It’s time for a piñata makeover! My art collective, The Phoenix Fridas hosted our annual Frida Kahlo birthday party recently and part of our agenda was to paint piñatas. Not to hit! But for decoration. We had no idea where to start and then while on a day trip to Tucson, I stopped in a piñata store and found a single BLANK piñata.

Here she is! I think she was meant to be Cinderella, but luckily the owners of the store sold her to me as is. I like how she is giving two thumbs up.

If you ever do a piñata makeover, check out this idea. See her face? It looks like they took a Cinderella mask and layered paper mache over it to create the perfect facial features.

I handed her off to Phoenix Frida and awesome artist Emily Costello to work her artistic magic. And I went about my business. Then lo and behold, I found a piñata store here in Phoenix. I wanted the blank version again, which was tricky to find. But I did come across these Elsa piñatas! I bought three so our collective members could paint them.

My little cousin came over, she’s 10, and she chirped at me, “Yay! You have an Elsa doll! And she has a hole for candy!”

I was like, “Look away little one, I don’t want you to see this!”

I peeled off the paper printed eyes and repaired some cracks with tissue paper and Mod Podge. Then I went to work on the painting. The piñatas already had a matte finish, so they absorbed the paint perfectly. Isn’t crazy how a different skin tone and hair color can give them new life?

Here they are in the end, they look like teenage Fridas. Very meek and innocent. Maybe they are not Frida, maybe they are two young girls inspired by Frida.

The morning of our big party, Emily came over and delivered what we now call our Frida mascot! Emily painted her face, arms, and feet and handed her over to me to dress and embellish.

I only had about an hour to complete this task before we left to the party! I dug through all my stash and pulled this outfit together for her, and I must say, I’m quite proud!

This is the finished version from my Coat of Arms T-shirt tutorial . 

Yay for saving old craft projects! Then I grabbed a piece of fabric for her skirt and added a scarf I dyed and decorated, plus a small messenger bag. I added jewelry and hair decorations.

I like to think of her as….”Coachella Frida!” Doesn’t she look like she is ready to go to a concert or an outdoor festival?

We took her and the other Frida dolls to the party and the Heard Museum staff placed her on the top ledge overlooking the entrance of the exhibit to the Diego and Frida exhibit. People asked all night if they could buy her, but we said no. We made her our group’s mascot, and I think it would be cool if each Phoenix Frida took turns dressing her for events!

Here are some pictures from our event! We gave away prizes from Alicia’s Delicias, and JC Chavez Tequila. We had ET from Tres Leches Cafe and his wife walk around as Frida and Diego! And we had performers, Dania Zarate, Divine Valentin, Las Chollas Pelegrosas and Rose Wax Vinyl DJ!

Our event drew 2,400 people, the line went all the way out to Central Avenue! We were lucky the fire marshal didn’t come! We are so thankful to the Heard Museum for inviting us to throw our party here in conjunction with the Diego and Frida exhibit.

RELATED: Frida y Diego at The Heard Museum.

In the end, we sold the smaller Fridas.

As far as La Otra Frida…she is sitting tight in my garage until I find a better home for her!

Tips for a piñata makeover:

See if there is a piñata shop or Mexican candy store in your town, if not Google it! Ask how much they charge for a plain piñata without paint or tissue fringe. Sand it down, even repair it with tissue paper and Mod Podge. Base coat with white and then the paint colors you want to use. Add a spray sealer. Dress her up! I would use hot glue to keep her jewelry and hair adornments intact, especially if you plan on transporting her.

What do you think of our piñata makeover? Didn’t Emily do a fantastic job? Make sure to follow her at: https://www.instagram.com/emcostelloart/ 

Love & light,


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