With only 17 days left until the first day of spring, and only 36 days left until Easter it is definitely possible to start bidding farewell to the winter, and getting ready for warmer, fresh and greener days. The shops are already stuffed full of chocolate and Easter eggs, and many people are starting to plan Easter holidays and Easter parties.
There are many traditions associated with Easter, and not all of them necessarily have to be edible! But one of the traditions which we have in our household is an Easter egg pinata. A pinata is a paper mache shape, often decorated, and which contains sweets or other treats. The pinata is then suspended from string or rope, either indoors or outdoors, and children are then blindfolded and given a stick, with which they then attempt to demolish the pinata, breaking it open and releasing the sweets inside.
On our website we actually sell quite a large range of pinatas, and certainly for the more difficult and interesting shapes buying a pinata is definitely the best solution. But for Easter it is quite possible to make an Easter egg pinata very easily yourself. In fact it's a project which children will really enjoy. All you will need to make an Easter egg pinata is a newspaper, water, PVA glue, a balloon, a pin or needle and plenty of paint.
First of all inflate the balloon, not too much, just a little under full. Next take a newspaper and tear it into strips of approximately 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. In a bowl mix some water and PVA glue. As a rough guide we tend to fill a bowl with about a pint of water and around four or five dessert spoons of PVA glue. Mix it altogether thoroughly.
The next thing to do is to simply dip each paper strip into this liquid, although be careful not to leave it in too long or it will simply fall apart into pieces! Lay strips of paper across the balloon building up a complete layer all the way around the balloon. Obviously there will be a small section at one end which you can only do after the layer is dry, at which point you can turn the balloon over. Once you have built up that layer, turn it over and build a second layer. Generally between three and six layers is ideal.
Once you have finished covering the balloon, leave it to dry. This will often take at least a day, and quite possibly a few days, depending on the temperature of the room and any ambient moisture. Once the pinata is dry, use a needle to burst the balloon inside, and cut a thin slit in the size of the pinata through which you can then pop the sweets. This slit can then be glued shut or even closed off with a bit of tape. It is now time to decorate the Easter egg pinata, and here you can let your children's imaginations run wild!
The final stage is to thread some string through the top of the pinata and suspend this from a door frame, branch or other suitable point, blindfold the children and arm them with a stick! Just as a point, it is usually worth moving any expensive vases you have in the vicinity to somewhere a little further away! If you do manage to make an Easter egg pinata, please do send a photograph of it before it has been utterly destroyed, and we'll feature it on our blog.