Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The green pig (Angry Birds) piñata

My son's 7th birthday is coming in 2 months. Yeah...I know...still quite long. But I'm already feeling nervous since a month ago because my son wanted to have a big birthday party like his other friends who have invited him on their 7th birthday parties. 

In Philippines, the 7th birthday is a very important event. The birthday is special and it has to be celebrated as much as we can. I learn about this culture now that I've been staying here for nearly 3 years. This year particularly important since most of my son's classmates will turn 7 years old. So, since beginning of the year, my son has been invited to many birthday parties; big, grand, expensive birthday parties.

We are not Filipino, but my son really really wanted to have his 7th birthday celebrated as big and grand as his other classmates. He keeps on asking me when will his turn to invite his friends. That's why I am very nervous since a month ago, especially thinking about the budget...:) Holding a big and grand birthday party isn't a cheap business. I have to think about so many things; from what's inside the loot bags, the food, the games to add the fun in the party, and the piñata (the thing that's filled up with many candies and the children take turn to hit it until it breaks so they can take all the candies).

So, in trying my best to keep the budget low but still meet all the standards for a 7 year-old birthday party, I get my hands dirty and started to make things myself. At first I wanted to serve the food from my own kitchen complete with my own idea of presenting the food "The Angry Birds"-way. I have trained myself and tried many combination of food so I can get the shape of all Angry Birds characters on the plate. Oh by the way, my son has chosen Angry Birds as the theme for his birthday party. He loves the Angry Birds game by Rovio. But then for the food business, I don't dare to take it myself. My son has planned to invite more than 40 children, not to mention their parents and their yayas (nannies)!!..:O I can't imagine myself creating 50 Angry Birds Bento though I know it will bring down my budget! I just take the decoration, the games, and the loot bag parts. I plan to engage a professional catering business to help me to serve the food.

The first thing came into my mind was to make the Angry Birds Piñata. I checked on the internet and browsed so many information and pictures about it and how to make it. I tempted to make the Red Angry Bird for the Pinata, but I think it's not the Red Angry Bird that should get beaten, it should be the green pig just like the game. So, I started making the pinata using the 4-layers papier-marché. It took me 5 days to complete it because I have to wait for each layer to really dry in 24 hours. The 5th day was to paint it.
If you are interested in making it also, I'd be happy to share with you how to do it.

What you need:
  1. 1 medium size balloon. Blow it to the desired size. The size of pinata depends on how big the balloon is.
  2. Old newspapers. Tear by hand; half, then tear vertically about 3cm each. Don't use scissor because the paper will hold well when it's torn by hand.
  3. White paper or paper hand towel. Also tear by hand the same as the newspaper. 
  4. Glue solution. You can use flour mix with water (1:2 =  for every 1 tbsp flour you put 2 tbsp water) or you can dilute a white glue with water until you have a smooth paste but not too watery.
  5. Vegetable oil 
  6. Masking tape
  7. Poster paint and the brush
  8. A medium size bowl for the balloon to sit while you do the papier-marché on it.
  9. Cardboard for the crown and the cover of candy hole.
How to make:
  1. Blow the balloon to the desired size then tie up the end.
  2. Sit the balloon in the bowl. Start by covering the whole area of the balloon using the vegetable oil. This is done to prevent the balloon from sticking to the newspaper. So it will be easier to pop/to release the air from the balloon later leaving the shape intact.
  3. By using papier-marché technique: dip the strips of newspaper 1 piece at a time in the glue solution. Then paste it to the balloon until you cover nearly all area of the balloon, except the top part that you have to leave it uncovered by newspaper so that you can put the candy inside. Try not to cover the end of the balloon where you tie up the balloon so that you can release the air from the balloon later.
  4. Keep on pasting strips of newspaper 1 layer at a time on top of each other until you complete all the area except the top part.
  5. After completing 1 layer, dry it up inside a warm room for at least half a day. It took me 24 hours to dry up completely each layer because it was raining for the whole week here in Philippines.
  6. I use 3 layers of newspaper strips. Then the last layer I use the white paper strips mixed with paper hand towel strips. But actually, if you want to paint the pinata, I prefer to use only white paper strips because the paper hand towel will absorb the paint and mix the colors on the pinata. But if you want to cover it with some paper crepe, then it really doesn't matter, even if you don't use the white paper layer.
  7. While waiting for the white layer to dry up, I started to create the nose and the ears by using the leftover newspaper strips that I crumpled together and secured with masking tape, then I shaped the pig nose and the ears. Then I do papier-marché again on the nose and ears, dry them up. After drying up, paint them green.
  8. Next I made the crown out of leftover cardboard from my grocery shopping bag. I told you I'm trying to keep the budget low. So, recycling things around the house is the best thing to do...:)
  9. Once the white paper layer all dried up, you can start to decorate your own way. You can paint it or wrap around with crepe paper. Oh, before you decorate it, pop the balloon first or release the air by untying the end of the balloon. Hopefully the shape still holds.
  10. I started to draw the eyes, eyebrows, and nose with pencil. Then I painted the whole area green except for the eyes and eyebrows. Don't forget to paint the eyes and eyebrows black.
  11. When the paint covering the pinata dried up completely, attached the nose and ears with glue and masking tape to hold until the glue dried and the nose and ears attached nicely. Paint 2 nose holes black and paint the ear shade black like in my pinata picture above. 
  12. The small whole where the end of the balloon was is used to hang the balloon while the open part that I have created earlier by not covering the balloon area with strips of newspaper, will be used to fill up the pinata with candies. After the candies are in, you can cover the whole with a hard cardboard and paint it the same color green.
  13. There you have your pinata...:)
  14. You can actually shape the pinata in any shape you like by attaching things on the main shape. Make sure you don't destroy the main shape...:)
My next project will be creating the beater. I plan to use a plastic bowling pin that I will take from my son's toy box and paint it with Angry Bird face...:) Hopefully the children will have fun beating this green pinata pig using the Angry bird beater...:-D

In the mean time, I still have to arrange everything else to make sure I meet my budget to hold my son's 7th birthday party. I will update this blog again as and when I have time...:)