Birthday Party Decorations

Decorations, p. 3

Clown Pinata

Older kids will have fun taking a swing at these cheerful papier-mache pinatas.

What you need:

  • 16-inch-diameter balloon
  • Newspaper cut in strips
  • Papier- mache (In a large bucket, mix 3 parts water with 2 parts flour)
  • Masking tape
  • String
  • Crepe-paper fringe
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Felt
  • 1 1/2-inch-diameter wooden dowel to crack open pinata

To make:

Cover most of papier-mache form with yellow crepe-paper fringe, leaving space for a face. Cover facial area with white fringe. Fashion nose from rolled red crepe-paper fringe and other features from felt. Top off with a colorful party hat.

Craft-supply sources:

Colored crepe-paper fringe from Party City; visit for stores. Decorative paper and ribbons from Midori; call 800-659-3049.


Delight your guests by dangling these fluttering friends from the ceiling.

What you need:

  • Heavyweight patterned paper
  • Butterfly template (click below)
  • Chenille stems
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Craft glue
  • Pencil
  • Round craft punches
  • Fishing line
  • Tape

To make:

Using template as guide, cut butterflies of varying sizes from patterned paper. (If you like, punch holes in the smaller cutout so the pattern on larger cutout shows through.) To make butterfly, layer smaller cutouts on top of larger ones and glue together. For bodies, roll chenille stem around pencil to form spiral shape, bend another in half to form antennae, slide into spiral, and glue to center of paper. To hang, tie fishing line to chenille-stem body, and tape butterfly to ceiling.

Birds' Nests Favors

Fill doll-size straw hats (available at craft stores) with raffia or moss and add a little feathered ornamental bird (also available for a dollar or two at craft stores). Perch a bird on each nest and then add egg-shaped wrapped chocolates, wrapped speckled egg candies or gummy worms.

Flower Garland

What you need:

  • Flower and dragonfly Stiffened Eazy Felt Shapes by Consumer Products Enterprises
  • Fabric glue
  • Yarn
  • Low-temperature glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Fabric stiffener (optional)

To make:

Using fabric glue, layer flower and dragonfly shapes as desired and let dry. Using glue gun, attach shapes to length of yarn, and hang. If you can't find precut shapes that fit your party's theme, cut your own shapes from felt, then stiffen shapes by applying fabric stiffener, if desired.

Craft supply sources:

Yarn from Coats and Clark; call 800-648-1479 for stores. Felt from Kunin; call 800-292-7900. Stiffened Eazy Felt shapes by Consumer Products Enterprises; call 800-327-0059 for information.

Treasure Chest

Spray a Styrofoam cooler inside and out with black paint. Trim the lid and base of chest with gold ribbon. Cut out two 4-inch x 6-inch rectangles from yellow craft foam; glue one to the center of the lid in the front and the other directly below, on the chest, to make the lock. Heap the chest with gold-foil-covered chocolate coins.

Related Links:

Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the April 2002 issue of Parents magazine.

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