Miss. Hillary Strain

Balloon Animals/Things

Hello Everyone!

Well, I have finally decided what to do for my learning project. It’s an exciting day.  Actually, the idea came from an older gentleman at a restaurant the other weekend.  When I was home last, my parents and I went out for supper.  There was an older man there who had a meal, just like the rest of us, but once he was done, he went around to all of the tables that had young children at them and made them all balloon animals!  It was honestly the cutest and neatest thing that I have ever seen.  The look on the children’s face when he made them the animal they wanted, it was either a mouse or a dog, was priceless and I could tell that the gentleman felt good about it as well.  Being able to witness this is what inspired me to learn how to make some myself.

Balloon Kit

Not going to lie, I have always wanted to make them myself but I have never thought of trying and never really had the ambition to. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to finally try it out.  To get started, I realized that I needed an ample amount of balloons and probably a balloon pump.  I decided to go check out the local store, Party City, and they had exactly what I needed!  They had an animal balloon started pack that came with 40 balloons, a balloon pump and a book of directions to make animals.  This was the perfect buy!  I was looking into the direction book that the kit came with, and it is actually quite complex. It doesn’t really seem quite fit for a beginner and the instructions aren’t that clear, but I know that it will be a little more useful in the future.

What I know:  To be honest, I know nothing about balloon animals. I know that the animals and objects look quite easy to make but it’s actually a very challenging hobby.  The only thing that I know how to do is create a snake, a snake with it’s tongue sticking out and I know how to twist a long balloon to make little “bubbles” on it.  I feel that I am going to learn a lot with this project.  Also, what I know is that I’m kind of scared of balloons popping around/near me. I’m not the biggest fan of twisting high pressured things that can explode and potentially injure me. So, this is going to be something that I am going to have to overcome but I am willing to do this and make some cool things!  Here is a picture of my first step.  I made a snake with it’s tongue sticking out!

First Try

Balloon Snake Well, here is my snake.  As you can see, I left out some air to make room for it’s tongue.  I didn’t use any instructions or nothing to come up with this idea, it was all in my head.  I just used my imagination and what I feel like I already knew.  I just used the little pump that came with my kit to pump it up and then I tied the knot to make the air stay in the balloon.  I know, this seems pretty basic and easy to start out with. But that’s actually all that I know and was my first try without instructions!  I decided to try again. I kept the same balloon but decided to start adding in some twist and different techniques.

I decided to try to start adding some little “bubbles” in my balloon snake to try and transform it into something else.  I just started twisting the balloon in the part where i wanted a “bubble” to form. Well, the twisting part was the easy part, it was the getting it to stay part that was tough.  Once finished twisting the balloon to make the bubble, as soon as I let go, the twist disappeared! The air pushed through the twist and made it come undone.  I tried this a couple of times and got frustrated. I finally decided its as time to do a bit of research to figure out how to make it stick!  I found this website here, “twisting balloons 101” , that showed me the “twist and pinch” technique. This is when you simply pinch the part you want to twist, and keep twisting it in that spot over and over again but in order to lock it, you must intertwine 2-3 parts of the balloon together. So I continued reading about this on the same site as above! Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 4.33.46 PM By using this technique, and the same balloon that I used to make my “snake”, I ended up making a legless dog!!  I’m pretty proud of myself to be honest.  If you look closely at the picture below, You can see the long nose/face on the left, the little loops at the top are the ears, the long body and the tail! Balloon dog no legsI’d say this isn’t too bad for a first timer!

Things I learned: Tying the knot at the end of the balloon is actually kind of hard because of how little room you get left.  I learnt the “pinch and twist” technique to create little bumps rather than just twisting the balloon. I also learnt that you can’t just expect to make one little bubble here and there and expect it to last. You have to twist it in with another bubble or just not make one at all.  Another thing I learned, that I think I really need to get driven into my head, is that even though the pressure feels like it’s going to explode due to your twisting and manipulating, it actually might not and probably won’t! I just need to calm down and go with it.

I’m excited to learn more about different techniques and ways to make animals/other balloon things, like a hat or sword!


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One thought on “Balloon Animals/Things

  1. Hillary – you’ve gotten off to a great start with your blog. You’re making good use of links and images. Now keeping working on adding videos and more links. And think about ending your posts with questions to increase engagement.

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