# Other

## Giant pumpkin

Oct 31st

Happy halloween! This giant pumpkin balloon was made for a Fall Harvest Party. Afterwards, I fixed the popped balloons and it sat in my living room for a week and was used as a pumpkin playhouse! I removed one balloon in the back so our playhouse could have a window.

## Big heart

Oct 28th

Happy Birthday to my friend, Carmen! Now you’ve got two big hearts!

Check out Sue Bowler’s instructions for how to make this. It took me about 2 hours. You’ll use 79 Quick Links/Link-O-Loons and 78 5″ balloons. I inflated the balloons to 7″ and 9″, and the resulting heart was humongous (though I was still able to squeeze the balloon into our SUV for transport.)

## Heart eyes emoji

Sep 12th

I first saw this balloon on youtube (see below), and thought it would be a fun balloon to make, especially for older kids. I hadn’t thought about making emojis before. I added one pinch twist on each side.

My husband didn’t know what this was, but my niece did!

## Baby bootees

Feb 12th

These baby bootees were hung as a wall decoration for a baby shower.

**To make these balloons**, I followed Vyacheslav’s video tutorial. (The video is in Russian, but can easily be followed. Check out his other tutorials!) I didn’t have pink small rounds and used two pink large rounds instead. This balloon requires a pretty neat advanced technique to get the shape of the shoes – you’ll inflate a 160 or 260 balloon segment inside of a round balloon and then deflate the round balloon a bit. Very cute!

[ Video tutorial by Vyacheslav]

## Gift bow

Dec 31st

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.

## Heart balloon

Feb 13th

Happy almost Valentine’s Day! According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day is the second most celebrated holiday around the world.

Here’s a heart to make for Valentine’s Day, or for any day!

I saw this balloon on Michael Langerman’s YouTube video. It’s not too hard, but requires you to twist 79 bubbles.

**To make this balloon**, I used 1 red balloon and 3.5 pink balloons. You of course could use all the same color or any combination of colors. You’ll basically start by twisting loops of bubbles, just the same way you would make a necklace. The red outline requires a 15 bubble loop; you’ll also need two 20-bubble loops, a 12-bubble loop, and two 6-bubble loops. I used one balloon to make both the 12-bubble and 6-bubble loops, and used half a balloon to make one of the 6-bubble loops.

Try to make all the bubbles the same size. The more consistent the size, the better. And make sure to twist each bubble a good number of times so it won’t come undone easily.

After you finish making the loops, you’ll make a couple more simple twists and then put all the chains together carefully to make the heart balloon. (Check out the video!) This balloon is pretty cool. It’s 3D and the back is the same as the front.

## Orderly Tangle

Jan 26th

This is called an “orderly tangle” (or also “regular polylink.”) This particular tangle is made up of four triangles, which when woven together in a certain symmetric fashion form a stable structure. You may have seen tangles in the form of puzzles before. My college roommate was really into puzzles and had a bunch of wooden ones. I first saw tangles that were made from balloons on Vi Hart’s web site.

**To make this balloon**, I used four 260 balloons. I used my neon colors for a cool color combination. I left around a 3-4 inch tail (instead of inflating the entire balloon) as I didn’t want the final structure to be too big/loose. There are no tricky twists – it’s just four triangles. But it is a geometric exercise to figure out how to put it together. You’ll have to make each triangle one at a time as you figure out how to weave them. I added a 5″ round balloon in the middle for fun.

To learn more about these cool geometric structures, check out this video below by George Hart, who has lots of photos and videos of really cool mathematical sculptures at his web site and YouTube channel.

Fin RegPolylinks from Simons Foundation on Vimeo.

## Christmas Tree

Dec 15th

Merry [almost] Christmas!

I’ve been meaning to make something Christmas-related, and finally made this tree! I didn’t want to make a very big tree, and so I used 160 balloons and not 260 balloons. This tree is about 8-10 inches tall.

I’ve seen Christmas trees made in different ways – by making each layer separately and then joining them, or by using all round balloons.

**To make this balloon**, I used 3 green 160 balloons, a gold 160 balloon to decorate the tree, and some scrap 160 and 260 balloons for the ball ornaments.

I started by making a pinch twist, and then 3 small loop twists (connected at the same spot), followed by a small bubble and then another set of loop twists, followed by a small bubble and then another set of loop twists, and so on…, and ending with a small bubble at the bottom. The lower the level of branches, the more the loop twists, and the larger the loop twists. Whenever you’re about to run out of the green balloon, just pop the remaining balloon, tie a knot, and wrap it around the balloon; then attach another green balloon and start again where you left off. Lastly, I twisted a series of bubbles (using the gold 160), and used different colors of balloon scraps to make ball ornaments to decorate the tree.

## Balloon ball (icosahedron)

Oct 1st

Here’s a balloon ball. Sure, you could just inflate a round balloon, but this is cooler. ðŸ™‚

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!)

## Vacuum Cleaner

Jul 3rd

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!

## Baby pacifier

May 29th

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.