Celebrate May the Fourth with a DIY Death Star Piñata!

Posted by Margaret Dunham

I find your lack of candy disturbing…

Why did the Imperial forces keep rebuilding the same interstellar battle station? Clearly because it was full of candy. Make your own Death Star piñata for May the Fourth, a Star Wars birthday party, or a release party for Star Wars: The Force Awakens! (Bonus points if you use a lightsaber to take a whack at it!)

First, gather your materials:

  • Large, round balloon
  • Newspaper, torn into one inch strips
  • Small paper bowl
  • School glue
  • Water
  • Small bowl for papier-mâché paste
  • Sliver/grey tissue paper
  • Large, soft paintbrush
  • String
  • Tape
  • Black permanent marker or paint
  • Candy, small toys, or confetti

Note: Papier-mâché can be very messy, so it’s best to wear your scruffy-looking nerf-herding clothes for this project. You should also work over a water-resistant, easy-to-clean surface.

1. Prepare your balloon. Stretch the balloon back and forth before inflating it to help it inflate further, inflate your balloon, and tie it off. Pro-tip: secure a large chip clip to the knotted end of your balloon and/or balance the balloon on top of a small bowl. This will keep it steady while you apply the papier-mâché.

2. Tear your newspaper into one inch strips. Be sure to tear the strips and not cut them – torn edges blend more smoothly into the papier-mâché surface than sharply cut edges. Pro-tip: If you tear from the fold toward the edge of the paper, the strips will rip cleanly and evenly.


3. Mix your papier-mâché paste. For this project, I simply blended together a nickel-sized dollop of school glue and about two tablespoons of water with my fingers. You’ll need to make more paste as you go, so keep the glue and water on hand. There are many recipes for papier-mâché paste, so choose whichever one you like best.


4. Dip your newspaper strips in the paste and apply them to the balloon one at a time. Hold the end of a strip pinched between two fingers and dredge it through the paste. Then, hold the strip over the bowl and skim any excess liquid off with the lightly pinched fingers of your opposite hand. Lay the strip on the surface of the balloon and smooth it flat. As you continue, lay the strips across one another covering the balloon in a random pattern. Once the balloon is fully covered, let it dry (six to eight hours, depending on humidity).

5. After the papier-mâché is dry, repeat the process making a second or third layer. Allow each layer to dry completely as you go.


6. Once the structure of your piñata is finished, tear the silver/grey tissue paper into large pieces. Using the soft paintbrush, apply a thin layer of paste to the papier-mâché and the underside of the tissue paper. Apply the tissue paper to the piñata, smoothing the edges with the paintbrush as you go. Once the balloon is completely covered (you can no longer see any newspaper), allow the piñata to dry. Once the balloon is thoroughly dry, pop the balloon and gently remove it.


7. While the piñata is drying, apply tissue paper to the inside of the small paper bowl. Set aside and let dry.


8. Trim the opening of the piñata and the rim of the bowl so that the bowl nests perfectly with the rime just over opening, forming your Concave Dish Composite Beam Superlaser targeting array. Set the bowl aside.


9. Poke four holes for the string in the top of the piñata, taking care that the piñata will sit at the best angle when hung. Thread your string through the holes and knot it securely.


10. Fill the Death Star with candy, small toys, or confetti. Test the weight of the piñata as you go by lifting it by the string.


11. Place the bowl back into the opening of your piñata and tape it in place along the edges. Apply remaining scraps of tissue paper to the edges using the paintbrush as before. Let dry.


12. Once the piñata is completely dry, use the black permanent marker or black paint with a thin brush to add trenches and dimension to your battle station.

There you have it, a battle station that is fully operational and ready to destroy worlds entertain your party guests. While the Empire doesn't consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, one solid whack with the lightsaber of your choice and this baby will be raining treats down on Endor like there’s no tomorrow.