I save old copies of the the WIRE for two reasons: for those times I’m brave enough to make a piñata for my daughters’ birthdays, and to show them how to make a piggy bank.
My daughters are interested in saving every single coin we have, and I am interested in promoting the habit of saving money. It is a good lesson that I hope will stay with them through their lives.
Sure, you could just go and buy a piggy bank at the store, but what better way to get across the importance of not spending all your money than to make your own out of recycled materials. It’s a fun way to pass a sweltering summer day at home.
Make the engrudo (paste). Cook two parts water with one part flour, mixing it until the flour is totally dissolved and the paste starts to thicken. Set aside and let it cool.
Cut the newspapers and inserts in small pieces. Let your kids do this work. I separate the thicker grocery inserts from the rest of the WIRE as I use them on different layers.
When the engrudo has cooled down, and you can touch it with your fingers without getting burned, you are ready to blow up your balloon. The size of your balloon will determine the size of your piggy bank. Remember that the bigger it is, the more time and work the process will take.
Lather the engrudo on the balloon. Then apply the paste to a piece of newspaper, and smooth it onto the surface of the balloon. Continue with the next strip of newspaper until the balloon is fully covered with newspaper.
Repeat Step 4, this time using the grocery inserts. Continue to add layers to the balloon, alternating between newsprint and grocery inserts. You’ll need at least six to seven layers to have a hard end product. You may want to do more if your kids will be playing with their piggy bank.
Cut out six egg-sections from the egg carton bottom: four to use as legs, another for the pig nose, and cut the last section in half to make the ears. Use masking tape and engrudo with paper to hold the sections of egg carton in place.
Place a final layer or two of newspaper and engrudo over the entire pig to secure everything well. Let the bank air dry. (I place the balloon on top of a plastic cup to help it dry evenly.) It will take
12-36 hours to completely harden, depending on how many layers you did.
When it is completely dry, you can paint it or leave it as it is. Let the paint dry between colors for a better result.
Make an incision on the top of your piggy bank, the size of a quarter or a dollar coin, but no bigger as the coins can come out if the hole is too big. I mark the incision area with a pencil and then use a serrated kitchen knife to do it.
Your piggy bank is ready to be fed!