This fun and colorful piñata costume is made with crepe paper, fabric glue and a store-bought dress. It’s an creative, no-sew costume that’s perfect for Halloween or any theme party.

Last week we went to a costume party, and the theme was the letter P.  I decided to go as a piñata and thought it would be an easy costume to make myself.  Although my DIY piñata costume took more time that I originally thought, it was definitely a success as far as homemade costumes go – even though some people at the party didn’t know what I was!

I purchased a cheap tank dress from a discount store and then bought a ton of crepe paper streamers.  Once I cut all the fringe into them – the most time consuming part of the process – I laid out a few pieces to determine my color placement.  I wanted it to look random but organized at the same time…and kind of like a Mexican fiesta.

More DIY: succulent planters / canvas art / glitter shoes

 

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How to make a pinata costume:

I stretched out the dress with a long art canvas that was wrapped in plastic, but I’m sure really anything would work.  Then, I started applying the crepe paper with fabric glue – two strips of each color at a time.

Some of the paper pieces that I used were a bit too wide for the dress so I simply cut the excess off and secured the new ends with some extra glue.

Once the first side was finished, I let it dry overnight and gently flipped the dress over and started again, lining the colors up with the first side.  Around the arm and collar I folded the paper over the edges and added glue to keep the “hems” in place.  At the top of the straps, I added a horizontal strip flat over the seam to finish the costume off.

For the hats – I made the strips shorter, smaller and with thinner fringe.  Then, I glued them to party hats and topped them with long, thin streamers of crepe paper.  I used glue sticks for this step.

DIY Pinata Costume Tutorial | A Teaspoon of Happiness #halloween #DIY #costume

I added the red belt to define my waist because the dress made me look a little bit puffy!

(Sorry about the terrible cell-phone picture, but it’s the only full-length picture I took because we were in such a rush.  I’m really disappointed that I don’t have any others.)

If you are following this tutorial and making your own piñata costume, I would love to see how they turn out! Would you mind emailing me pictures of your costumes? I may even feature them right here on Simply Whisked!


Readers’ Costumes:

Pinata Costume Cassidy

How cute does Cassidy look in her piñata costume? I’m loving the color she chose and check out those awesome colorful lashes. They totally make the costume!

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photo 2 (1)

Last Updated on January 8, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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63 Comments

    1. Im going to do this costume this year. I don’t have hot glue gun but ordered glue that was for crepe paper. The dress is not real tight fitting so I hope this helps. I have no creative talent so we shall see. Thanks for great tutorial

      1. That sounds like it will work great!! The tighter the dress the more likely it will rip when you put it on. Just make sure you still put something in between so the glue doesn’t go through the dress!

  1. oh my goshhh!! i googled “DIY Pinata Costume” and stumbled upon this perfection of a post! this is AMAZING, and i am now using your tutorial how to do it!! thank you! ps- how many crepe paper rolls of each color did you end up purchasing??

    1. I actually couldn’t find regular crepe paper rolls in France, but I would guess probably just one of each color would work. I bought premade crepe paper garland that had two colors and I cut it apart but I had WAY more than I needed and ended up throwing it all away. One of each should be plenty! I hope everything turns out great for you 🙂 I would love to see it!

    1. They were just regular party hats that had elasticized string attached. It took a little bit of time but I managed to tuck the strings behind my hair to hide them.

    1. It was definitely not something that I could have worn too many times, but it held up surprisingly well considering that it was just paper. I wore it for about 8 hours and it was really not in that bad of shape. The wear came mostly from the other party goers.

    1. I just made thin lines of glue across the dress and attached the paper to it, and no it doesn’t take much skill.

  2. How wide did you stretch the dress out? I bought a stretchy dress too and am not sure how to account for the shape it will take when it’s actually on. Do I need to measure my bum and find an art canvas that is around that width?

    1. You don’t have to necessarily buy an art canvas. I just had one lying around so that’s what I used. You could also use a big piece of cardboard or really anything that will stretch the dress. I guess I stretched the dress a few inches in each direction. The canvas I used was 40 centimeters wide. I didn’t measure anything, I just used what I had.

  3. Just stumbled upon this a year later, and i’m considering this as one of my ideas. You mentioned you added a belt bc the dress was puffy, and i wanted to know if you would recommend buying a tight-fitting dress or a loose-fitting dress and using a belt to cinch waist. Thx!

