How to Make a Shark Piñata Out of a Cereal Box

Making a homemade pinata is easier than you might think. This fun shark themed homemade pinata is made out of simple items you already have at home, cereal boxes! Kids of all ages will love this shark craft that turns into a ingenious way to get candy – a pull string pinata. It is a childhood win-win!

3 finished cereal box shark pinatas crafts made for shark week sitting on a table with one pull string pinata pulled with snacks inside - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s make a shark pinata today!

DIY Shark Pinata Craft

Homemade pinatas are fun to make for special occasions like a birthday, holiday…or Shark Week!

But any day can be made better with this festive shark craft for kids!

Make a Pull String Pinata

What we love about this DIY pull string pinata is that often you can’t find the exact themed pinata at the store you want, but making one is so much easier than you might expect.

The pull string pinata we are making today is a shark theme. You could make it a scary shark or Baby Shark!

What is a Pull String Pinata?

We are making a version of a pull string pinata. Normally pinatas are strung up and hit with a bat or stick until the pinata frame breaks enough to allow the candy to fall. Since not every situation allows for a blindfolded stick waver, string pinatas were invented! A string pinata has one string (usually a ribbon) that is attached to a secret hidden door and opens it allowing the candy to fall and a lot of identical ribbons that don’t open the pinata at all. Kids take turn choosing a ribbon to pull hoping it is the one that releases the candy.

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printable shark picture and a cereal box to make a pinata
Supplies needed for shark pinata craft.

Supplies Needed To Make a Shark Pull String Pinata

Instructions to Make Cereal Box Pinata

shark template
Printable shark template for shark pinata craft.

Step 1

Print out this free shark template or pinata template.

Cereal box with a printable shark
Use the template to cut a cereal box shark pinata shape.

Step 2

Open both ends of the cereal box and cut down one side so that you can place the box open on a flat surface. We are using an empty cereal box as the structure of this pull string pinata craft.

a cereal box cut up to make a pinata
Follow these simple step by step instructions to make a shark pinata.

Step 3

Cut out the shape of the shark head and use that as a template to cut two matching pieces from the cereal box. Then cut out a few strips from the box measuring between 2-3″ wide. The width will depend on what you want to put inside. 

a cereal box being cut to make a shark mouth
You will cut the shark’s mouth to be the opening part of the pull string pinata!

Step 4

Cut out the other sections from your shark template. Trace around each section (excluding the eyes) onto your cardboard head. Using a box cutter cut around the top section of the jaws so they open. Along the bottom section of the jaws use a pencil or another blunt object to go over the top of it harder to make it easier to bend it (see image below).

a cereal box pinata being made
Now make the rounded shark head shape out of cereal boxes.

Step 5

Using the packaging tape, begin taping both the front and the back of the shark head together using the cardboard strip in-between.

Your piñata should now look like this:

a cereal box being turned into a pinata with an opening for candy
Your pinata shape should now look like this.

Step 6

Now you can begin adding crepe paper streamers around your piñata using glue.

how to add crepe paper to a handmade pinata
Add the crepe paper in different shark colors.

How to Layer Tissue Paper for Pinata Design

Use the sections you drew as guides for where to change colors.

Always start from the bottom and work your way to the top, and I prefer to star on the sides, then go to the back, and finish the front last.

making a shark pinata at home
Your shark pinata is taking shape!

Step 7

Once you’ve finished adding the streamers, attach the jaws and eyes in place using glue too.

handmade shark pinatas using a cereal box
What ever will we put inside?

Step 8

Then cut a small hole or slit into the top of the jaw to attach a ribbon (cord or twine work well too) to open and close the mouth easily.

a cereal box shark filled with popcorn and candy
Your cereal box pinata can hold cups of goodies!

Finished Shark Pinata Craft

Now it’s time to add some yummy treats to your pull-string shark piñata. We filled our pinata with Swedish Fish and a variety of snacks (like Rice Krispies treats, mini Pringles can, and crackers).

shark pinatas that have movie night snacks inside
Pull the string to get some snacks out of the shark’s mouth.

These are perfect to put inside your shark for a movie night and the kids had a blast with these shark piñatas filled with movie night snacks. 

How to Make this a More Traditional Pull String Pinata

There are two ways you could create this to be a more traditional pull string pinata:

  1. Add additional strings or ribbons that are not attached to the door opening so kids had to choose a string or ribbon to pull. If you don’t want to change the look of your shark pinata…
  2. Instead of making the opening at the shark’s mouth, create this shark pinata with the candy door in the bottom with a trap door and lots of ribbons to distract from the one that will open the door.
Yield: 1

Shark Pull-String Piñata

shark pinatas that have movie night snacks inside

Recycle some empty cereal boxes at your house into festive and fun shark pull string pinatas. Kids will love this shark craft and it is made easier with the use of our free printable template.

Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $5


  • Cereal box
  • Crepe paper streamers
  • Free printable template
  • Ribbon (cord or twine)


  • Packaging tape
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Box Cutter


  1. Print the shark pinata template printable.
  2. Open both ends of a cereal box and cut down one side so it is an open, flat surface.
  3. Use the template to cut two matching pieces from one cereal box.
  4. Cut a few strips of cardboard from the cereal box that are 3 inches wide.
  5. Follow the printable shark template to cut out more sections around jaw and mouth.
  6. Using packing tape, tape the front and back panels together using the 3 inch strip in between.
  7. Add crepe paper starting at the bottom.
  8. Glue on the template mouth and eyes.
  9. Attach the pull string to the top of the teeth.
  10. Fill with your family's favorite snacks.

Can You Make a Regular Pinata into a String Pull Pinata?

Yes you can convert a traditional pinata into a pull string pinata quite easily. In fact, that is one of the inspirations behind our DIY pinata today. Here are the simple steps to transforming your pinata into a pull string pinata:

  1. Choose a not-so-obvious area of the bottom of the pinata that you could add a trap door.
  2. Use a serrated knife or small hack saw to cut 3 sides of a trap door to the bottom of the pinata.
  3. Fill the pinata with candy and treats.
  4. Start by adding the string or ribbon that opens the trap door and then add a bunch of ribbons or strings that are simply pulled off with effort. It is easy to cover the true ribbon or string by surrounding it with fake ones!

Shark Snacks & Treats to Fill Pull String Pinata

More Shark Fun from Kids Activities Blog

How did your shark piñata turn out? What shark treats did you hide inside?

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