I’ve just returned from a short trip. Although I have been away, I twisted a number of balloons – for my cousins and family, including a birthday cake for my Grandma!
I made a car for my cousin, and turned some of the wheels that I didn’t use into donuts. They are made using a simple tulip twist and secured with a knot at the end.
Introducing a new line of vacuum cleaners…pocket-sized, colorful, and stylish!
I saw instructions for a vacuum cleaner in Marvin Hardy’s Advanced 260 Balloon Magic book and it made me chuckle. (I don’t think any kids will ever ask me to make a vacuum cleaner!)
The blue one is the original design by Marvin Hardy. It is made using one blue 260 and one inflated balloon for the electrical cord. I made a couple other variations, using a different color balloon for the vaccuum cleaner bag and an uninflated piece of balloon for the handle. The two smaller ones were made using 160 balloons. I’ll post a graph description of my design sometime soon.
If only this balloon really worked – my room could use a good vacuuming!
This hummingbird has a very similar design to the butterfly. I saw this design in Marvin Hardy’s Advanced 260 Balloon Magic book.
The hummingbird is easier to make than the butterfly. There is one less twist for the wings. You’ll leave a couple inches of uninflated balloon for the beak.
In the picture is a blue hummingbird made with a 260 balloon and a second smaller pink one made using half of a 160 balloon.
It definitely feels like baby shower season! I made these pacifier balloons and hung them up as decorations for a baby shower.
To make this pacifier, you’ll need one 5″ round balloon and one 160 balloon.
- Inflate the 160 balloon until there is a little bit less than 1″ uninflated.
- Make one loop for the handle.
- Push the air to fill up any remaining uninflated part of the balloon.
- Make 3 loops for the mouth shield part of the pacifier, leaving a small bubble at the end. You can make the three loops with one twist by first folding the balloon so it has 3 loops (like a sine wave with 1.5 cycles – see picture… actually it’s more like 1.55) and twisting it in the middle (along the x-axis.)
- Hide the remaining small bubble in the handle.
- Then inflate the round balloon, tie it, and wrap the end around the 160 balloon to attach it.
Here’s a mommy turtle with two little baby turtle hatchlings. I’m currently running low on green 260 balloons, so I used a 350 to make the shell using a three-bubble roll through, and a 160 for the flippers and feet. This design is based on another design I saw a few years ago (the owner has taken that youtube video down since then.)
Here’s my version of a simple elephant balloon animal. I’ve seen other simple one-balloon elephants, but in this design I use a second 160 balloon so that the trunk is more in proportion compared to the rest of the body.
This design requires two balloons: one full 260 balloon and a 160 scrap for the trunk.
Inflate the balloon leaving about four inches uninflated. Make a loop twist for the ear, a pinch twist for the head, and another loop twist for the other ear. Then make the rest of the body the way you would for a dog.
For the trunk, inflate the 160 balloon to however long you want the trunk to be, then tie off both ends (and cut off any remaining balloon if necessary.) Wrap one end around the head/ears to attach it to the rest of the elephant. Twist a small pinch twist for the mouth and position the trunk so that it is between the mouth and the head. (You can wrap the trunk around the head again if you’d like.)
This is basically made from two balloons twisted together, each containing a bouncy ball. I’d call it modern art, but give it to a child, and (after staring at it curiously) it becomes a toy! I got the idea of putting a ball inside a balloon from browsing balloonhq.com, which contains a tremendous amount of helpful information.
How do you get the ball into the balloon? In a future post, I’ll show you a little tool I made with a few items from around the house that you can use to put things into a balloon.
So you’ve got the basic dog balloon down. How can you make it a bit more fancy? “Khool dog” here offers three quick ideas.
- Make the balloon animal bigger. I used a 350 instead of the usual 260 balloon. A 350 balloon is three inches wide and 50 inches long, whereas a 260 balloon is two inches wide and 60 inches long. You’ll have to adjust the amount of air that you pump into the balloon. Some animals that usually require the entire 260 balloon may not work as well with the 350 balloon.
- Add eyes. I used a small 5″ white round balloon twisted in half to make the eyes.
- Add a bow tie. With a small 160 scrap, I made a bow tie and added it around the neck. You could also attach it to the ear using a raisin twist, but that will take a little more time.
Last Saturday my church hosted a Children’s Christmas party. It was a lot of fun, with crafts, gifts, and also Koko the clown, who entertained the guests with magic tricks, juggling, balloons, and shared about the meaning of Christmas. At the end, we also gave each kid a balloon animal, with which I helped out.
Because we were expecting possibly 100 kids, I tried to think of simpler balloon animals. We gave out red flowers, camels (which the wise men rode), and sheep (who were present in the stable where baby Jesus slept.) I was out of green 260 balloons, so I cut the red (for the petals) and green (for the stem) 160 balloons into halves to make two smaller flowers.
Camel: The camel balloon was a pretty simple animal to make. I went with a one-balloon design based on this camel youtube video. I simplified the design a bit – I didn’t do the tulip twist, and because I wanted the knot to be at the tail and not on the head, I started by making the tail first (instead of the head.) You’ll want to leave a little bit less than a 4 inch tail when inflating the balloon. I like to use up the entire balloon, and it may take you a try or two to get the size of the legs and body of the camel just right so that you have just the right amount left for the neck and head. After you are done twisting, bend the neck of the camel upwards, and bend the head downwards.
Sheep: The sheep is a little more complex than the camel, as it uses two balloons and requires more knot tying. I followed these instructions from Professor Wonder to make this balloon. I also simplified this balloon in that I didn’t use the tulip (apple) twist to attach the two balloons. Instead I just tied the ends together. (I’m not too good with the tulip twist and often end up popping the balloon.) In addition to white sheep, I also made a few that were blue, pink or purple, and used either black and blush for the head. (The kids preferred blush over black.) I try to use up the entire balloon here as well, so I don’t have do any additional cutting or tying.
After you finish making the camel and/or sheep, you can use a Sharpie or dry erase marker to draw the eyes and mouth.
This parrot (sitting on a perch) is one of my favorite one-balloon animals to make. It is fast (faster than the dog!) and easy – only requiring about 4 twists, and looks very much like a parrot. If the outside loop (perch) is too small, you can have a kid wear it so that it looks like the parrot is sitting on the kid’s arm/shoulder. Just twist the balloon so that the bird is not in the circle and have a kid put his or her arm through the loop (with the bird sitting on top.)