Blog, DIY Parties, Kids Stuff, Projects

Paper Bag Pinatas … Think Outside The Toy Box

June 9, 2014
DIY Paper Bag Tutorial | View From The Fridge

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  We had a busy weekend … but a fun one!  Owen’s fourth birthday party was on Saturday.  We planned to have a casual party at the park by the lake, however the weather changed that plan.  With thunderstorms and lots of rain, we decided to move the party indoors to our house.  It turned out just fine and most importantly … Owen had a great time!

About a week ago, Owen decided he wanted a superhero themed party.  Nothing like last minute, but we did manage to add a couple ‘superhero’ touches to the party.  I’ll share more of the details of the party in a couple days, but one the last minute projects we made fore the party was this DIY Paper Bag Pinata:

This also happens to be the third week of our fun summer series called Think Outside The Toy Box.


Think Outside The Toy Box is a collaboration with five other bloggers and myself to try to come up with NEW and CREATIVE ways to use household items (that aren’t traditionally thought of as toys).  This week’s theme was Paper Grocery Bags.  Perfect timing for our Paper Bag Pinata, right?!?

DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge

It’s a super cheap alternative to buying a pre-made pinata … and you can customize the look to match your theme!  You also have the opportunity to fill it with exactly what you’d like (we didn’t get too creative there, though … just a 5lb bag of candy).

Here’s how easy it is …


  1. Paper Grocery bag (or two if you want it extra challenging)
  2. Streamers in the color(s) of your choice
  3. Sewing machine
  4. Craft Glue
  5. A sturdy hanger
  6. Duct tape or packing tape.


DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge

  1. Use one bag if you want the pinata to be more easily broken open (we used two, and it was quite difficult to break … even for Matt).
  2. In each corner, cut a slit approximately 2″ long.
  3. Along the sides, remove the top of the bag inside these slits as shown above.
  4. Fill with candy or items of your choice.
  5. Grab hanger, and fold one side of paper bag over the hanger.  Secure with duct tape (or packing tape).
  6. Next, fold the other side over the hanger and secure to the outside of bag with duct tape.
  7. Next, create the decorations for the pinata.  I created a ‘Happy Birthday, Owen!” graphic in picmonkey and printed it onto cardstock.
  8. I then ruffled a paper streamer using my sewing machine.  To create ruffles, set machine to the tightest tension and longest stitch (a basting stitch).  Simply run your streamer through the machine, stitching near one edge.  These settings should cause the streamer to ruffle automatically.  SUPER EASY!!
  9. Next, I glued the streamer onto the back of the cardstock.
  10. Flipped over …
  11. Now … onto the bag.  You could decorate the bag a number of ways, but I choose to use ruffled streamers in various colors.  I simply ruffled one color long enough to wrap all the way around the bag (all four sides).
  12. I learned half way through that it is much easier to start at the bottom of the bag.  Glue one row in place.  Then add the next ruffle above the previous ruffle covering the top and the stitches of this previous ruffle.
  13. Once the ruffles are in place, glue on the graphic.





Next … hang your pinata and start swinging!!

We actually completely forgot about the pinata at the actual party.  Instead, we broke it out just after the party with just Owen’s cousins from Iowa (Charlie happened to be napping through the whole thing).

We tied it up with Molly’s leash (very classy, I know)and started swinging …

DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge

Swing away, Owen!


And Jadalyn’s turn …

DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge

Hit it, Jadalyn!

And Ashlyn …

DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge

Ashlyn’s turn

And after a solid 10 minutes of no progress …

DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge

Matt’s turn!


And finally … JACKPOT!

DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge

Now … instead of 20+ kids to share the 5 lbs with as planned, the three split it instead.  Yikes!  They did have a fun time, though!

I’ll be sharing some other details of the party later this week!  Right now, we’re still trying to rest up from the busy weekend!

DIY Paper Bag Pinatas  |  View From The Fridge


Here’s your turn!

