Piña (Pineapple) Piñata

Piñata Styles

Home History Styles Make It!

Traditional Piñatas

In the United States, the traditional Mexican style piñata is the most popular.  It is opened by hitting it with a stick or pole. These piñatas may be made of paper maché or cardboard. Some have a simple armature of reinforced cardboard or wire that holds the piece together until several blows have been landed on it. The most common traditional shapes are the “stars” which have 7 cones pointing out from a round center. But  burros and horses (with or without a rider) are also popular  traditional piñatas.

Today the possibilities are endless when it comes to piñata styles and shapes since popular heroes (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider Man and others) have entered the piñata world, as well as cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and a myriad of Disney characters. Others may be shaped like fruits, rockets, planes, cars, trains, and the like. Some political figures are satirized in piñatas for office parties. At Christmas, star-shaped piñatas suggest the Star of Bethlehem.

X-rated piñatas are becoming very popular for adult parties. Although I've designed adult-subject piñatas for private orders, examples those designs will not be displayed on this site.  I want people of all ages to be able to enjoy learning this craft without qualification. So, once you understand the basics, just use your imagination and you'll be able to create any style of piñata.

Traditionally, piñatas are filled with candies and fruits. In Mexico it is common to fill them with nuts, guavas, sugar cane, and oranges in addition to wrapped candies. Today’s piñatas can be filled with assorted party-favors when there is concern about children having too much candy.

For the celebration, Mexican party-givers store colaciones -- extra rations of goodies for children who did not get any during the opening of the piñata. This is a good practice to adopt anywhere, as it's one of the best thing to do to avoid crying fits and arguments among children (and their parents).







Top of Page

Reusable piñatas

The traditional piñata is destroyed with a stick so that the goodies may fall to the ground. But reusable piñatas have greater advantages:

  • There’s no need to hit the piñata with a stick at the risk of hurting someone. Children have a knack for swinging those sticks around adults’ knee-caps. The piñata, instead, is gently opened with ribbons that stream from its bottom.
  • The ribbon piñata is kind to very small children and hovering adults.
  • The piñata can be used by the child as a toy, ornament, or keeper of treasures in his/her room.
  • The piñata can be reused at a later party after adding new details.
  • The piñata can be made of durable materials instead of just paper mache. Large plastic containers can be used as the shell, instead of a balloon. Piñatas based on plastic are the most durable.



Giant piñatas

Giant piñatas can be made in both styles, traditional (broken with a stick) and reusable (opened with ribbons). Your imagination is the limit. However, it is perhaps better to construct a reusable giant piñata so plenty of reinforcements can be worked into its construction. This ensures that the piñata can stand or hang and is not too fragile for its own weight.

Since large piñatas have a larger cavity, they can be filled with party favors, small toys, candies, and a larger variety of prices. Naturally, it is advisable to stay with very light fillers.

Miniature piñatas as party favors

There’s a growing trend among piñata fans for small, individual piñatas which do not have to be broken.  I've created scores of miniature piñatas for dinner parties alone. Normally I design figures and shapes that can be opened with a velcro-like closure so as not to break the tiny piñata. Inside, the host can place fine chocolates and candy, good-luck messages, tiny books, etc. Among the shapes that I have constructed are: red hot peppers, jack-o-lanterns, apples, gnomes, boxes with guests’ names, bananas, Easter Bunnies and eggs, pineapples, cowboy boots, rattles, maracas, ninja turtles and clowns.

Top of Page



Thomas 3-D Pull String Piñata





Updated 05/27/2012
© 2009 Alta World Enterprises, LLC