I’ve seen some different frog designs, and here’s a pretty simple one that I like. It uses a green 260 balloon for the frog body, and a bit of yellow or white (you can use a leftover scrap) for the eyes.
See the video here. (The person in the video has also made many other videos which are available from the same site, and are worth a look.)
Comments on the video instructions: You will want to leave about a 4.5 inch tail when blowing up the green balloon. I quickly ran out of “balloon” and had to make sure not to make any bubbles too large. If you do find that you’ve run out of balloon, you can just make the two legs from a second green balloon and then attach them.
To make a simple snake: just make the head of the frog. When blowing up the balloon, leave a smaller tail (around 1.5 inches), as you won’t be making as many twists. After making the head, bend the rest of the balloon into a zig-zag shape. Push the air into the uninflated part of the balloon. I also attached an uninflated piece of leftover red balloon for the snake tongue.
Little kids (especially boys) seem to love trains, trucks, and other vehicles. So, when I came across instructions for this helicopter balloon, I was eager to try it out. This balloon takes two balloons – preferably one 160 (for the rotors) and one 260 (for the helicopter body.) If you only have 260s, two 260s will work just fine.
See the directions from Professor Wonder here.
My comments on the instructions: You will use up the entire balloon for the helicopter body. I found that I quickly ran out of “balloon” and I had to make a lot of the bubbles smaller than what the instructions called for. (For example, the 6 inch bubbles were more like 3.5-4 inch bubbles for me.)
When making the rotors, I inflated the balloon till there was 1-1.5 inches left, not the 3 indicated in the instructions. I wanted to use up as much as I could of the balloon for the rotors.
To take the pictures, I attached a piece of string to the rotors and hung up the helicopter. A helicopter belongs in the air anyway. 🙂 For a kid’s birthday party, if it fit your theme, I imagine you could hang the helicopters (and perhaps some airplanes?) around the room as decorations for a nice touch.
There are three basic twists to know when you start balloon twisting. The first two most basic ones are the loop twist and lock twist, followed by the pinch twist, which you’ll eventually want to learn. I may post some pictures of them and describe them at some point, but I found the below web site does a pretty good job of illustrating them.
The lock twist, loop twist, and pinch twist are the first three listed, followed by some more advanced twists.
Check them out here.
I twisted some simple balloons (heart wands, flower hats, and four-legged creatures) for two special birthday girls at IHOP after our softball game one night. I used to think balloons were just for little kids, but I’m starting to see adults can enjoy them too (to my surprise!) This past summer while visiting family, I twisted some balloons for my little cousins, and I think my grandpa enjoyed them just as much. 🙂
(D commented that my friends aren’t really adults, but I disagree!)
I made these Hello Kitty balloons for a friend’s birthday. (Happy Birthday A!) I’m glad Hello Kitty is still in!
To make this balloon: I followed this
youtube video (Taken down.) Note that the girl teaching how to twist the balloon is an eleven year old!
Modifications: Instead of using all 260 balloons, I used a red 160 for the hair bow, a red 350 for the body, and a white 260 for the arms and legs, so that everything would be in more accurate proportions. (A 160 is one inch in diameter, a 260 is two inches in diameter, and a 350 is three inches in diameter. This was the first time I used a 350 balloon ever, so that was pretty exciting.) You can of course use other colors for the hair bow and body. The head is made from a 5” heart balloon.
I looked up some pictures of Hello Kitty online (sanrio.com) and used that to draw the face. I tried to keep the body relatively short (Hello Kitty’s head is bigger than the rest of her body!)
To attach the hair bow to the head, you will use what is called a raisin twist, which is a pretty cute and clever technique. You basically insert a small knotted piece of (uninflated) balloon into the balloon (the head) that you want to attach the other balloon (the hair bow) and grab that knot from the outside to attach the hair bow.
I created a new FAQ page. In the future I’ll post new questions here, as well as add them to the FAQ page.
Did you blow up all those balloons yourself?