    1. I used a tight-fitting dress, and I still felt that I looked puffier than I really was, which is why I added the belt. I would imagine that a loose-fitting one might make it look even puffier.

  4. Hey, beautiful costume! Thanks for posting this. I have a few questions for you below:

    1. I was wondering about the layering you did of the crepe paper. I see you did two rows of each color; however, did you glue each strip individually above the first strip placed? If so, what was the spacing? Just whatever looked right?

    2. Since you did the attachment on one side of the dress, then flipped it over, were you able to see on the sides where the crepe was cut? or does it help to curve it a little bit so there isn’t a line of fabric showing from where the crepe was cut.

    1. Hi Feeza! I glued each piece of crepe paper individually. If I can remember correctly, they were not too far apart – maybe a 1/2 inch. But you’re right, I just did what looked right to me.

      I don’t remember there being any gaps between the two sides, but they’re may have been. I tried my best to overlap the sides by a little but since the dress would be stretching once it was on me. Also, try not to glue the strips too tightly so that when the dress stretches the paper doesn’t rip.

      If you’re making this costume, I would absolutely love to see how it turns out!

  5. did you purposely pleat the top edges of the crepe paper that you glued to the fabric? it seems that way in the close-up picture. did this help keep it from ripping? and if you could do it over again, what would you do differently? thanks!!

    1. Yes. I did pleat or sort of bunch the crepe paper to keep it from ripping since I knew the dress would be stretching when I put it on. It definitely helped to prevent it from ripping. The only thing I think that I would do differently if doing it over again is to spread the layers out a little more (to have less layers overall) because I felt it looks a little “puffy”, which is why I ended up adding the belt. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.

      1. Love the costume! I unfortunately can’t find any crepe paper or garland…I can only find party streamers but they seem too thin…(they are only 1.75 inches in height)… do you think this would work?

        1. To be honest, I really don’t know. I would suggest doing a trial on a square of fabric before trying it on the dress. Or maybe you could find some thicker garland or regular crepe paper online. That is what I would do. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

          1. hmmm I bought streamer and about to start tomorrow. Where do you get crepe paper rolls? Michaels?

          2. I actually made this costume while I was living in France. I would guess that Michaels or any party store would have some, but I’m really not sure. I think that the crepe paper streamers would work, but your layers would have to be small I guess. I did find some BIG crepe paper sheet rolls here, but it may require a little more cutting. (PS. I’ve ordered ribbon from that website before and everything was great.) Hopefully that helps!

        1. I only pleated it a little bit, but the crepe paper has a little bit of a natural ripple to it as well. I added the pleats though because I didn’t want the strips of paper to rip when I put the dress on. I’m sure the paper will still stay on with the glue regardless, but I would suggest giving yourself a little room to stretch.

    1. I would suggest somewhere cheap like Forever 21 or H&M – maybe even Walmart. I got mine at a discount store in France called Babou – I think it cost me 5 euros. Anywhere that has cheap basics will probably have something. Or maybe try googling “tank dress”.

    1. Yes and no. The party streamers you can normally find at party stores are a bit thin for this project, but you can definitely use them. I used thicker party streamers that I found. I don’t know where you could find them (I bought mine at a store in France). But, you can definitely buy/order crepe paper rolls that are more the size of gift wrap.

  6. Hi! I love this idea for a costume and I’m seriously considering it but I wanted to ask, did you sit down at all while wearing the costume?? I want to wear it out Halloween Night but the group I’m going out with we’ll be going to dinner and then a show so I was wondering did you sit down while you wore it at all and if you did how did the paper hold up????

    1. I didn’t sit down much because we were at a party. We walked to the party and walked back and I think I stood the majority of the time I was there. I’m not sure how it would hold up if you were sitting down a lot. It did get slightly damaged during the night the just from people bumping into me – I would not have been able to wear it again.

  7. Love this!! I’ve been working on it since yesterday when I found this article. I used party streamers and so far so good! A bit stumped on what shoes to wear hahah

    1. I made mine with a party hats so they already had strings attached. I would really recommend using party hats as your base because of the strings. It’s so much easier than attempting to attach them to headbands etc. (But you will have to have the strings under your chin, so make sure they’re comfortable before adding the fringe)

    1. Yes. I did do the back of the dress. It was the same as the front of the dress! You can buy crepe paper at any party store or online (there’s a link in the post to a website that sells it in sheets)

  8. I am thinking of attempting this costume this year.. however, I am wondering if it might hold up better if I use bright colorful cheap plastic tablecloth instead of crepe paper! Opinions on this??

