I originally tried making the hot air balloons using the instructions I found on the Martha Stewart website. However, even after sanding the balloons still appeared lumpy and were easily dented. After googling different paper-mache methods I finally came up with a way to construct the balloons so that they maintain there structure while still being light weight.
Photograph courtesy of Martha Stewart.
- 3 Ceiling Hooks
- Styrofoam Balls- two 8" ($8.39 each with coupon) and one 10" ($9.99 with coupon)
- 2 Bowls-1 for warm water, 1 to hold styrofoam ball
- Thin Cardboard (such as the left over tube from a roll of paper towel or wrapping paper)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Craft Paint-at least two colors (on sale for $0.29 each at Michaels)
- Ralph Lauren Glaze tinted Behr Espresso Bean (left over from previous project, on sale for $10 at Home Depot)
- Minwax Polycrylic
- 3 Baskets
- Clear Monofilament Cord
- Decorative Cord
- Embellishments (lace, netting, scrapbooking stickers, etc.)
- Coat Hanger
Use a straitened coat hanger or thick wire to poke a hole strait through the styrofoam ball. Thread monofilament cord through the hole. At one end tie the cord securely to a washer. Hot glue the washer to what will become the bottom of the styrofoam ball. This will allow you to easily hang the hot air balloon from a ceiling hook once the balloon is finished. Initially I attempted to insert a hook into the top of the styrofoam ball that I could use to attach it to a length of monofilament cord tied to a ceiling hook. However, the threads of the hook were too small to fit securely into styrofoam ball and I did not want to risk the hot air balloon falling.
Place styrofoam ball in bowl to keep it secure. Cut plaster wrap strips to proper length and width (strips with a width of 1" or less seemed to work best). Fill the second bowl with warm water. Wet and apply each strip of plaster wrap one at a time, smoothing each strip as you go. Once the entire ball is covered allow the wrap to dry according the manufacturer's instructions.
Form thin cardboard into a short cylinder and hot glue to the bottom of the ball. This cylinder will hide the bump that was created when the washer was covered over with plaster wrap. Once the hot glue dries cover the cylinder in plaster wrap. Once dry, paint stripes in alternating colors. Allow paint to dry before brushing on tinted glaze. Immediately wipe off glaze. Brush with Minwax Polycrylic once the glaze has dried.
Drill four holes in the basket (one in each corner), and the cylinder attached to the bottom of the ball. Use decorative cord to attach the basket to the balloon. Embellish the finished balloon to fit the style of the nursery. Attach ceiling hooks to ceiling and attach the balloons to the hooks using monofilament cord.
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