Xander just turned three, and since he is a huge Star Wars fan, we threw him a Star Wars themed birthday party. I'll let Val tell you specifics about the party on her blog, but she asked me to make something for the party, so I thought I'd share the step by step process.
The Project: a Darth Vader Piñata.
Step 1. Blow up a balloon. (you can do this your self, or ask someone with more experience to help).
Step 2. Paper-mache the balloon. (If you don't know how to do this, ask a kindergartner) For best results, I mix 1 cup of flour with enough water to make it about the consistency of white glue - then I add about half a bottle of white glue for added rigidity. I cover it with 3 full layers of newspaper. Let it dry for 24 hours - If you cheat and move on before a full day has passed, you are either impatient or terrible at following directions.
Step 3. Pop the balloon and pull it out leaving a nice shell. Now cut a hole in the top big enough to put all the organic, free-range, post-consumer recycled fruit (or whatever goodies you want) into it. I also made a ring from poster board and glued it to the bottom of the shell as a stand (It is also Señor Vader's neck).
Step 4. Add the string. You probably never thought about it before, but a pinata takes a lot of strain right at the point where the rope connects into the pinata. If you just poke some holes and run a string through them, the pinata will just fall out of the tree after a couple of hits while remaining intact. The solution? Run the string around the whole egg shape. That way, the strain is being taken across the whole surface. Tack it down in a few places with hot glue and add a layer or 2 of paper mache. For this one, I will be adding a face and helmet, so I just glued it down without the extra paper mache.
Step5. Sculpt the face and helmet. I used poster board and hot glue. It's ok to leave gaps here and there because I will be covering everything with more paper mache. I'm basically just building a frame to lay the paper mache onto.
Step 6. Cover everything with paper mache and let it dry another 24 hours. Make sure you cover the goodie hole with some posterboard so you don't soak the goodies.
Step 7. Paint it. Black. Glossy. Use spray paint (If you need help here, ask a teenage boy).
Step 8. Beat the Force out of it. Of course there is really only one way to properly break a Señor Vader pinata --- with a lightsaber! Luckily Valerie got some for pretty cheap at Oriental Trading.