Sunday, February 21, 2010

Make Your Own Castle Pull-String Pinata

I thought it would be really fun for the little princesses attending my daughter's princess birthday party to get treasures and sweeties from a castle pinata. I had been collecting loads of cereal and juices boxes for a project like this and I thought it would be fun to keep keep this castle as part of the party theme. It was a lot of fun to make, but took some time to initially design and create the structure but then decorating it was super easy.

Materials used:
  • 1 large cereal box
  • 2 1-liter juice boxes
  • 1 "fridge-pack" soda box
  • 1 extra Kleenex box (for filler on tops)
  • pencil
  • Scissors
  • 1 bottle PVC or Elmer's white glue
  • sheets of crepe paper
  • glitter glue for accent decorating
  • stickers
  • cellophane tape
  • ribbon for pull-strings
How I Did It:

1) Cut the very tops off all the boxes.
2) Measure along the top of each box and draw an odd number of blocks to make for the tops. Cut down the lines and fold down every other square to make a blocked look on top.

3) For the Roof: Measure the top openings of each box and cut out squares/rectangles in corresponding size adding a 1/2 inch "flap allowance". Cut out 1/2 in squares out of the corners and then fold down the 1/2 inch flap. Put glue on the flaps and place them just inside the tops so that they are even with the cut out block shapes. Secure a rubber band around the outside of the box like a clamp where the tabs would be and let the glue dry.

(If I were to do this over again I would just keep the tops flat and then cut out a long piece of cardboard with the alternating block tops, wrap it around the top and glue it in place.  It all really depends on what kind of box you are able to use.)

4) For the Drawbridge Tower: Cut a "fridge pack" box to the length you want it to stick out in front of the castle towers. Cut a corresponding sized hole out of the front of the cereal box leaving a little flap (1-1.5") to attach to the top of the roof of the tower with glue. Apply glue on the bottom of the drawbridge tower box where it overlaps with the cereal box as well to secure the bottom of the pinata.

5) When the drawbridge tower and tower roves have been glued and dried, it is time to attach the two towers to the structure with glue. Secure towers with large rubberbands or some other type of clamping device until glue dries.

6) An extra step you can take is to slightly spray paint around the outside of the pinata to make all the surfaces a uniform color. This will minimize any of the pictures or lettering from the boxes to show through when you go to decorate it.

7) I used a sheet of crepe paper that was already came folded into a nice compact rectangle. So I simply cut off strips about 1 1/4 inches wide and then made 3/4 inch cuts into the crepe paper about 1/4 inch spacing apart. Then I unrolled the strip of crepe paper and it was ready to attach.

8) On the bottoms of the castle and towers, I glued on plain strips of crepe paper that overlapped up the sides of the boxes about 1/2 inch to make a good base. Next I started from the bottom and applied a line of glue all the way around the castle about 1 inch up from the bottom. Then I started to attach the strip of cut crepe paper wrapping it all the way around the perimeter of the boxes. I cut it off where they start and end met. For the next layer I applied glue about 1/2 inch up from the last line of crepe paper. I continued to wrap the castle with the frilly cut crepe paper until I reached about an inch from the top.

9) At the very tops I wrapped the block pieces and the roof with plain pieces of crepe paper and overlapped down the sides about 1/2 inch. Then I finished up the top by placing one more pieced of frilly cut crepe paper just even with the bottom of the blocked tops.

10) Next I cut out some pink crepe paper pieces for the windows and attached them with glue and lined the windows with silver glitter glue.

11) I then cut out a draw bridge out of remnant box and wrapped it with pink crepe paper and attached it with glue.

12) Another touch I added was the Disney Princess sticker in the front.

13) I cut a 3"x3" square in the bottom (cutting only three sides) to make the trap door. I glued on some plain crepe paper around the cut edges to finish it off nicer. Next I poked a hole in the middle of the trap door and stuck a long piece of ribbon in it from the inside tying a large knot (double knot) to secure the ribbon.

14) Next I closed the trap door and attached several more ribbons about 2 1/2 - 3 feet in length to the bottom of the box with plain cellophane tape holding the "real" pulling ribbon off to the side.

15) I then pulled the "real" ribbon down amongst the middle of the "fake" ribbons and attached it in place with some tape so that it looked as though it was just like the others. Then I trimmed the "real" ribbon to the same length as the others to conceal it even better.

16) Once the ribbons are attached you can add in all of your goodies and candy!!!!

16) To conceal the edges of the taped ribbon, I then cut a few more pieces of the frilly cut crepe paper. I glued them in place between the lines of ribbon with just little dabs of glue to hold the paper in place on the edges. (This picture is from after all the ribbons were pulled)

17) Finally we punched two holes at the top of the castle where the balancing point was at with the candy in it. Then I used a heavy weight string or yarn to feed through the holes and attach it to a rod that hangs across the ceiling of our conservatory making sure the pull strings were at a level that the children could reach them.

If you liked this, check out the rest of the things I did for my daughter's princess birthday party.

Also check out the homemade Lightning McQueen pinata I made for my son's 3rd birthday.


  1. I came across this post and want to ask you a question. I am hoping to make this next week for my daughters first birthday party. This looks simple and fun. If you were to make this again what would you do differently? It looks easy and all but I am a bit nervous on making it.

  2. Wow! This was really well done! Thank you for all the great pictures...they're amazing!

  3. Great! Thanks so much for posting this. I need to make pinata for my daughter's party. Thanks so much it was a great help

  4. Thank you very much for sharing this idea.I made one for my daughter and she loved it.I also found it easy and cheap.Where I live they tried to sell me one for 20 dollars and I only spent about 5.Thank very much.

  5. Hi liked the pinata that you daughter is crazy of princesses I am thinking of a princess party and the the castle pinata is a perfect idea and she will definitely enjoy it ...

  6. Precious! I love the idea of making the pull string pinatas. After spending all that time making such a masterpiece, I might cry if a bat went after it. Lol!

  7. That's incredible! I never do crafts anymore, but I think I will do this for my daughter's third birthday. Thanks!