This was not an easy project. I see these hot air balloons all over pinterest and different blogs and for some reason no one seems to be mentioning how labor intensive they are. So either I did this in a really complicated way or my fellow art bloggers just aren’t fessing up. Regardless, I’m glad we did it. The kids loved the final result but it definitely was challenging getting those layers on the balloons. We were going to paint them but I couldn’t bring myself to ask the kids to do another layer of newspaper, so we cheated a little and used tissue paper for our last layer. We also had issues with the balloons deflating before the papermache dried. I will say, we figured out a pretty genius move by popping the balloon and then blowing another one inside the drying papermache. I was all busy congratulating myself on my great idea when the second time I did it the balloon busted right through the papermache and we had to do some major surgery. Oy. So much for genius. If anyone has any tips on this project, please let me know. I’m jealous of all those beautiful painted hot air balloons for kids I see all over the place!
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these are super cool!! i teach preschool, but i think there’s NO WAY i’m going to attempt this with preschoolers. so fun to look at, though! 🙂
Thanks Heather. I def wouldn’t do these with preschoolers, but you may want to try these? http://mericherry.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/kindergarten-tissue-paper-balloon-bowls-part-1/
When I was in maybe 5th or 6th grade we did a similar project, but we used plaster craft and that’s what I would use today if I were to do such a project. Then again, most schools are anti-balloon (latex allergies), so I am sure this was VERY hard to do with such little people and I am not sure newspaper or the plaster craft would be a better choice. Very ambitious project!
I am teaching a class this fall for our homeschool co-op and plan on doing this craft with the kids, who are ages 8-14. I think they can handle it, but I’m so glad I found your experience here. I remember doing this craft myself in first grade and remembered we used diluted school glue and tissue paper, so I tried it last night to test it out..it’s still drying a bit, but I neglected to remember to use newspaper FIRST and just put about 8 sheets of tissue paper around the balloon. LOL
It doesn’t seem that sturdy so I knew I’d missed something….it’s been a LONG time since I was in 1st grade…about 30 years. LOL (I also just had my 3rd baby who’s still in the newborn stage, so my mind is not as reliable as it was when I taught art classes in years past! It’s amazing the way your brain skips information that you’ve known for years. So, this is my “duh” moment with the paper mache. LOL)
Thank you for posting this and all of your amazing craft ideas and stories!
Sounds like you have your hands full Chrissy. Good luck with the balloons. It is ambitious! But worth it. Let me know how it goes.
Definitely the messiest project I have done, I agree hands down. I paint usually and I am glad I had a drop cloth under me. I also tied the balloon end to a hemp line(for future hot air balloon use) on a hanger in front of a fan to dry quicker. Hope the balloon doesn’t deflate, as they are drying now. I didn’t use newspaper first (my first paper mache in ……. a long time:)) so I plan on acrylic painting and using a mod podge/gesso over them. I hope they turn out okay but will probably be light in weight. Your project looked pretty and worth it:)
Hi, yes Meri, I started these balloons with 16 of a literature lab I work with at the end of the day and the balloons started to deflate before they were dry!! Agh. I think I may try plaster craft which would dry pretty quickly, but yes let me know if you or anyone has come up with a recipe for success with this project! M.C.
I love this. I think the preschoolers I am with could handle a modified version of this, maybe the papermache can be done by adults as prep (or older kids in same school as collaborative project). Then the tissue paper and the baskets cans be done with the kids. Great way to get some scaffolding or older kids involved in fun kid projects!
Great ideas. The kids I did this with were in kindergarten. They really loved it. Thanks for reading along!