Growing up, I loved Pokémon just as much as any other kid. We would watch all the episodes religiously. Of course Pikachu was the most popular because of Ash Ketchum.
What kid didn’t want to catch a Pokémon just like Ash? Pokémon became so popular it has withstand the test of time. And of course they had to make a real live version of Pokémon Go app that was so popular, everyone was getting active and playing it everywhere including parks and some even not so ideal places.
So curious, what is your favorite Pokémon character? I like Pikachu but I love Charmander. I also like Mewtwo. I know he’s a bad guy but he’s got some brains and some bad-ass power.
For the last couple of years I have been doing fun birthday cakes for my 4 nephews who all happen to have their birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. With my nephews turning 19, 13, 12, and 7, I had to make something extra cool and absolutely memorable for them all. Having seen my friend, Beth do piñatas for her daughter’s birthday, I thought I could try my hand on my first piñata.
What I ended up with was an almost indestructible piñata made by one of the most awesome manmade thing on earth: duct tape. I know you must think that indestructible beats the purpose of a piñata right? Well, if you ever bought a store piñata, you might have realized how frustrating it is when the 1st or 2nd kid beats the piñata down and the long line of kids behind them are disappointed to never get a chance at the piñata. That was exactly what I absolutely did not want. I wanted every kid to have a chance to break the piñata. There turned out to be 16 people (1 adult which is my oldest nephew, lots of teens, and kids) who got a chance to beat on the piñata. And in it finally broke when we brought out the metal baseball bat. It was so much fun to watch the kids and I think the topping on the cake for me was when my sister-in-law texted that my 13 year old nephew didn’t want to throw away the battered Pokémon Charmander piñata when it was over.
To create this indestructible duct tape piñata allow yourself 2 weeks to build it. And I will give you tips so that you can vary just how destructible or indestructible of a piñata you want to make.
Again, you need time to create this piñata so I highly recommend to start this about 2 weeks ahead to allow for dry time.
I didn’t have newspaper which is the more common material used to build piñatas. Since I did have a few magazines, I figured that would be worth trying since I actually had 3 weeks to build this. Magazine turned out to be a great option to strengthen the piñata.
Duct tape is the primary reason this piñata is almost indestructible. It comes in many colors and designs so chances are very good that you will find some in the color you need. If you don’t, you can still use the typical gray duct tape because the piñata will be covered in colored tissue paper.
Salt is optional but it helps to keep the piñata glue from molding. I didn’t want to chance mold even though the weather was warm so I used it.
The vase is optional but when I used it in a previous project similar to this piñata, I found it so much easier to use as a stand to allow the balloons to dry. The vase is worth using but if you don’t have one, you can always use whatever you have around the house. I am always about using what’s around the house. For example, you can use a 2 liter bottle with the top cut off. Just add some things to weigh and stabilize it.
Research and Skeleton Prep
The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of character or theme you want your piñata to be. My nephews decided on a Pokémon theme. When I was researching online, Pikachu is such a popular character and many people had already made piñatas of him. So I opted to do Charmander, because he was an old-school Pokémon character (yes, I used to watch the cartoon/ Anime when it when it first came out). Plus with 4 boys, I thought the fire themed character would be perfect.
Do some research online and print out (preferably in color) at least 3 pictures that you like of the character or theme you want for the piñata. I kept the printout as models to refer to when I was building Charmander.
The main basis for the piñata is the creation of what I like to call the skeleton, kind of like how crabs have their skeletons on the outside to protect their internal body. For this you will need balloons, piñata glue, and magazine.
I tore pages out of the magazines and cut them lengthwise into 4 strips for each page.
For the piñata glue you will need to mixed well in a bowl: 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of water, and 3 tablespoons of salt. I used a whisk and mixed until there were no more clumps.
Then I blew up 2 balloons, 1 for the head and 1 for the body. Charmander has a much smaller head but I wanted to create an even friendlier character so I increased his head size. I used tape to attach the balloons together and placed it on top of the vase. You will need at least 5-9 layers of body shell so when blowing the balloons, remember to calculate this eventual increase in thickness. The more layers, the harder it will be to break the piñata.
