I love being cheap! Children's birthdays can cost enough now a days, why not cut corners where no one will notice much? Here are sirections to a great alternative to the store bought pinatas.
FOR THE BASIC PINATA STRUCTURE
You will need:
piece of string, ribbon, or any other tying device
scissors or a knife
1 empty cereal box (any size)
tape or glue
OK, the kids have eaten the cereal, you have your empty box. Take out the empty cereal bag and discard.
Through the already glue shut bottom of the box, poke a hole at the center and another about an inch over. (if your kids are animals like mine and your box has been attacked at some point leaving the bottom open as well as the top, just tape or glue it shut again)
So you have the closed end of your box with two holes about an inch apart in the center of this closed side.
Tie a knot in your ribbon or string and thread through one of the the holes you just made.
This is the "hanging string" so to make sure it is secure, loop it through the other hole and tie this end with a knot too leaving a loop hanging out of the closed side of the box and two knots on the inside of the box. Tape these knots to secure in place (on the inside of the box).
YOU BASICALLY HAVE THE PINATA DONE AT THIS POINT
Now to make it pretty, wrap with a sheet of tissue paper or two. To make sure you can't see the print through the tissue paper, you may need a few more sheets. Just wrap it like a present and clip a small hole to thread the hanging loop through after you've wrapped it and pull the loop through.
Clip a straight line across the tissue at the open end of the box to make it open again. Now you could fill it at this point I suppose and call it good it you want a very plain pinata.
Or to make it prettier, go online and search for your child's favorite charactor and print a colored standard printer paper size picture.
If you don't have a printer, you could draw and color the pictures or use coloring book pages.
Now glue this onto the pinata (use two if you want for pictures both sides) let dry and you now have a "store bought" looking pinata.
Fill with small candies and toys. Tape or glue the open end back up and tape or glue the tissue to cover your open end (now the bottom).
For really young kids I suggest not securing the bottom too well, you want it to break open easily enough that they don't get bored.
You my friend, are ready to party! Hang it and let the kids go at it!