape. But make sure you have at least ONE layer of paper mache first. Not onto the ballon (like in the photo below) as it will deflate and that may affect the overall shape.

Like I said, stick these on after you have made at least one layer (not as I have done here. Just showing you how it should go on. Decided to take photos now before my hands got any more messier and probably knowing me, I'd forget to take a snap later)

And for the snout I cut out one of the cups from an egg carton

Attach this on after at least a layer of paper mache

So after a couple more layers, with the legs and snout on, the pig is forming....

5th layer on and he's nicely dried out and there is one minor detail I forgot!

What's a pig without a curly tail?!
5th toilet roll cut into a curl

Paint piggy in a layer of white first so that the newspaper print doesn't show up later (otherwise you will end up using heaps more coloured paint and I don't know about you but I can never mix the same colour again, always a shade darker or light grrr)

Now for the layer of pink

Now to make an incision on the top of this body so we can thread the rope through and also place all the lollies inside

Can't forget piggy tail. Made a slit at the back and stuck it through.

This was my husbands genius plan of nailing two pieces of wood together to secure the rope inside the pig. Last time we made a pinata we just tied the whole thing up with rope (and by all means you can do this too because it still works brilliantly) but this time we had scrap wood and wanted to hide the rope but also making sure it would last a few whacks
Tie the rope around the wood and flip them together so it can fit into the pinata through the hole. Once it's in the pinata you should be able to pull it up far enough for you to flip the wood out again so it widens out but won't come out. Then you make another hole closer to the head and pull the string through
But seriously go with the easier option which is to tie the whole thing up around the neck and hang it off the clothes line

Lollies go in the hole

Finish it off with threading the string through

Hang the pinata up on the clothes line and let the kids go wild!

And the winning shot goes to Jasmine!
Well done!

It was so much fun for the kids and just as fun for the adults to watch and egg them on!
So if you are feeling crafty and don't want to spend the $20 on a pinata at the shops, why not give this a go. Although at a stage I thought the $20 would have been money well spent! ; )

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My first 3 tiered cake

Expecting 52 guests at my daughters first birthday, I decided to up the ante and make a 3 tiered cake. I have never even made a 2 tiered cake before but after pouring out the batter in 2 tins there was still some remaining so I thought what the heck, let's just make a 3rd and see how we go.

I went with a simple plan so I wouldn't be too stressed out. Inititally I was going to do a full on dessert table but quickly had to scrap that idea. Maybe next year.....

Anyway, the cake didn't turn out how I quite imagined it (think flowers cascading down the tiers). Non the less.....I didn't burn the cake at least and it wasn't a total eye sore.

First up, making the fondant
My easy recipe found here

Dying it pink

After that, it's just a matter of kneeding and mixing and then rolling it out ready to press out the flowers

I found a set of 4 blossom cutters from Ebay where you press the piston and the flower pops out perfectly (even leaves an indent in the middle for the cachous)

That's the one lonely flower...

And here's another 100 more

The little flowers

The big flowers

The flowers will need a couple of days to dry out completely so they are easily manageable.

Assmbling the cake:

Bottom tier
(I so need to invest in an angled cake spatula...wink wink....husband who never reads my blog, but I'm sure someone can forward on my request)
Middle tier (oops forgot to take a photo of the top tier...guests were starting to arrive and I was getting into a slight panic at this stage with the cake unfinished and the handmade decorations still to put up)

So the end result

Haha see, definitely not the cascading effect I had in my head, but oh well. As mum said, "It looks rather.....simple", to which I replied "Um....yeah that was the look I was going for" haha!
Still, it was a fantastic day and we were just so so lucky to have good weather after such a terrible 2 weeks of downpour.

Thank you to our amazing family and friends who helped us make Miss C's birthday extra special. She was utterly spoilt with love and gifts!

Happy 1st birthday precious!
All our love and big hugs and kisses to the best girl ever!