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DIY Graduation Cap Piñata

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Bernadyn is a writer, blogger, and social media influencer. She writes for various publications while writing for her own blog.

Let kids have fun breaking this cap open for their graduation or end-of-the-year celebration.

Let kids have fun breaking this cap open for their graduation or end-of-the-year celebration.

Celebrate Graduates at the End of Another School Year

As the school year comes to an end for many students, there will be celebrations to honor the recent graduates. My little boy will be graduating kindergarten this year, and it’s going to be a day I know I will want to remember.

I want the day to be special for him since it is, after all, his big day. He received smiley faces every day, good grades on his report card, and high remarks from his teachers. We are so proud of him! We will be having a small celebration for him to reward him for the good school year he had and all the new things he learned.

I made a few fun homemade graduation projects to honor his moment to shine. One of his favorite activities at a party is where there is a piñata. After all, what kid can resist a piñata filled with treats?

Make a Piñata From Upcycled Material

I have so many cardboard boxes, like cereal boxes, as well as poster board and other craft items that I want to make the most of instead of just throwing them away. Usually, things like food boxes and other small boxes can be reused with my kids to do some fun art and craft projects.

I decided to make the piñata using some leftover poster board, tissue paper, one cardboard side of a notebook, and leftover rope-like twine.

What You'll Need

  • Small poster board
  • 1–2 sheets black tissue paper
  • 1 large black button
  • Thick twine
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Candy and other items to fill the piñata
  • Scissors

Ideas for Goodies to Place in the Piñata

School SuppliesDollar TreatsToys

Small crayon packs

Tiny notebooks

Toy bracelets


Small balls



Dollar Bills

Small craft kits


DIY coupons

Toy rings

How to Make a Graduation Cap Piñata

Step 1: Decide on the Size of the Piñata

Start by deciding how big you want the piñata to be. A small poster board will still make a good size piñata for a small group of kids. My piñata measured out to be 8 inches in length and 7½ inches in height.

Step 2: Measure the Bottom

Measure the bottom of the cylinder and cut enough of the poster board left to cover the bottom. I cut off a little extra at first. After I taped it down, I cut around it to fit the cylinder shape.

Step 3: Tape the Bottom to the Body

Tape the bottom to the body inside and outside. You can also glue it to make sure it is extra secure, but I found that taping it first was easier.

Step 4: Cover With Tissue Paper

Start working on covering the piñata with the tissue paper. First, cover the bottom of the piñata with tissue paper.

Step 5: Cut Strips of Tissue Paper

Then, cut strips of the black tissue paper, about two inches wide, to cover the body of the piñata.

Step 6: Cut Small Strips on the Strips

Cut small strips on the large strips to make the fray.

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Step 7: Glue Strips to Body

Glue the strips onto the body, making your way around the entire graduation cap. Overlap the strips a little bit to cover the entire cap.

Step 8: Add Graduation Year

Add the graduation year to the front of the cap. I used the rest of the poster board to cut out the numbers for the year. Glue on the numbers.

Step 9: Use Twine to Hang

Use thick, strong twine to hang the piñata. I used this white rope-like twine.
I decided to hang it by the sides instead of the top of the cap. You can hang it by the top, but just remember that the button for the tassel will be centered at the top as well.

Step 10: Hole Punch Sides

Punch holes on the side of the cap and pulled the twine through, securing them with knots.

Step 11: Make Top of Cap

We need to make the top of the graduation cap. I used one side of a cardboard notebook. You can use the poster board if you have any left or the front or backside of a large cereal box if it is enough to cover the top of the cap.

Step 12: Cover Top With Tissue Paper

Cover the top with black tissue paper.

Step 13: Glue Button to Top

Glue the large black button onto the center of the top. I chose to stick my button closer toward the edge since I knew the tassel wouldn’t be long enough to hang over the way I wanted.

Step 14: Cut Strips of Twine

Take the twine and cut enough strips of it to resemble a tassel on a graduation cap.

Step 15: Knot Twine Around Button

Wrap the twine around the button and tie a knot. Make sure the tassel is secure with the button.

Step 16: FIll Piñata

Fill the piñata with candy, stickers, small toys, light school supplies, etc.
Cut out another cover for the top of the cap that fits the cylinder shape. Tape and glue it down.

Step 17: Glue Top of Cap

Glue down the top of the cap securely to the body, and your piñata is done!

Easier and Less Messy Than Paper-Mache

I usually have my sister make the piñata since she has more experience making them. She typically uses flour paste to make paper-mache. This way of using poster board, however, was easier, less time-consuming, and less messy!

Prepare for Graduation Day!

I remember how proud I was of my little boy last year at his spring program for preschool. They sang sweet songs and then had an award ceremony afterward where each kid received medals. It was a bittersweet moment for us, and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Now, in a few short days, I will be experiencing his kindergarten awards ceremony. I feel the waterworks starting already! Graduation is a proud time for students, young and old; honor your graduate with a fun graduation cap piñata to break open on his special day.

© 2014 Bernadyn


Bernadyn (author) from Jacksonville, Florida on July 16, 2014:

FlourishAnyway, it was fun for the kids, something extra to celebrate with! Thank you, I enjoyed creating this. :)

Bernadyn (author) from Jacksonville, Florida on July 16, 2014:

Glimmer Twin Fan, thank you and it was fun to make!

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 16, 2014:

This is fun and a way to celebrate the end of the school year. I love your creativity.

Claudia Mitchell on July 03, 2014:

Well it's past graduation season but this is a great tutorial for making a pinata! How fun.

Bernadyn (author) from Jacksonville, Florida on June 05, 2014:

Thank you, Mona, it was much easier than using the flour paste that I normally use and I was able to put a lot of left over cardboard and poster board to use.

Bernadyn (author) from Jacksonville, Florida on May 30, 2014:

Thank you, travmaj, glad you liked it!

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on May 29, 2014:

This is very useful. I love the way you upcycled such basic materials to make this pinata. Great hub.

travmaj from australia on May 29, 2014:

You have such creative ideas - love this one.

Bernadyn (author) from Jacksonville, Florida on May 29, 2014:

Thank you, Bill - it's probably still a happy and proud moment every time a former student graduates!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 28, 2014:

I always seem to have someone graduating. After 18 years of teaching, there is always a former student graduating from high school or college...great craft idea. Thanks!