Jack-o'-Lantern Pinata

Made from a papier-mache-covered balloon, this pinata holds a pumpkin full of treats.

What You Need:

Children will have a blast trying to get to the goodies inside. Click to enlarge.
  • 15-inch balloon
  • 2 medium bowls
  • 3 cups white flour
  • Water
  • Newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Crafts knife
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Medium-weight colored paper in black, purple, yellow, and orange
  • Glue stick
  • Party hat in metallic blue or other desired color
  • Paper punch
  • Silver eyelets and eyelet tool
  • Lime green plastic lace
  • Yardstick
  • 2 yards of 1/4-inch-wide ribbon
  • Darning needle
  • Crepe paper streamers in orange and green
  • Small candies or plastic Halloween toys
  • Patterns


1. Download the free patterns for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Jack-o'-lantern face pattern

Jack-o'-lantern arms and legs pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

Step 4.

2. Inflate the balloon and secure with a knot. Set the balloon in one of the bowls. 3. To make papier-mache mixture, pour flour into remaining bowl. Add water until the mixture has the consistency of thick gravy. 4. Tear newspapers into strips. Using one strip at a time, dip the strip into the flour mixture. Gently pull the strip between two fingers to remove excess mixture. Place wet strip on balloon. Continue adding strips to the balloon in this manner until the exposed balloon is covered with two to three layers of paper, leaving the balloon knot exposed. Turn the balloon over in the bowl and repeat. Let dry. Remove balloon from bowl. Holding the balloon by the knot, puncture the balloon and remove from the hardened papier-mache shape. 5. Enlarge and trace the patterns. Cut out patterns. Trace around patterns on colored paper. Cut out shapes. Trace around one eye pattern on small end of balloon in eye area. Use a crafts knife to cut out eye shape, 1/4 inch inside the drawn line. 6. Glue the black pieces on the yellow eyes and the purple stripes on the hands and legs. Cut a 10-inch circle from black paper for the hat brim. Place the party hat in the center of the paper circle. Trace the party hat. Cut out slightly inside the circle. Glue the party hat to the brim. Let dry. 7. Using the pattern as a guide, punch holes along the tops of both shoes. Use an eyelet tool to secure eyelets in each hole as shown. Cut two 24-inch lengths of lime green lace. Lace through eyelets and tie ends into a bow. Glue shoes onto bottom of legs. Let the glue dry. 8. Use a crafts knife to cut two small holes in the top of the pinata. Insert ribbon into needle. Sew through holes in pinata top. Remove the needle. Knot the ribbon ends to secure.

Step 9.

9. Cut 4 yards of crepe paper at a time. Wrap paper into a 1-foot loop. Carefully cut 1/2-inch-wide fringes along one side of the loop, being careful not to trim through the edges.

Step 10.

10. Beginning at the bottom (large end) of the papier-mache shape, wind and glue unfringed edge to the shape. Continue wrapping and gluing until the shape is covered. Through the eye opening, fill the pinata with candy or toys. 11. Pleat the arms. Glue the paper pieces onto the fringe-covered shape, making sure to cover cutout eye area with a paper eye. Let dry. 12. Tie a bow from green crepe paper. Glue onto hat. Let dry. Thread hanging loop through tip of hat.


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