Cinco de Mayo is coming up and it’s the perfect excuse to mail an adorable pinata to your friends. Because we’re all looking for reasons to make these cute little guys and send them to each other, right?
That’s what I thought when I saw Aracely from Whack Piñatas’ adorable llamas on Pinterest and had to figure out how to turn it into a mini version. But beyond stuffing these mini pinatas with spicy Mexican candy, I decided to turn them into party invitations! When a fluffy white llama arrives in your mailbox bearing an invitation, you know you want to go to that party. The only thing better would be an actual Peruvian messenger aboard a real-life llama showing up at your door. That would be extra surprising.
Did you see how the invitation just slides out of the side of the pinata when you pull the string?? I like to think the string looks like a lead rope for the llama. I am happy to report that these work beautifully in the mail. I sent several last week and everyone figured out how to pull the invitation out without any instructions.
Okey dokey, let’s get started. You will need:
- your party invitations, which should not be taller than 4″
- baker’s twine
- gift tags
- cardstock, posterboard, or lightweight cardboard (an empty cereal box works great!)
- llama pinata template!! (click to print)
- tissue paper
- hot glue gun
- Make your invitation festive! Cut a few rounded corners of tissue paper, fringe the edges, and glue them onto the invitation. Then tape a bit of baker’s twine to the back of the invitation, so that it can be pulled out of the pinata later. Tie the baker’s twine to a little tag and write PULL on it, so people know they should pull it!
2. Cut out your llama template. *note: I made my llamas white, so I tried to keep the white side of my posterboard facing outwards, so that the cereal box print wouldn’t show through the white tissue paper. That’s why the template has two llama shapes–if you cut them both out, the right side will be facing outwards on the front and back, like a fabric pattern.
3. Also cut a long strip of posterboard that measures 1 and 1/2″ by 27″. I couldn’t get a 27″ long strip out of my cereal box, so I cut two strips (1 1/2″ x 18″ and 1 1/2 X 9″). You just need enough length to go around the llama shapes, so make as many strips as you need to add up to 27″ total. Keep all of them at 1 1/2″ wide.
4. Beginning with just one llama cutout, tape the strip around the edge of the entire shape. You can see a video of me doing this on a different mini pinata. If you have more than one strip, just keep adding until the entire shape now has a border.
5. Place the other llama cutout on top of the border you just created and tape it in place. *note: I find it helpful to tape the corners first, to keep the shape tight, and then tape the sides to the border strips.
6. Make sure you do not tape the neck closed on this side – leave a gap from under the chin down to the top of the leg. This is where the invitation will be pulled from.
7. Next, insert an invitation into the pinata. You should do this before gluing your fringe, but for the pictures, I glued the leg fringe on early so you can see how the fringe will go around the front legs and then open for the invitation slit. Just roll up the invitation and gently tuck it inside the neck, leaving the gift tag and baker’s twine hanging out, so it can be pulled.
8. Using whatever color you like, cut strips of tissue paper and fringe the edges. If you want a fluffier llama, make the strips wider, with deeper, longer fringe cuts. Using a hot glue gun, glue the fringe on the bottom of the feet and around the front legs and around the back legs. Then glue the fringe under the belly.
9. As you glue the fringe on the body, be careful not to glue your invitation slit shut. You can see in the picture the I start a strip at the edge of the slit and glue down across the body, on both sides. Continue to glue from edge to edge, keeping the invitation slit open, until you reach the neck. Then glue fringe around the neck until the entire pinata is covered!
10. Adorn your pinata! Cut some colorful rectangles, fringe the edges, and layer them to make a saddle. Twist a strip of fringe to make tassels to hang from the ears and the lead rope. *note: Can you see in the picture how the rope around the neck doesn’t block the invitation from being pulled out? To do this, glue the rope in place on either side of the slit, and then cut the rope so that the invitation can still slide out. You can also draw eyes and a mouth, and glue a bridle around the nose!
Awww, he’s so cute! These would also be adorable place cards, am I right?!
Also! If you’re not interested in assembling and hot-glue-gunning for your party, you can purchase the original inspiration for this project at Whack Pinatas! Aracely is a wizard pinata master, definitely check out her all her amazing work!