DIY Mini Piñatas - Fiesta Themed Birthday (Using Upcycled Materials)

Every year I have an argument with my boyfriend about celebrating his birthday. Like every other Virgo in my life (and boy, there are many) for some reason, they don’t want to celebrate their birthdays. I’m the complete opposite. When it comes to birthdays I am usually head of the surprise-party planning committee or taking several weeks to set up something special.

Now, when he knew the question of “What do you want to do for your birthday” was coming around, I’m sure he had already given thought to it. This was because he actually had an answer for me. Instead of having a party where people bring him gifts and the focus is put heavily on him, he wanted to have a party to celebrate his relationships with his friends.

With this we devised a plan - a “Games night” that would have games related to my partner, but giving prizes and gifts to his friends so they leave with a little something from the party. Now, he chose a Fiesta themed party probably because he is Hispanic, but mostly because he wanted to salsa dance with me, haha! We determined that drunk people + large piñata probably would be a terrible idea, so instead I took on making small ones for decoration purposes. Here are the quick and easy steps to make your own cute mini piñatas where you can choose to fill them, or just use them as decor. Best part: you probably already have many of the materials at home. Let’s get started!


  • Colourful streamers (I chose pink, green, yellow, orange and blue)

  • Printable Donkey Template

  • Thin cardboard (Think cereal boxes, cracker boxes, etc.)

  • Masking tape

  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks

Prepare your Donkey Template

Using the donkey template, you are going to print it out. First, ensure that the template is printed in landscape orientation at “actual size” or 100%. You will then cut out the template from your 8.5x11 sheet of paper. Trace the front and back of the donkey onto your cardboard. I used cardboard from a box of crackers. I suggest using what is in your recycling bin as a way to ensure that you have less waste going to recycling centres. If you can up cycle a piece instead of it having its single-use, you are extending the life of it which is better for our environment. You will need one back and one front per donkey. Since I was making 5 piñatas, I cut out 5 fronts and 5 backs.

These will be the made body of the piñata. You will now need to cut long strips of cardboard that will cover the boarder of the donkey templates and connect them together, making a 3D piece. My pieces were half an inch wide, which was just wide enough for them to stand up. If you are filling your mini piñata, be sure to make it wider so you have more space for goodies.

Give that donkey some style

In order to jazz up your cardboard donkey, you will want to get colourful streamers. What I did was fold the streamers in half and cut small slits all across them. This creates a double layer so that the colours are very vibrant. It also adds body as the streamers will be thicker than just using one layer of them.

I suggest using a variety of colours for this project. When testing it out a few months ago, all I had on hand was white tissue paper (which tissue paper works well too, just is more finicky to work with). After I created my donkey template I used the white tissue paper to cover it. However, due to the white colour, my donkey ended up looking more like a dog. So in future, I suggest using different colours as opposed to one solid colour, especially white.


Connect this donkey together

Now that your donkey’s materials are prepped, it is time to put it all together. This is definitely the most tedious part, but if you get it right during this time, it’ll make your life easier going forward! Using masking tape, connect your long strips of cardboard to the edge of the donkey’s template. You will need to use many smaller pieces of tape, especially in the smaller nooks.

Once you have attached the front to the long strip of cardboard, you will do the same for the back. In the end, you will have a full donkey’s body! If you are interested in stuffing your piñata, be sure to leave a gap (typically near the tail) where you can add some treats. I suggest doing this before the next step of covering the donkey with the streamers.

Now that the body of your donkey is strong and ready, you can decorate it. Using the streamers, you will want to start from the bottom. Run a line of hot glue over the parts that you would like covered. Then, attach the streamer in place. You will alternate colours as you go. Starting from the bottom ensures that you will continuously cover the top part of each streamer that holds the very unsightly glue line.

Fiesta like there’s no mañana

Now that your cute little piñatas are all dressed up, they’ll be ready for your fiesta. We put these decor pieces on the tables as a way to embellish the snacks table. They could be filled and given as gift favors as well. Note that these do take some time and can be slightly tedious of a process, so know what you’re getting yourself into. Otherwise, these are adorable and relatively easy to make. Good luck on your DIY adventure!


Thanks for reading! If you'd like to follow along to the blog, click "follow" on Instagram!