Days of Building the Skeleton
To start building the first outer shell, dip a single piece of paper strip all the way into the piñata glue. Use your fingers to slide down the excess glue before placing it on the balloon. Continue to drip more strips into the glue and layering it on the balloons. You want to overlap the strip just enough to cover all of the balloons. When you get to the bottom of the balloons, carefully flip the balloons so that you can cover the bottom in strips as well. Allow the balloons to dry at least 24-48 hours. Remember to flip it so that the bottom can also dry. You can use save the extra glue for the next day by adding a little bit of water and wrapping it with saran wrap.Continue this process of building the skeleton layers for at least 5 layers. I did this for 6 layers since I knew I was going to use duct tape. If you want to use less duct tape, then use more layers.
Cutting and Filling the Piñata
Once the head and body is fully dry, it’s time to use the X-acto knife to cut out a part of the piñata to stuff the goodies into. I chose the back where the tail would be so that it can be covered over. I cut a U shape and pulled out the 2 attached together balloon pieces.
Then I drilled 2 holes with the X-acto knife into the head. I spaced the holes far enough that I could reinforce the top with lots of duct tape . The easiest reason why piñatas often fail to be exciting is when it breaks and falls from the point in which it hangs. So this area between the 2 holes should be reinforced as much as possible with lots of duct tape that run parallel and perpendicular. I didn’t use as much duct tape as I should have and the rope actually broke through. This was because the sword used to hit Charmander got entwined with the rope a few times. So I’d say if you think you should, you definitely should double or triple the amount of duct tape used to reinforce it.
For the rope to go through the holes easily, I taped a pen to the end of the rope and was easily able to push the pen in one hole and out the other with ease.
I lifted the back flap and filled the piñata with tons of sweet candies, school supplies, and toys. The piñata goodies on the candy alone was a 3.5 pound bag so this piñata was not only built tough but also was able to hold more goods.
Duct Tape Indestructible
It’s time for the extra fun part of putting some major duct tape on the piñata. Depending on how much of an indestructible piñata you want, you can leave areas without duct tape. This allowed for a chance for the piñata to break. I used only 1 layer of duct tape. It’s still a piñata, and I just needed it to hold long enough so that all the kids and teens had an opportunity to hit the piñata.
Arms, Legs, and Tail
You can opt to paint the piñata and allow it to dry. This is not a necessary step but I did it because I figured that the magazine’s variety of color might show through after the tissue paper was applied. I found out that all I needed to do was add more layers of tissue which was what I did with the yellow belly of Charmander.
Charmander needs 2 arms, 2 legs, and a tail. To build these, I used toilet paper and paper hand towel rolls that I saved. These worked great. The flame of the tail I used and shaped a brown bag which I later covered in flaming color duct tape. Charmander’s hand was 1 roll each in which I shaped the finger
s and then used brown bag to shape the thumbs. I used duct tape to seal and shape. The legs required 2 rolls each. They were easy to shape by cutting them and shaping the toes as shown in the picture. I added the candies and toys to all of these parts then used duct tape to attach them to the main piñata. Adding goodies to these body parts helped teased the kids into wanting more goodies since these parts were going to fall off first.
Charmander needed a face so I used duct tape to fashion him one. When doing details for the pieces to layer on the eyes, I used parchment paper. I cut out a piece of duct tape and put it on the parchment paper. Then I cut that shape I needed on the duct tape. When the shapes are done, I just pull off the back of the parchment papers and attach the colors to each other.
I used my printout to create the mouth with the tongue and teeth. 2 small black nostrils, and the eyes with 2 black wrinkled accent pieces. The facial features I taped on to Charmander’s face and instantly the piñata had character and personality. He’s so cute!
Tissue Paper Fur
Tissue paper really helped Charmander look more like a piñata. I folded and cut a sheet of tissue paper into strips. Then I folded the strip lengthwise and cut perpendicular 1/2 length cuts along the length of the tissue paper. Then I opened the tissue strip up slightly and readjust so that it shows 2 layers of fringed tissues paper. I glued the top layer down and this helped with saving time. Then I just cut the strip as needed to cover the piñata.
