Speaking of princesses (continuing from my last post on Princess Mel)… all princesses need a wand!
Here I’ve made a simple wand that is probably ~2.5 feet long. It takes little time to make. I used one 260 balloon, one 160 balloon, and one heart balloon. Spiraling the balloons is quite easy, but looks really cool!
If you need instructions, just search for “princess wand balloon” on youtube.com There are many videos! The wand above is very similar to ChiTwister’s wand. If you’d like a more complex wand/scepter, check out this video from Sage the Balloon Sage.
This balloon reminds of a birthday cake candle. I’d just need to replace the heart balloon with a yellow/orange flame. I guess if I ever make a really big cake or need a candle for some other reason, I can try something like this!
Last week, when I was wrapping presents and couldn’t find any ribbon, I ended up using a 160 balloon to add this gift bow to a small boxed gift. It was pretty simple and turned out pretty well! I should try making larger gift bows sometime.
Older kids and adults love fun balloon hats! (Smaller kids, not so much – they usually prefer something they can hold.)
I’ve made many fish before. Now I’ve designed a simpler fish for some friends who are going on a mission trip and are interested in some balloon twisting. This design uses one 260 balloon and one small 5″ round balloon. It’s pretty fast and only requires 2-3 twists.
To get started, inflate the round balloon and the 260 balloon, leaving about 1″ uninflated. Next, tie the ends of the balloon together. Squeeze the 260 balloon to spread the air to inflate the rest of the balloon. Fold the 260 balloon in half. You can probably figure out the rest :).
If you’d like to add more detail/color, you can use another small round balloon twisted in half to add eyeballs.
You can also add lips to the fish by doing two pinch twists.
Or, add both eyeballs and lips! Note: if you are adding lips, remember to leave an extra 1/2 inch of the balloon uninflated so that the balloon has room to expand for the two additional pinch twists.
This monkey is a great one to add to your arsenal – it only requires one balloon and is a fast one to make (and cute!) I’ve blogged about another monkey I’ve made before, but that one requires multiple balloons and is a little more complicated. If you have a lot of kids to twist for, you’ll want to make one can be made quickly.
I first saw this one-balloon monkey on Michael Floyd’s web site, where he has posted a very nice video on how to make the balloon. Check it out!
Here’s a monkey I made out of a 160 balloon. To make this balloon, I inflated the balloon a little more than halfway.
Because the balloon is thinner and the monkey is smaller, there was plenty of balloon to give the monkey a three-balloon body, some small feet, and a long tail.
Here’s a balloon ball. Sure, you could just inflate a round balloon, but this is cooler. 🙂
In mathematical terms, it’s actually an icosahedron – a polyhedron with 20 triangular sides. It may look complicated, but because of its symmetry and basic units, it’s actually quite easy to put together. I first saw this on Vi Hart’s web site, where she has posted great instructions for this icosahedron, as well as many other mathematical shapes, such as fractals, tangles, and other polyhedra! Check it out!
To make this balloon, I took three 160 balloons and cut each in half. Each section was then used to make one of the six units. (I wanted to make an icosahedron that wasn’t too big.)
If you’d like to read a mathematical paper written about balloon twisting, check out: Computational Balloon Twisting Theory: The Theory of Twisting Polyhedra, co-authored by Hart, Martin Dermaine, and Erik Dermaine (who was one of my college professors!)
I have a whole bag of Geo Blossom balloons and have yet figure out what to do with them. The most common and obvious thing to make with Geo Blossom balloons is a flower, and so I made this simple flower. It looks the same on both sides.
To make this balloon, I used one Geo Blossom, one small white round, and one green 260. With the white round balloon, first make a small bubble, tie a knot as far in in as possible, thread it through the Geo Blossom, and then make a second bubble on the other side of the Geo Blossom. Then, tie a knot and wrap it around the center of the balloon (like a pinch twist) to hide the knot. Afterwards, inflate the Geo Blossom, and use the green 260 to make the stem and leaves of the flower.
Here’s another easy hat to make, modeled by another one of my stuffed animals. (Stuffed animals are really good at sitting still for any length of time.) To make this hat, you’ll need one 260 balloon and one scrap 260 balloon. You start by making the basic helmet out of one balloon. Then, with the scrap balloon, make the propellers (similar to the rotors for a helicopter) and twist it to top of the hat. You can hide the knot by twisting it so it’s on the inside. (In the above pictures it isn’t hidden, but in the below two pictures it is.)
I made a hat for my stuffed animal! Ok, it’s almost a little too cute for me, but my teddy bear seemed like a good-sized model for the hat.
Really fun hats can be made easily with just a few twists, and you’ll usually use at least two or balloons for a hat. From my experience, I found that older kids like them, but some younger kids not so much. Younger kids (preschool age) would rather have something they can just hold.
To make this:
I used segments of 160 balloon scraps to make the above hat, which is a mini-size version of a hat you’d make for a person. To make this hat for a real person to wear, you’ll need four 260 balloons, preferably different colors. Start by making the helmet. (The helmet is pink in the photo.) Wrap the balloon around the person’s head to make sure it’ll fit. Then blow up 3 (or more) balloons, leaving a little less than an inch uninflated, and attach them to the ends of the helmet. Pretty simple, huh? You only really need 4 twists to make this hat!
Someone recently asked me about making a teddy bear, and here’s a one-balloon version. I followed these directions from balloondesigns.net. The purple teddy bear is what you’ll end up with if you follow the instructions above exactly.
Tips: You’ll want to leave almost a 5″ tail when pumping the balloon. When twisting the series of seven bubbles to form the head, twist the 4th and 6th bubbles a little smaller than the others, so that the ears will not be so large. You can draw two different faces – one on each side!
The pink teddy bear is another version. This one has a neck, a tail, and uses only one balloon for the body. I left about a 4″ tail to make this one.