Sunday, June 8, 2014

Craft Stuff: Easy Hot Air Balloons

Today was a bit of a rainy afternoon, so while the munchkin had her nap, I did a little craft I've been meaning to do for a while.  I made 3 adorable hot air balloons to hang in the munchkin's room!  They were super-easy, quick and they look pretty good if I do say so myself.

Here's what you will need to make some on your own.
To start, you will need approximately 6 things:  scissors, clear tape, markers or paint, bow wire (I included a photo of this with the label, so you could see what I mean), a paper lantern (the kind that comes without lights), and an appropriately sized takeout container/treat box.  I forgot to include the scissors, tape & markers in this photo, but I think it is a safe bet that you all know what those things are.  Everything on this list is easy to find at most craft stores (and sometimes the dollar store!).

If you chose a plain paper lantern, and you want to decorate it, now is the time!  Mine came in a three pack (two in the star pattern, and one plain gold), so I didn't have to do anything.  Once your lantern is decorated, the next step is to cut the flaps off the top of your take out container.

Now it is time to decorate your container!  I chose plain cardboard because I wanted mine to look like a wicker basket.  However, if you find coloured or patterned ones, decorate them (or not) however you like!
To get the wicker-y look, I used three different coloured markers, yellow, light brown and dark brown, borrowed from munchkin's stash of art supplies.  I did it in order of lightest to darkest as below.

Not too shabby, eh?  Up close, you can tell that this is a rough marker job, but since these are going to be hanging from the ceiling, that doesn't matter too much.  I was just going for the effect from a bit of a distance.

Now the part that took the longest.  Your lantern should have one side with a plain metal bar, and the other side should have a hook-y thing.  You want to attach your basket to the plain bar side, as shown in this photo.  That way, the hook end is free when you go to hang up your balloon.

Now you want to take your bow wire, and wrap it around the bar on the lantern & the handle on your basket, like this:

And a close-up, because I was apparently on the ball earlier today:

The bow wire is actually a kind of wire, so while it is a good idea to knot it at either end, it will hold its shape fairly well.  If you want to get really fancy, you could take the handle out of the take-out container and replace it with the wire, but then you have a trickier job of making sure both sides hang evenly.

Now, you just have to hang your balloon and admire your handiwork!  We were unfortunately out of clear line to hang up my completed balloons, but the photo at the top of the page where I held it at eye-height came out pretty well I think.

I hope you enjoyed my little project.  Feel free to share if you make one for yourself!

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