Wednesday, October 19, 2011

~Flying Bat Pinata~

picture from

Project from


This bat pinata, created using the technique of papier-mache, is creepy enough to be the center of your party decorations. Just be careful after dark; he might swoop down and give you a fright.
Tip: When using black tissue paper, wear gloves and cover your work surface because the dye may run and stain

Read more at Flying Bat Pinata - Martha Stewart Crafts

Tools and Materials

Read more at Flying Bat Pinata - Martha Stewart Crafts

Step 1

Paste Layers of Tissue Paper on Balloon

Begin by resting a large balloon on an empty jar (this will prevent the damp tissue from discoloring or sticking to the work surface). Dab diluted craft glue (2 parts glue to 1 part water) on a small section of the balloon, and cover with two full layers of newspaper. For each strip of paper, apply glue and overlap each one slightly before brushing on more glue. After the second layer, tie a long piece of string around center (this will hang your pinata), then continue with 2 more layers of newspaper, followed by black tissue, from the balloon's crown to its knot. Repeat for small balloon (this will become the bat's head), but don't include the string.

Note: This picture is meant to illustrate the technique, but you will be using newspaper and black tissue paper, rather than orange tissue paper, for this project.

Step 2

Hang to Dry

Using clothespins, hang the tissue-covered large and small balloons from the clothesline by their knots; let dry completely (several hours or overnight).

Step 3

Cut Hole for Candy

Cut a hole in top of body (the large balloon) with utility knife, and save the piece to use for ears. Pop the balloon by making a slit with scissors next to the knot; remove. Cover cut edge with tissue and fill the body with wrapped candy.

Step 4

Assemble the Bat

Pop and remove the balloon from smaller piece. Place small sphere (the head) onto large one (the body). Drape several layers of black tissue paper over the head toward the body and around the neck, brushing with diluted glue until neck is secure. Let dry. Draw or print our bat face template; trace onto white card stock. Cut out features; attach with undiluted glue. Cut ears from reserved piece; glue in place.

Step 5

Make the Wings

Sketch large wing shapes on black poster board, and cut them out. Secure wings to the sides of the bat's body with black duct tape. Paste black tissue paper over the joints to cover the tape. Next, use tape to attach a length of string to the end of each wing. (This will allow you to suspend the wings as if in flight.) Cover the tape with tissue paper. To hang the bat, suspend from body string. Then, tack the two wing strings to the ceiling to make the bat look as if it is flying.

On a recent Martha Stewart Show there was a segment about making a flying bat pinata.  The assembly seemed fairly easy and so I decided to give this papier-mache-thing a try. 

I instantly knew that the kids would love such activity, especially since they got to hit something without anyone batting an eye- in fact there was reward for those who hit the hardest!

This project was slightly on the more time consuming side because the bat had to be completely dry before moving on to some of the additional steps.  For convenience, I just let my bat pinata dry in a separate area away from the kids (don't get me started about the time Gabriel and Sarah ate Jordan's 12th birthday cake before the party).  I periodically came back to the project  when I had some down time.

I would definitely recommend this project to you.  The flying bat pinata provided us with an afternoon of entertainment and fun.  It is always so much fun to see the children laugh, squeal and jump for joy.

Photo Gallery

                The pinata building process started with a simple balloon.
The string was ready to be placed around the balloon and then a few more layers of newspaper were placed over it in order to secure the string to the inside of the pinata. This process provides a way for the bat to hang.
I used regular craft glue that I already had at home to secure the newspaper layers onto the balloon. After several layers of the newspaper were added, I was now ready to add the black tissue paper. 
After the balloon was dry, I cut it open at the top with a knife.  I was rather intrigued by this papier-mache process. Pretty neat!
Now it's time to throw in whatever you like.  I added a mix of small toys and candy. 

After everything was added, I just followed the rest of the instructions and ended up with a cute, papier-mache pinata.

Before going outside to play with the pinata, we decided to have some fun with our clothes and makeup.  Here are two scary, zombie-vampires and Little Red.   
Sarah and her dad walk down to the plum tree together.  
I added a pair of false eyelashes and a little fake blood to our vampire bat.  I must admit that this process of building and then tearing down reminded me of a Buddhist sand mandala (although there is no comparison).  I was savoring my last few minutes with my much-adored creation.  I told her, "It's OK old girl, it's all for the best."
Who knew that Little Red Riding hood would attack a bat?

Count Zombie Jordan is working hard for his treats. 
That face just says, "I'm gonna getcha."
Bam!  The head is off and now Gabriel gets a crack at it.
Gabriel said, "wow!"  Then, he threw the broom down and jetted over to the bat-body and tried to rip it open.  I guess that's one way of getting to the candy.
Now it's Sarah's turn again.
Jordan's second turn lasted only a minute before it blasted open, spewing treats and toys everywhere.  The children grabbed their baskets and scurried around to gather their candy and toys.
The candy search continues.
Jordan was happy with his loot.
Their baskets full of treats were heavily guarded by their owners.  This was taken very seriously.
Did Ben take candy from a baby?
A zombie-vampire with a sweet tooth. 
Chester wasn't sure about all the pinata action. I wonder what the whole thing looked like from a dogs perspective?

I just had to capture a picture of Sarah's little feet. 

Sarah and her daddy show some love. 

We all agreed that this project will now become an October tradition.  

~ A Spook-tacular Family Time~


Anonymous said...

The bat is AWESOME. I want one.

The Green Mama said...

I know, the bat is pretty darn cute and fun too. Actually, one could even turn this project into a number of Halloween-ish creatures. A witch, for example, would look awesome fashioned with a newspaper hat that's painted black. Oh, the fun things that could be made. Glad you liked it, Emily.