How to Make a Train Pinata for a Child's Train Party
Paper mache pinatas are easy to make and can be the highlight of your child’s party. With a few sheets of cardboard, old newspaper, and poster paint, you (with help from your children!) can make a train-shaped pinata that will put a smile on your birthday boy or girl.
The trick in making a train pinata is to first construct a shell that you will later cover with paper mache and paint. Break the shape of the train down into manageable components and build from cardboard, for example, a rectangular platform, a square cabin, and cylinder tube for the train nose.
Tape the components together with masking tape and visualise how the train will look and don’t forget to add a trap door for the lollies. Once your happy with the basic shell its time to get dirty!
Make paper mache glue by mixing one part flour and two parts water together to make a sloppy paste. The glue shouldn’t be as thick as children’s glue, nor too wet and runny.
Tear newspaper into strips of roughly 10cm x 4cm and wet the paper with the glue. Cover the shell with the paper mache, sections at a time, and allow the paper mache to dry completely between layers. Consider the weather when you’re making your pinata. If it’s cool and rainy, your pinata may take days to dry. If you’re running out of time, you can speed the drying process by baking your pinata in the oven at very low heat.
One trick with the paper mache is not to put too many layers on the cardboard shell at once as it may not hold its shape. Let the paper mache dry between thin layers. Otherwise the cardboard will get wet and heavy and will bend out of place. If this begins to happen, stuff the boxes with newspaper for added support.
Once the paper mache is dry, it’s time to paint! Consider your artistic abilities. If you don’t think you’re capable of pulling off a Thomas the Tank Engine replica, its probably best not to try. Stick to a basic colour theme, such as a red body with black wheels.
Don’t forget to add the chimney and for a special effect, use cotton wool for steam.
Your train pinata is almost complete! Tie string to the body, ensuring the pinata is evenly balanced and add the lollies. String the pinata up and let the kids go!