What fun crafts, experiments, or games have you done using a paper grocery bag?  Link ’em up here, and share in the fun!

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Now .. stop over to check out the other ladies participating in this fun series and see what they came up with this week:

Amber at From ABC’s to ACT’s

Katy at Chaos and Kiddos

Julia at The Everyday Momma

Becka at Probably Crafting

Echo at The Mad Mommy

Up next Monday … Kool Aid!  And here’s the schedule for the rest of the summer.  We’d just love for you to join in the fun and link up some good ideas each week!

May 26 – Glow Sticks   (Checkout our Glow Stick Lightning Bugs)

June 2 – Plastic Soda Bottles (Checkout our Glitter and Glue Timeout Bottles)

June 9 – Paper Grocery Bags

June 16 – Kool-Aid

June 23 – Ice Cream Cones

June 30 – Pool Noodles

July 7 – Wax Paper

July 14 – Puzzle Pieces

July 21 – Paper Cups

July 28 – Plastic Milk Jugs

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


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  • Reply Echo June 9, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I would have never thought of a paper bag for a pinata, but I will now! Fabulous idea, Katie!
    Echo recently posted…Paper Pirate Treasure!My Profile

    • Reply Katie June 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks, Echo! It was simple to make … just wish I didn’t forget about it during the party! Oh well … 20 kids swinging a bat may have been a little risky. :-)

  • Reply Becka June 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    It turned out fabulous! Now I know what to do when the girl keeps asking for a pinata. :)
    Becka recently posted…Welcome to the 38th week of Turn It Up Tuesday!My Profile

  • Reply Kristina & Millie June 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Great idea! love all the ideas you keep coming up with each week! Can’t wait to see the next one!
    Kristina & Millie recently posted…Amigurumi Moogle Free PatternMy Profile

  • Reply Jenna @ A Savory Feast June 11, 2014 at 7:59 am

    This looks like it was bought in a store! I can’t believe how easy it is to make. I’m definitely going to save a lot of money the next time I need a pinata by making my own. Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings!
    Jenna @ A Savory Feast recently posted…Hump Day Happenings #14My Profile

  • Reply bette @ Somerset Lane June 11, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Seriously??!??! a paper bag!! that is a great idea and it turned out awesome.
    bette @ Somerset Lane recently posted…Losing it and Winning!- Week 5My Profile

  • Reply Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney June 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Aww I wish I had a paper bag craft to submit. I need to get started and do one with the boys. Love how you made the pinatas, it looks really cool.
    Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney recently posted…An Adorable Bee-themed Craft Party for KidsMy Profile

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  • Reply Sherry June 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Great idea. Thanks for including the tutorial. I saw something similar on Pinterest. This idea is better.
    I want to use in my classroom just as a decoration for Cinco de Mayo next year. We can’t have bats in the classroom of 3 year olds. LOL. Thanks for sharing on Best of the Weekend link. I am following you now.
    Sherry recently posted…Sweet Saturday The Best Weekend–Keller Farmers MarketMy Profile

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  • Reply Michelle from Weekend Craft June 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks so much for linking up last week at the Creative Spark Link Party. Our link party is live again today we would love for you to stop by again!
    Michelle from Weekend Craft recently posted…DIY Rocking Chair MakeoverMy Profile

  • Reply kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor June 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    These are super cool, Katie! Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us!

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  • Reply Dash June 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    This is such a wonderful & creative idea.
    Thanks for sharing.

    I don’t have a sewing machine.
    Do you recommend any other way we can get similar ribbon work done without using a sewing machine?


    • Reply Katie June 28, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks, Dash!! Hmmm … I know I have seen some ruffly ribbon at the craft/fabric stores before that might work great! I’ve also seen where you can use a scissors to make ‘fringe’ from the streamers. Just cut a bunch of notches across the short way of the streamers leaving about 1/2″ on one side. Then, glue the uncut side down to the bag (all around). Similar concept … but without a sewing machine!

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