  9. Hello

    I tried making this dress, but the hot glue ended up making the dress way too small (even though it fit me before I began the glue gunning). The glue when it dried ended up taking all the movement out of the dress and I couldn’t get it on. I had a large canvas inside the dress to stretch it out, as instructed.

    Did you run into this problem? If so, what could I do to fix it?

    1. No I didn’t have that problem at all. I think I had a little tear or two under my arms, but that’s about it. Nothing noticeable. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you! Was the dress a stretch knit or a cotton? It could be that the dress wasn’t made to stretch enough or that your glue wasn’t as flexible.

  10. Hi there! I love your costume idea and I am trying to replicate it myself =) How did you keep your party hat on? I bought the cheap paper party hat with the strap but I feel that may be uncomfortable to wear all night. Thoughts??

    1. I just wore the elastic strings that came on the party hat. They weren’t too bad. Maybe you could replace them with a thin elastic string that’s a little longer so it would be more comfortable?

  11. I made this costume following your tutorial this year and everyone loved it! I used plastic table cloths you find in the birthday party section at Hobby Lobby. I had also bought a couple colors at the $ Store but they were pretty thin and cheap. I recommend the ones from Hobby Lobby because they were a little thicker. I just cut into strips and hot glued to the dress. Fabric Glue did not work using the plastic. Also it was very important to keep the dress stretched out a little as you were gluing them on. Oh also I found a adorable Mexican head piece in the themed party section at Hobby Lobby! Let me know if you want to see a picture of the finished costume 🙂

    1. Yes! I definitely want to see it 🙂 Do you want to email me the picture? I’d also love to feature it in the post for future costume makers (only if you want to be featured, of course).

  12. I tried to make this last year, and I am going to try again this year because it failed. It looked amazing on the hanger, I used a tight fitting stretchy dress, and glued strips just like you did. I believe my mistake, if you can confirm, was I let the glue dry off the canvas, so when it came time to put on the dress, the dress did not stretch anymore. This year I am going to try it with a skirt that has a zipper, and it will only need to stretch a little bit, and a crop top, The crop top I have will definitely need to stretch. Did you let your dress dry on the canvas, before taking it off slash moving it up the canvas to finish it etc?

    1. Yes. I let it dry on the canvas. Using a skirt with a zipper is a great idea! I think you should still leave it on the canvas until each part is dry.

  13. Hey Melissa, beautiful costume. I am looking to make this one for my toddler and thinking to do it on one of her 1-piece pajama. I have a doubt on the crepe paper. Does it hold good or can it tend to tear away considering a child would run errands wearing it. I thought of replacing the crepe paper with felt, but it will make it quite heavy. Any suggestions? Much appreciated!

    1. The pieces do rip off easily, which is fine when you’re walking around as an adult, but if I were you I would totally switch to felt! It will definitely be more comfortable too. The paper can get a tiny bit itchy.

  14. I made this costume a few years ago, except that it was cold that year so I made mine with colorful felt hot glued on to a white sweatshirt and white leggings. I also put some felt on a pair of cheap white sneakers, and carried a bag of candy around to toss to people who felt the need to hit me 😉 I’ll try to find a picture!!

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  16. I’m thinking I used too much glue with mine. Spent hours making it, only to try to put it on. The dress was basically “frozen” in a hard rectangle shape and I couldnt get it over my chest ? ended up going as a cat haha

  17. Thank you so much for this diy costume idea! I made this look and the whole thing took about 4 hours with the help of my mom. We made the dress and a hat Friday night. I wore it last night and it was a hit! No pun intended! If not for her help it would have probably taken 10 hours or so. The entire costume head to toe cost me $23! I got a dress for $10 at goodwill and 6 streamers at hobby lobby. I put the dress on a flattened cardboard box and hot glued the whole thing after cutting the slits in the streamers. I used a headband and birthday party cone hats and made those as the horns. It held up pretty well too, saving this in my costume bin for sure!