How to Make a Unicorn Pinata From Cardboard: A Magical DIY Project

Are you ready to add a touch of magic to your next baby shower or birthday party? Look no further than a DIY unicorn pinata! Creating your own unicorn pinata is easier than it looks,...

Are you ready to add a touch of magic to your next baby shower or birthday party? Look no further than a DIY unicorn pinata! Creating your own unicorn pinata is easier than it looks, and it's a cost-effective way to make your celebration even more special. In this article, I'll guide you through the process of crafting a stunning unicorn pinata from cardboard. So grab your tape, glue, and a few other materials, and let's get started!

Supplies You Will Need to Make a Unicorn Pinata:

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let's gather all the supplies you'll need for this project. Don't worry if you don't have everything on hand; you can improvise with items you already have in your craft closet. Here's what you'll need:

  • Cardboard (old boxes work well)
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • A marker or pen
  • Craft glue (Elmer's glue or modge podge)
  • Tissue paper for the body of the unicorn
  • Another color of tissue paper for the hooves, mane, and tail
  • Acrylic paint matching your tissue colors (optional)
  • Sparkly foam, paper, or more tissue paper for the horn
  • Hot glue gun
  • The free printable pattern included in this article (unicorn eyes and outline)

Step 1. Print and Cut the Unicorn Template

Start by downloading the unicorn outline PDF and the Unicorn Eyes PDF provided. Print them at 100% scale and ensure the 1-inch test square is the correct size. Cut out the templates along the black lines and apply glue to the grey boxes. Overlap the pieces and glue the unicorn together. Trace the unicorn onto a flat piece of cardboard, such as a flattened cardboard box. Duplicate this step to create two unicorn cardboard cutouts.

Unicorn pinata template out of cardboard

Step 2. Make the Cardboard Edging Strips

Creating the edging strips will give your unicorn pinata a three-dimensional look. Cut out strips of cardboard, approximately 4 inches wide. The width of the strips will determine the thickness of the pinata. Cut enough strips to outline the entire unicorn, ensuring they are uniform in thickness. You can use a heavy-duty paper cutter or scissors for this task.

Cutting cardboard for pinata

Step 3. Tape the Cardboard Strips to the Unicorn Cutout

Starting from the bottom, bend each cardboard strip and tape its edge to the edge of the unicorn cutout. The strips should be perpendicular to the unicorn's body. You can use the edge of a countertop to help curve the strips around the edges. Continue outlining the entire body of the unicorn. If you plan to fill the pinata with candy, now is the time to do so. Once you've outlined the unicorn and possibly filled it, tape the second unicorn cutout on top to close the pinata's body.

Taping the cardboard around the unicorn

Step 4. Paint the Cardboard

To enhance the appearance of the tissue paper, paint the cardboard. You can use white and pink paint to match the tissue paper colors. Apply a base coat of white paint to the body of the unicorn and pink paint to the hooves. Let the paint dry; it doesn't need to be perfect since it will be covered by tissue paper.

Painting the unicorn pinata

Step 5. Cut and Attach the Tissue Paper

Cut strips of tissue paper measuring approximately 4x12 inches. Then, cut lines about ¾ inch apart along the length of the strips, leaving an inch on one side to serve as the glue area. Stack multiple strips to cut them simultaneously. Starting from the bottom, glue pink tissue paper to the hooves and work your way around each side of the legs. Add layers of white tissue paper to cover the entire unicorn's body, ensuring it's evenly wrapped.

Cutting tissue paper for unicorn pinata fur

Step 6. Make the Unicorn Hair

Create the unicorn's hair by making a pile of pink fringe using more tissue paper. Glue the fringe onto the head, facing to the right and left, and aim for a fluffy, pointed-up appearance. For the tail, twist a few strips of fringed tissue paper into a cone shape and attach them to the bottom of the unicorn. Ensure the top tip of the tail is covered with white tissue paper to create the illusion of it emerging from under the fur.

Making the unicorn pinata's hair

Step 7. Make the Unicorn's Horn

Cut out a quarter-circle shape from cardboard and roll it tightly into a cone. Make sure the bottom of the cone is flat for easy gluing. You can wrap the horn with any material you like, such as sparkly foam or paper. Apply a generous amount of hot glue to secure the horn to the unicorn's head.

The completed unicorn pinata

Step 8. Attach the Eyes to the Sides of the Head

Cut out the unicorn eyes from the printable pattern and position them on the unicorn's face. Once you're satisfied with their placement, glue them on securely.

Step 9. Admire Your Unicorn

Congratulations! Your unicorn pinata is complete! Take a step back and admire the adorable creation you've made. Whether you use it as a display or fill it with candy, it's sure to be a hit at your party.

The completed unicorn pinata

UPDATE After using this pinata as a display for my toddler's unicorn-themed birthday, she loved it so much that she wants to use it again next year, but this time filled with candy! If you decide to fill your pinata, consider cutting a hole in the bottom and filling it before sealing it. Don't worry; I'll save mine in a closet until next year!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the steps, feel free to reach out. Have fun creating your own unicorn pinata and be sure to share your masterpiece with others!

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