You’ve heard of balloon art. You’ve heard of piñatas. But you’ve never heard of balloon piñatas that reward successful dart throwers with candy. I know you haven’t, because I Googled it. And I’m happy to confirm that we created the first of its kind here in the TG & Co. studio.
Watching this do-it-yourself craft come together is so fulfilling, and watching it burst is even better. There’s something about throwing darts and destroying balloons that’s inexplicably exhilarating. We actually screamed every time a dart flew through the air, connected with a balloon, and resulted in a loud “POP!” It was ridiculous, and yes, our officemates probably hated us. We gave them the candy we won as a “sorry not sorry for having fun” consolation prize.
You can adjust the instructions for this adult piñata to create any shape or design for any holiday celebration. Cinco de Mayo is coming up, though, so we thought it was only fitting to make an avocado. We named him Steve. I don’t know why. It just felt ripe (insert shameless chuckle).
Watch the video below to learn how to make your own Steve (aka balloon piñata avocado), or skip to the written instructions below.
What you’ll need:
A balloon pumper (unless you want to pass out — to each their own)
Small candy (we used a variation of Tootsie Rolls)
1 big circular brown balloon for the avocado pit
1 green poster board (maybe 2 for backup in case of mistakes)
Optional: White printer paper, black marker and black construction paper
1. Insert the candy into deflated 9-inch balloons. We fit two or three Tootsie Rolls per balloon.
2. Using your balloon pump, blow up 85 9- and 20 5-inch balloons to about half capacity, and tie them off. Keep them on the smaller side so that you can fit them close to one another to form the avocado shape. The 9-inch balloons will fill in the shape of the avocado, and the 5-inch balloons will fill in gaps and create a border.
3. Outline the shape of an avocado on the green poster board and cut it out.
4. Draw a circle in the center, where the avocado pit will be, and cut that out.
5. Puncture a hole in the top of the poster board avocado and hang it like a piñata, but not so high that you can’t reach the top comfortably.
6. If you prefer to make another shape, follow the same instructions using a poster board that matches the color of the balloons.
7. Use the hot-glue gun to attach the tail of the brown circular balloon to the back of the poster board. (We thought hot glue would melt the latex balloon, too, but it doesn’t!) The balloon should hang upside down and fit perfectly through the hole.
8. Glue 9-inch balloons to the back of the poster board, working from the bottom up. Try to pair balloons that fit together when positioned in a row.
9. Glue the back or tail of your balloon to the poster board and to other balloons surrounding it. (Don’t worry about gaps between balloons; you’ll fill those in later.) Try not to extend too far over the edge of the poster board, because that will affect your shape of the avocado. We glued about 55 9-inch balloons on the back, stacking multiple in the middle and lower half to create the depth and plump bottom of an avocado.
10. Repeat the process with a single layer of balloons on the front. We secured about 30 9-inch balloons.
11. When the initial layers of balloons are secured on both sides, glue a border of smaller 5-inch balloons around the avocado to fill in any gaps and give it a solid shape. We used about 15 5-inch balloons on the back and 5 5-inch balloons on the front. Fill in gaps within the avocado body on front and back, as needed.
12. To create the face (optional), cut out eyes on white printer paper, and color in the eyeballs (we used a black marker). Using black construction paper, cut out any facial expression you’d like. Attach the face with the hot-glue gun.