No, I don’t blow up any balloons. I use a pump in inflate balloons. I don’t think I have the lungs for it, and it’s just more sanitary to use a pump. Also, this way kids won’t try to copy me and end up putting balloons in their mouths.
What’s a 260? What’s a 160?
These are different sizes of balloons. A 260 is a balloon that is 2 inches in diameter and 60 inches long. A 160 is a balloon that is one inch wide, and 60 inches long. 260s are the most commonly used ones for balloon twisting. Unless something else is specified, you’ll be using a 260 for most things. 160s are good for adding detail. 350s are another common size.
Yesterday was my last SS class with the 4-5 year olds – they’ll be moving on to the Kindergarten class next week! They have grown so much! I made the birds above as a little gift.
Last Day of SS
We didn’t have a formal lesson, so I made up some different activities. After a review game, I talked about God’s creation and showed some pictures I had taken recently of some plants and insects, as well as pictures of my family (they happened to be in the same pile and the kids were interested,) and ended with a picture of the class.
Afterward, I brought out the balloons and made a couple simple animals, which the kids enjoyed. (Some of the kids started repeating “I want a ….” so I put the balloons away. My funny assistant replied “I want a hamburger” making the kids laugh.) I asked if they thought these animals I just made were special, and they said yes, as expected. Then, I reminded them that God created each of them and they were all super special!
Making the birds
You’ll need one 160 and one 260. I followed the directions by Twistina. (Really nice instructions and photos!) It took longer than I expected. Adding detail, such as the legs and beak, adds more time, but they sure do look really nice and colorful. It ended up taking me about 15 minutes a bird after I got the hang of it (and some popped balloons.) I was excited to use my 160s for the first time.
I simplified the design of some of the birds: I didn’t add the pinch twist at the tail for some. Also, if I had just the right amount of air left after forming the head, I didn’t break off the last bit of the balloon. I would hide that last air bubble inside the body, or make it into a little chin under the beak, which also looks pretty cool.
To make the eyes: I drew eyes with regular markers on the leftover white part of a sticker sheet and then cut them out. I added a little color to some of the eyes (although you probably can’t see it in the picture.) You can draw the eyes directly onto the balloon with a Sharpie, but I liked the look of having the white part of the eyes. You can also add eyebrows or eyelashes.
I made all the birds the day before, as I knew I wouldn’t have time to make them all during class (about 12-15 kids).
The birdies here are all packed up and ready to go, and they each survived the trip just fine.
The basic dog is a great balloon to start with if you’re new to twisting.. It is also just a great balloon to start with in general (an easy warm up.)
The basic dog is made up of ten bubbles – one for the head, two ears, neck, 2 front legs, body, 2 back legs, and a small bubble at the end to keep the back legs in place. And it only requires three lock twists – one for the ears, one for front legs, and one for the back legs.
The great thing about the basic dog is once you have it down, you can easily make variations – point the ears down to make a basset hound or make a long body for Dachshund, etc. If you make one with a really long neck and small ears, it’s a giraffe! Make a really small one with a long tail and it’s a mouse! Many other four-legged animals have the basic structure of the dog but just have slightly different legs, tail, or ears… Adjust the amount of air you pump into the balloon for a longer/shorter body.
Another great thing about the dog is that it is one of the most requested items from kids!
Balloon twisting is sometimes harder to do than it looks, but it might not be you! It might the balloons you are using.
The balloons you find at the toy store or local store are often pretty old and not so high quality. Professional balloon artists use high quality balloons, which are much less likely to pop and just easier to manipulate in general.
I’ve always used Qualatex balloons (in my limited experience) and they seem to be used by many professionals. Bellatex is the other major brand. If you know me, feel free to just ask me for some balloons and to borrow a pump, if you want to try it out. I usually have more than enough balloons. (The Qualatex bags come in 100 count and 250 count.)
I twisted these balloons for one of my good work friends for her son’s doljanchi, a great big Korean celebration for a baby’s one year old birthday (lots of fun!) I’ll eventually post instructions or links to instructions for these!