Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and I’m going to help you get in the spirit of the day by showing you how to reuse materials you have around the house to make your own simple upcycled piñata. I can’t be the only one who has a closet full of reusable wrapping supplies, right?

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Cereal box (the largest you have)
  • Paper to cover the cereal box (grab some from the recycling bin)
  • Crepe paper or tissue paper
  • Various decorations

You may notice that I didn’t include balloons on that list. The reason is two-fold: First, I just read the article “Why You Should Ditch Balloons If You Love the Environment” and, second, I don’t have time to mess around with waiting for glue to dry.

Instructions for Making Your Upcycled Piñata:

  1. Cover your cereal box with paper. I used paper from our recycling bin, which is full of multicolored handouts that my daughters bring home from school. It doesn’t matter if the paper is all the same color because it will be covered by the tissue or crepe paper in the next step.

NOTE: Be sure to cut a hole for the candy to go in. You should also make sure to put a couple of holes on top for whatever you’ll be using to hang up your piñata. You could put your string or wire through the holes now or wait until after you’ve covered your box. Just be sure to remember where you punched your holes.

  1. Cut strips of tissue paper (or use crepe paper). I have quite a collection of used tissue paper that I was able to reuse for this project. Cut along the bottom of each strip to make a frayed edge. Then begin gluing the tissue paper to the box, starting at the bottom with the frayed edge facing down.

  1. At this point, you are basically done with your piñata. You can fill it with candy and have at it, or you can add your own additional decorative touches.

This is a really simple project that would be a quick, fun craft to do with your kids for Cinco de Mayo or other piñata-friendly holidays. And, it’s not only easy, it uses upcycled materials. You could also make a bunch of smaller, individual piñatas by reusing snack-sized boxes (like granola bars). It is truly so simple and quick, the sky is the limit. I’m off to make more for our Cinco de Mayo–themed teacher appreciation lunch. Enjoy!

By Wendy Gabriel

Wendy Gabriel is a freelance eco-writer based in California. Wendy's work has been featured in numerous publications and websites, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox Business News and For nearly six years, she was a weekly contributor on a popular radio talk show in the Upper Midwest with a segment titled “Simple Tips for Green Living.”