Do you want to build a snowman piñata?
My twin nieces recently had a Frozen themed party for their 7th birthday, and this Olaf piñata was handmade with care just for them! I could’ve purchased this $10 piñata I found at the local market, which would’ve saved me 6+ hours of loving labor, but I couldn’t handle the fact that there was a square-shaped plate attached to a circular piñata! Come on, at least use a circular plate! $10 was a good price and all, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t! That plate haunted me so…
I was on a mission, after seeing that plate, to make my own piñata. Compared to Elsa, Anna, and all the other Frozen characters, Olaf seemed to be the easiest character to work with, so I went with it.
I created this pinata over the course of three days in three phases: “The Skeleton”, “The Fringe”, and “The Face”.
PHASE 1: THE SKELETON
1) Open up the box. Draw the outline of Olaf’s face on the front of the box as close to the edge as possible. As you draw, connect Olaf’s cheeks to each side/edge of the box. Cut the outline with scissors, leaving his cheeks attached.
2) Flatten the box. Using the front side that you already cut, take a pencil and trace it onto the back side of the box. You basically want to duplicate the front and back side so that it lines up. Then, cut the outline, leaving the cheeks attached again.
3) Bend the sides so that they’re less stiff, and use masking tape (inside and out) to attach the edges.
4) The sides won’t be long enough to wrap all the way around the outline of Olaf’s face. There will be four openings that you will need to cover. Start with the two bottom openings (Olaf’s chin). Cut out pieces from your leftover cardboard, and place it over the openings like a puzzle piece. Then, tape it together. Don’t close off the top yet. You’ll need to attach rope first.
5) Punch a hole on the top with a heavy duty hole puncher. I happened to have a leather belt puncher, so I used that. A screwdriver would probably work too. Use hemp rope (any kind of rope or thicker wire would work) to create a hanging hook/loop for the pinata.
6) Tape the inner and outer parts of cardboard surrounding the rope to secure it. Then, close up the last two openings.
The skeleton of the pinata is done! The box I used happened to have a perfect small opening for candy too! If your box doesn’t randomly have an opening like mine did, use an X-Acto knife to create one. Moving on to decorating!
PHASE 2: THE FRINGE
7) Trace the outline of Olaf’s face (front and back) onto white butcher paper, and cut out both pieces. Glue each piece onto the cardboard with mod podge (I started with a glue stick, but I ran out. Mod Podge stuck better anyway). Cut strips of butcher paper the same width as the sides of the skeleton, and wrap the sides. You’re basically wrapping the entire skeleton with white paper to cover the cardboard.
8) Make fringe paper by cutting long strips of butcher paper about 3-4 inches wide. You can stack and/or fold the strips to cut multiple layers at a time. Run your scissors along one side of the strip to make quarter inch fringes (approximately). The fringes do not need to be exact in width, so there’s no need to measure. Just cut, cut, cut. It may not seem like it, but this process is actually pretty fast.
9) Starting from the bottom of Olaf’s chin, glue down one strip of fringe paper. Cut the sides so that it lines up with the curve of his chin. Glue down the next strip over the last piece, overlapping half way. Keep repeating this process until you end up at the top. Do this to the back side as well.
10) Now cut smaller pieces of fringe for the sides. Glue from the bottom up, overlapping the same way as the face until you’re done covering the pinata with fringe! Now we’re ready for the final phase!
PHASE 3: THE FACE
11) The face, surprisingly, was the longest process. It was difficult to get it to look like Olaf instead of Bugs Bunny, Elmo, a Muppet Baby, or just a low-budget imposter. I had to get Steel to help. We drew and cut out a couple different options for the eyes, nose, mouth, and teeth (on a Friday night, obviously). After a few really awful ones that made us laugh uncontrollably, we finally got the right combination. We used the paper mockups as stencils to cut the felt and foam sheet. Black, white & baby blue felt was used for the eyes, orange foam for the nose (we shaded in the nose with a pencil to add texture and shadows), and black felt for the mouth, and white for the teeth. Then, we placed each part of Olaf’s face exactly where we wanted it and carefully lifted/glued each piece down.
Meet Olaf the Piñata!
Much better than the square plate pinata, if you ask me! And the kids loved it!
Here are some pictures of Olaf at the party.
They knocked out his teeth! Ha! Poor Olaf…