Because what's a party without a pinata, aimirite? And a Star Wars birthday party needs a Death Star Pinata.
This is the fourth (and final) post in the ones about Max's Star Wars 5th birthday party!
You can read the first three here: Party Overview | Themed Food | Costumes
How to Make a Death Star PInata
I hadn't done paper mache since junior high or so, but I wasn't going to let that stop me! I just used the old flour and water and stolen-from-parents-newspaper method, and it worked out great!
We started with a beach ball and did 6-8 layers of paper over it, letting each layer dry in between. (I actually tried doing one using one of those punch ball balloon things, but it popped and was very sad when it did. Also, it wasn't really round.)
So I was in charge of the mache-ing department, but Jamie totally took over the decorating part.
I alternated where I started each layer as well, because it gets really thick where all those ends pile up, so I'd do a layer, let it dry, randomly rotate it and start another layer… it isn't all that scientific of a thing, but I did want to pay attention to my overall roundness.
Because I made this over the course of several weeks, I'd store my flour and water mixture in the fridge. Protip: If you do the same, dump off the water that separates to the top, and replace with nice warm tap water. Takes off the shock of fridge-cold water!
Once I had my nice paper mache ball, we had to set about turning it into the Death Star!
Step one is the indented part. Jamie used a hole saw to cut that out for me. This is also the step where you deflate and remove the beach ball, leaving the hollow paper mache ball. (You'll notice it goes around the spigot for inflating the beach ball:
Now, this is a kinda weird part.
It's time to situate the hanging hardware and then fill it!
Drill a hole in the top of the sphere, keeping mind where the indented part should be. Then we used paracord and a few circles of scrap wood to create a thing to hold it up. 2 circles of the wood with holes in the middle, then a stick to hold the paracord that ran through the holes, then out and out the top. I'm totally not explaining it well, but I hope you get it! Basically, you want a larger surface area to distribute the weight, instead of a single spot. Nothing worse than a pinata falling down before anyone gets to take a whack at it!
Once it's filled, use a couple more layers of paper mache to seal up the hole!
This is where I handed the project off to Jamie… he had a vision for the Death Star piñata, and I'd only get in the way. 🙂
A couple of coats of primer happens to be just the right color grey…
Then he used a brush and black paint to start adding the details…Prepped for the final coat of darker grey spray paint:
And then we're done! We had a Death Star piñata.
But wait! There's more! (I feel like the infomercial guy)
I don't call him “My Ridiculous Husband” for no reason. Jamie had 2 concerns; how would we HIT this awesome piñata we'd made, and how would we blindfold the kids while they took their swings, and still stay in theme. (Because of COURSE this is a concern!)
His solutions? A lightsaber and a blasting helmet shield, of course!
“Oh, sure!” I think, “We can spray paint a broomstick for the lightsaber! That'll be cute!”
He looks at me like I've spouted a second nose. Shakes his head and goes into the garage.
And about 20 minutes later, comes back in with this:
Because of course, he did. Yes, he turned a lightsaber handle on the lathe.
So, he did end up using a broomstick that was spray painted, but he added this little bonus as well. (It has since been cut down so Max can use it to practice his baseball swing; multitasking!)
And the last little detail, the blindfold for the piñata hitting Jedis. Well, how was Luke Skywalker trained? With a blasting shield that covered his eyes of course! “Find me a cheap helmet!” Jamie said! And so I did. Thanks, Amazon, you have everything!
And I came home from work one day to find this:
And as for the Death Star piñata?
They killed it.
So that's it for Max's amazing 5th birthday Star Wars party! He says he wants Angry Birds next year… we'll see what happens!
Just checked out your other Star Wars posts- all SO creative!
I love the grape light saber idea(b/c it’s simple enough for slacker moms like me!)
The sabers were cute, we just had to stay on top of the kids to make sure the empty sticks didn’t become weapons! LOL
That is insane and SO cool!! Your husband is completely ridiculous and I really really wish I had him around for birthday party planning. 😀
Right? I love how excited he can get about this stuff! He’s the best.
Ace tutorial…we have 27(!) kids so far coming to the party. How many kids did it take and how many hits per kid before they destroyed your pinata? I’m scared the first kid will do it then the rest (including my son) will cry!
We had about 15 kids, and everyone got 3 swings. We had them go from youngest to oldest, and my kiddo got to go first so he was guaranteed a turn.
I’m curious about the type of ball you used. Construction on our Death Star began today (for a mid-May party) and now I’m thinking the ball may be the wrong kind. I got one of the big bouncing balls from the net bin at Walmart but you mentioned using a beach ball so I’m thinking mine might be the wrong kind (and too rigid to pop without prematurely destroying the Death Star). Thanks for the great tutorial!
I used a cheapo inflateable beach ball from a party store… I think the bouncy rubber ball might not deflate small enough to get it out of the hole when it’s time to remove it… I also tried one of those punch ball balloons, but it wasn’t really round and it popped. Oops! LOL
Love this idea! My boyfriend is a huge Star Wars fan and I’m planning on throwing him a surprise themed party and have your awesome idea for the pinata too!
Just a little question though, I didn’t really understand what you did to get the indented part. Did you cut it out of the existing paper mache and glue it in reverse?
Thanks a bunch and congrats on your great ideas!
Hi Dawn! That’s exactly what we did, yes. 🙂
I love that you’re throwing a Star Wars party too… I’m already planning another one! LOL
My son wants a Force Awakens party for his 8th birthday, but I don’t know how to top this guy. I’m pretty sure I’d cry if we had to hit a BB8 pinata! LOL
Thanks so much for stopping by!
This is so amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!! I noticed that the beach ball didn’t appear to be on the inside of the pinata (the photo after it’s hit)- did you remove it? Do you think the beach ball made the pinata too strong for the kids to hit?
Hi Charis! Yes, we removed the beach ball once the paper mache is dry!
Thank you so much for your reply! Super helpful tutorial. =)