I started with the yellow which covered the bottom of the tail and the belly of Charmander. Then I moved on to the orange tissue paper which covered everything else except the toes and the hands.
For the face, I layered the tissue fringe slightly under the edges of the eyes and mouth. I readjusted the eye wrinkles and nostrils so that it was on top of the tissue paper.
Now this almost indestructible piñata is done! It’s time to hit the boys’ birthday party.
We didn’t have a tree to hang the almost indestructible Charmander piñata but a high metal canopy structure worked just fine.
Kids lined up from youngest to oldest around the piñata.
The basic rules were that each kid had to hold on the stick (we used a Nerf sword the first round and then the metal baseball bat in the second round) and not let it go when it was his/her turn to try to hit the piñata. He or she also could not move their feet. Lastly, the kids could not run to grab candy until the kid who beat the goods out of the piñata stopped swinging the sword/ bat and actual got a chance to grab the first candy from his or her hit. These 3 rules helped to make the piñata party a bit safer.
I had a blast tying the scarf around the kids, spinning them 3 times and helping him or her touch the piñata before each kid went wild in his/ her swings. Charmander was very nibble at moving up and down and around. Some of the kids yelled directions (“up,” “down”) to help the blindfolded ninja strike as best as he or she could with the sword but Charmander was too strong to give much goods out. If anything, the Nerf sword got a beating as shown in one of the pictures.
It was super cute that at one point 1 of the tootsie rolls that refused to fall when his tail when fell. It stayed stuck to Charmander’s butt because of duct tape. Picture 6 shows a close up. Something I didn’t plan but might just do next time. The kids loved it. I overheard 1 of the kids saying, “So that’s how chocolate is made.” Absolutely hilarious and definitely one of my favorite moments. Oh and that chocolate held for around for a few rounds too.
Charmander wasn’t a completely indestructible piñata but he came close. In the end, he let go of all his goods and I made good on creating a piñata that would give all 16 kids a chance to hit the piñata.
This Easter Sunday weekend make sure you stay safe hunting for Easter eggs by bringing along this awesome and easy to make 10 rubber bands pencil shooter. You never know when an Easter bunny or a giant Peep might attack. I’ll show you how to make a single and a double shooter as well. Pow-pow!!
According to pencils.com, the pencil came into popular use with a large graphite deposit found in 1564 in England. I have personally been using pencils since forever. And when it comes to computer or pencil, I prefer the good old-fashioned tool to write with. I’m very visual and I like to see projects that I can hold onto.
1. Secure clothespin towards the eraser end of the pencil using 2 rubber bands. When looping the rubber bands on, make sure to twist each time.
2. Open the mouth of the clothespin and secure 1 rubber band to the tip of the pencil.
Double Rubber Band Shooter
You will Need:
3 rubber bands
1. Use 2 rubber bands to secure 2 clothespins on the pencil. The clothespin should be opposite of each other on the pencil.
2. Attach rubber bands as bullet and shoot. Remember to shoot the rubber band that you loaded last first.
10 plus Bonus Rubber Band Shooter/ Gun
a bunch of pencils (29 plus 20)
a bunch of clothespin (10)
a bunch of rubber bands
1. Tie 27-29 pencils together using 2 rubber bands to secure.
2. Make 10 single shooters with 2 pencils as the base (versus 1 in the single shooter).
3. Use rubber bands to secure the single shooters onto the bunch of pencils. The rubber bands should be higher on the pencil bunch. The pencil bunch is designed to be held when shooting off the clothespin.
4. Load your rubber band bullets and have fun shooting.
*If you watch the video above, you’ll know that the bonus was an added clothespin which resulted in 11 total bullets!
Remember, play nice and don’t shoot people or real animals. Rubber bands hurt!
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(This is an update of my DIY from instructables.com.)
Happy Halloween!! This would make a great accessary wear for your Halloween costume.
I don’t know about you but this rubber band bracelet is the only way I would get close to any spider. This Spider rubber band bracelet is so cool, it could literally make you start flinging web.
