DIY Colorful Hot Air Balloons

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blog 8The Navy sent us packing from Virginia to Washington State a few months back. And with the move, we left behind our 1960 “work in progress” home we bought in Virginia and lived in for a grand total of 17 months. I enjoyed my short-lived freedom of being able to paint whatever I wanted whatever color I wanted. We’re renting (again!) and I no longer have walls I can paint. Sigh.

Timmy and Vera are sharing a room during our stay in Washington. I love the idea of my two little toddlers sharing a room- bedtime is the cutest! Now that we’ve settled into our new rental home, I’ve turned my attention to my kids’ very white room. My goal is to bring some color and whimsy to their shared room.

And what’s more colorful and whimsical than a hot air balloon? My first addition to their room were some DIY hot air balloons to hang from the ceiling. They were so simple to make and turned out to be really cute! All you’ll need to make one your own are a few inexpensive things:

  • paper lantern (I found mine at Party City, a pack of 3 for $6)
  • ribbon (~9 feet) and yarn (~2 feet)
  • paper cup or small basket
  • scrapbooking paper
  • hot glue gun
  • monofilament (fishing wire)

Pretty simple, right? To start, I cut 4 even strips of ribbon (each approximately 2 feet) and one shorter strip of ribbon long enough to wrap around the top of your basket or cup. If you choose to use a paper cup, I would suggest cutting off the brim of the cup. I made 3 hot air balloons- I used paper cups for two of my hot air balloons’ “baskets” and a wooden basket for the third. Both look great, I think.

You’ll notice the paper lantern is divided into 8 colorful panels. I chose to attach four ribbons to the cup/basket and lantern, but you could use 2,4 or even 8 depending on what you like the best. I lined a seam between two panels with a strip of hot glue and attached a ribbon down the length of the lantern leaving the tail of the ribbon hanging from the bottom of the lantern. I attached the remaining 3 ribbons, leaving two panels of the lantern between each ribbon.

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I left about 3 inches between the bottom of the lantern and the top of the cup/basket. I glued the ribbon down the length of the cup/basket. I then glued the remaining 3 ribbons making sure to leave the same length of ribbon between the lantern and cup/basket. You don’t want a lopsided basket for your hot air balloon!

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I secured the ribbons to the center of the bottom of the cup/basket with some glue and trimmed the “tails” to a good length.

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You could also attach the ribbons to the inside of the cup/basket and choose to not have a tail. It’s all personal preference! I really liked the look of the ribbons on the outside of the basket. The shortest piece of ribbon was glued around the top of my cup and I trimmed the excess.

Originally I stopped at this step but later I decided to add a bunting around each lantern. I’m so glad I did- I think it added so much to the hot air balloons. I cut strips of white yarn and glued the ends underneath the ribbons on the lantern. Make sure the yarn is long enough to drape between the ribbons. I cut small triangles from some scrapbooking paper I had in the house and glued them to the white ribbon.

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I tied a piece of monofilament to the metal support in the opening of the top of the balloon and attached the monoflamet to a screw hook from the ceiling.

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And there you have it. So cute and each one took about 20 minutes to make. I’d love to know what you think of my hot air balloons or see pictures of your own beautiful creations! I’m so inspired by these hot air balloons hanging in their room that I can’t wait to move on to the next project. Next up for their room? Some aqua colored curtains with white pom- pom trim and a colorful, hand-sewn bunting. Hopefully I’ll have their room complete before our next move!

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