Ice Cream Piñata Tutorial

Kaye was set on having a piñata at her ice cream party. That was pretty much her only request for her party. The last time I made paper maché was in elementary school. But if elementary school age kids can do it, I was sure I could make one. Plus, this way I can have the colors match the party and stuff it with good candy that the kids will actually enjoy.

Tips about making a piñata: Start at least a week before the party. Just about each step requires about 24 hours of drying time. I did most of the paper maché at night so it can dry over night and through the next day. Remember, if you made something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it in our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup multipurpose glue
  • balloon
  • wax paper
  • packaging tape
  • poster board
  • newspaper
  • large masking tape
  • glue sticks
  • crepe paper
  • unbleached coffee filter
  • cord, rope, or string
  • exacto knife
  • candy or other fillers

1. Make your adhesive mixture by combining the flour, water and glue. Mix well and do your best to get as much of the lumps out.

2. Tear newspaper into 2-inch pieces. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

3. To make the cone of the piñata, get a poster board and cut the length in half. Then roll it to cone shape and tape together using packaging tape. Blow up the balloon and use that to measure the opening of the cone. Trim the top of the cone so that it is even.

4. Cover the cone in wax paper so the poster board cone and wax paper can be removed later. Tuck wax paper in the bottom and top of the cone.

5. Start the paper maché by dipping a piece of newspaper in the adhesive mixture. Stir often because the flour and glue settle. After you dip the paper, run the paper between 2 fingers to remove the excess. Cover the cone from top to bottom one layer at a time. Don’t do more than 3 layers. Any more than 3 layers will make it too hard for the kids to hit open.

6. Allow to dry for 24 hours then remove the poster board and wax paper from the inside of the cone. The wax paper should peel right off the paper maché.

7. Blow up the balloon and have it fit on top of the cone. Set the cone in something, like a large vase. Then paper maché the ice cream. Do 3 layers like you did with the cone. Paper maché over the cone to connect the ice cream with the cone. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.

8. Once everything is dry, cut an opening flap with the exacto knife, only cutting 3 sides, on the ice cream part of the piñata. Make sure the opening is big enough for you to stick your hands through. As you cut the opening, that should pop the balloon. Remove the balloon.

9. Stuff the inside of the piñata with candy and crepe paper so all the candy doesn’t all settle at the bottom.

10. Using the knife again, cut an X at the top of the ice cream for the rope.

11. Thread the rope through the hole and tie a knot on the inside of the piñata. Make sure the knot is large enough that it doesn’t pull through the hole. You may need to double knot it. I used twine and braided it to make it stronger.

12. Tape the 3 sides of the opening with masking tape. I discovered that the clear packaging tape doesn’t stick to this surface.

13. Cut out the bottoms of the coffee filter so you only use the ruffled sides. Then use glue sticks (I used the strong permanent glue sticks) to glue the coffee filter to the cone part of the piñata. I found it easier to work the layers from the bottom up. I used unbleached coffee filter because I couldn’t find brown crepe paper.

14. Once you reach the ice cream portion of the piñata, start with the crepe paper. Also using the glue stick, work your way up to the rope. And done!

» Tell me… Do you make your own piñata or do your purchase them? What kind of candy to you like your children to eat?

51 Responses to “Ice Cream Piñata Tutorial”

  • Heather

    I’ve made several pinatas but have bought some too. My kids always have one at their parties. I have discovered you an use cardboard instead of doing paper mache for many kinds of pinatas. The easiest I made was a big Lego out of a cardboard box and small plastic cups for the “bumps”. I just primed it and painted instead of the tissue paper and it came out great.

  • Heather

    However your ice cream is super cute and my daughter now wants one just like it for her party in 3 weeks!

  • sarah

    I love the ice cream pinata tutorial. Very cool and instructive. I am going try and make it for dd’s birthday. Do you have any suggestions as to how to adapt it to make a pull a string version of it? Thanks!

  • Sally

    Thanks so much! I used this for my Spanish project and it turned out really cute! 🙂

  • laura

    I’m slightly confused on instructions 4 to 6. So you wrap the cone (made of poster board) w/ wax paper then you paper mache over the wax paper correct? Then let that dry and remove the wax paper…yet doesn’t that remove the mache?
    what am i missing? thnks

    • Tiffany

      yes, you paper mache over the wax paper that is wrapped over the cone so the paper mache doesn’t get stuck to the poster board. once it is dried, you removed the poster board and wax paper that’s on the inside of the ice cream cone portion of the piñata. it doesn’t remove the mache. it should stay in the cone form.

  • Anne

    Just made this pinata for my sister’s birthday party! Requires a lot of patience, and cheap balloons are not recommended for this project. The balloon deflated very quickly and the ice cream part was a little lopsided but it still looks wonderful! I only paid 11 dollars for materials and I would say it’s definitely worth it!

  • logan knouse

    i used a base layer of different colored tissue paper before the top ice cream ruffled crepe paper! it worked really well! :*

  • Isilma

    I just made a traffic light and it came out really great. Using black, red, ambers and green foam board , black streamers and paper tape and hot glue. The child is 12 years so indeed a shape not too babyish.


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