What I love is that while this bracelet uses Rainbow Loom rubber bands; you do not even need a loom/ hook or even clips. Make yourself stand out by wearing one of these. They are also perfect for Halloween and cosplay.
For my spider I choose the following colors:
Purple (head and body) You will need the most of this color.
Pink (eyes) Only need 2.
Black (body base and legs)
If you like another color combo, get creative and go for it. I know that next time I build this one, I’d want to try out the glow in the dark ones.
*A quick note, I am sensitive to latex and Rainbow Loom rubber bands are latex free. Also these rubber bands do not break like the cheap ones you find in bulk for a few dollars less.
Building the Skeleton:
The body and the head needs to be built first. I coined the term, “skeleton” for when rubber bands are attached together, end to end by tying them to each other.
1. For the body you will need a bit more rubber bands in the skeleton than the head. I just start rolling one end of the skeleton into a ball and the every last rubber band, I used to loop 2 times around the whole thing to secure it. I did the same for the purple head.
2. These bases are not perfect and as you can see, there are always lumps and loops. Don’t worry about these. The loops actually are useful because you will need to find 2 of them to pull out, 1 in the head and 1 in the body, to attach to each other.
3. Add more purple to stabilize and contour the head and body.
1. For the legs you will need to make 8 spider legs. Each leg create a small skeleton of 1 black tied to 1 white.
2. Loops the black pieces in alternating sides to the neck of the spider.
3. To create the thicker leg it’s time to “bead.” A bead is very easy to make. To bead grab a black rubber band and twist it several times around the black skeleton leg of the spider. I used 4 black rubber bands to create beads along each leg.
4. When all the legs are done, the spider will look almost right. You can fatten it up by adding more purple rubber bands throughout the head and body. Make sure when looping the bands to ensure that the legs are also included so that they will appear easy when spread out instead of in a cluster.
Note that in the last picture I use the loom only so I can show you spread out how the spider legs look. Again, no loom needed.
1. Tie a skeleton of 3 purple rubber bands. Bead 2 pink onto the middle purple rubber band. Make sure to space the pink appropriately as eyes for your spider.
2. Secure the eyes by looping of the right and left of the middle rubber band to the top legs. Then loop the 2 other sides appropriately to the body.
3. Add more purple to the head and body to secure the eyes.
Yay, the spider is now complete and finishing the web is next.
To make the web took a bit of figuring out. Thankfully long nails helped me in untying the mistakes I kept making as this bracelet was a learning process. The good news is I have figured out how many rubber bands you need to make a nice fitting web.
1. The web for under the head will be created first. Build 2 skeletons of 1 white with 1 purple. Use the purple to attach the white to the bottom side of the spider.
2. The top set of legs need another white each. There are a total of 3 whites to the second set of legs which was then tied with 1 white extra..
3. Next are the very bottom legs. They need 2 white rubber bands attached to each and then tied and spaced with 1 white. The attached white will need 1 white on each side.
4. Transition to the 3rd set of legs by making the web 2 whites long each. Each of the end white should meet with the end white of the 4th/ bottom legs and be tied together with another white rubber band. Add 2 more whites to each side and then tie them together in a double knot.
5. Secure the 2nd and 3rd legs together using a skeleton of 2 whites.
How to Wear:
This Spider Rubber Band Bracelet is easiest to wear by:
1. Place the spider on top of your hand, right side up.
2. Look for the double-knot loop and bring that bracelet piece under your wrist.
3. Look for the open single knot loop and bring that bracelet piece under your hand.
4. Place the 4 open white rubber bands appropriately on each finger. I like to do the ones that come under the eyes first.
As you can see, this bracelet can be worn left or right handed and even the spider can rest against your palm.
*For a better fit on the fingers, I think it would be best to use thin, white metal rings that are sized more appropriately for your fingers instead of the rubber bands. These Rainbow Loom bands can constrict the blood flow to your fingers if they are too tight. You can also switch the finger white webs with larger size rubber bands too.
Although it won’t look as cool, you can also opt to forgo the finger bands and tie the 2 webs pairs as loops with more white skeletons. Just secure it between the fingers instead of on each one.