Ok, so when we left off we had two paper-mached halves of Antonin Scalia’s massive
Now we need to integrate a hanger into the piñata, rather than having something just attached to the top. My friend Sara and her husband Phil host a huge easter egg hunt every year and they make an egg-shaped piñata. She learned the hard way that you don’t want the first person who strikes it to just knock it to the ground. Because everyone wants a chance to hit the thing.
I didn’t take a photo of the wire-insertion step, but what you do is take a length of wire and twist it so there’s a loop in the middle, and two long ends. I used steel wire (probably 14 gauge or so) from the hardware store, but a wire hanger would work fine too. Just try not to think about the ghost of Joan Crawford yelling at you.
Poke a small hole in the top of the head and put the loop through it. You may need to compress the wire loop to get it through the hole (you want the hole to be as small as possible), then bend the loop into an oval again so that it looks like this:
Then turn it over and duct tape the wire to the underside of the skull:
The wire was still shifting around a lot despite the duct tape, so I added a layer of cloth mache over the whole operation (see below for cloth mache instructions):
The hanger works! This way the piñata won’t fall to the ground until everyone has gotten a chance to let Scalia know what they thought of his dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges.
OMG my hand is enormous!
After the cloth mache on the upper inside part of the skull dried overnight, I surgically reunited the two halves of Scalia’s skull with masking tape.
The newspaper stories/photos will help you line it up perfectly.
I used my lunch hour at work to create some body parts. Please excuse the messy desk! Genius can’t be contained, dontcha know…
Then I took the body parts home and attached them (with masking tape) to the head. Norman agreed to be the spokesmodel.
Speaking of heads – recently I was at our local modern art museum, the Walker Art Center. Their gift shop was having a huge sale, and I got the last two sets of these Mexican wrestler glass clingy things for $1 each! The second set has already been mailed to my childhood friend Tom, who is sharing them with his impressionable young daughter. You’re a good dad, Tom!
The luchadors don’t have anything to do with this project; I just thought you might like to see them.
Now for more cloth mache. The main technique here is to dip strips of fabric into Elmer’s glue. You can use any fabric you have lying around. If you don’t have any, your best/cheapest option is to go to your local thrift shop and buy an old sheet. Cut or rip it into strips. The size of the strip will depend on how big your piñata is. Don’t make them too big though because they’re harder to work with the larger they are. I ripped the strips as I went, because I needed different sizes for different areas of his noggin.
If your glue is as old as mine, you’ll need to thin it down a bit. Note to self: don’t buy Elmer’s glue by the gallon ever again.
Pour the glue into a container that you don’t mind throwing away afterward. (You could wash the container out, but I didn’t because our drains are slow enough as it is. I don’t want to make things worse.) Half an old milk carton would work great. Get each strip wet with water, wring out the water, then put the damp strip into the bowl of glue and swirl/mash it around to coat. (There are no photos of this stage because Norman wasn’t home and my hands were covered in glue so it didn’t seem prudent to grab my phone.) Place the wet-glue-soaked strip of fabric onto the piñata and smooth it out.
In the photo below, most of the cloth mache is on the head. It’s looking pretty generic. I could change my mind at this point and make the guy into Frankenstein, or Van Gogh (since I haven’t permanently attached the second ear yet).
Finally, here’s a completely off-topic but fantastic photo of the Brady Bunch meeting the Jackson 5:
Thanks for visiting! Come back soon for the 3rd and final installment of the tutorial.