Today’s tutorial is whimsical and lighthearted; I’ll be teaching you how to make your own hanging hot air balloon decor 🙂 These balloons were inspired by the image of hundreds of multicolored balloons drifting off into a September sky. You know how in the fall the sky turns a deep, clear sapphire blue? Now imagine that clear sky dotted with hot air balloons, each one different, each one unique. What I love about this tutorial is that its easily customized to suit your own personality, and mistakes just make the balloons that much more special.
I struggled a bit to make an appropriate pattern for this piece. For whatever reason, I’ve never been that great at making round things, so a few of my balloons turned out kind of weird. At any rate, I finally made a pattern that worked, and I’m including it for you guys. Success!
PATTERN FOUND HERE. Actually use it guys, it took me a while to perfect :<
1. Cut out 6 of the pattern pieces
2. Sew the patterns together by lining up the edge of one piece with the edge of another piece. Make sure right sides are facing together! You want all the seams to be pointing in the same direction 🙂
3. Stuff the balloon
4. Cut out a circle and use it to close up the balloon. I used a blind stitch so that the seam couldn’t be seen.
1. Cut out a circle for the bottom of the basket
2. Cut out a rectangle that can wrap around the circle. Make it about 5 inches wide.
3. Fold the rectangle in half length-wise (hot dog style!) and then again in half width-wise (hamburger style!). Sew along the edge.
4. Attach the rectangle to the circle edges, make sure that all seams are facing outwards.
1. Cut out 4 threads of an even length
2. Dab a bit of hot glue on the corner of the basket and firmly press the end of the thread into the glue. Make sure that the glue is cool enough to touch! Do this for all four threads
3. Dab a bit of hot glue on the corner of the balloon bottom and press the corresponding basket thread into the glue. Do this for all four threads.
My plain white balloon was a little boring, so I added some cute decorations. This part is all up to your creativity 🙂
1. Flag banners – I glued a string onto one seam and then let it sag to get a nice looping effect. I folded and a little pink banner over the string in the middle of the loop and glued in place. At the next seam, I once again add a pink banner and glue the thread to the balloon. I continue to do this until the whole balloon is encircled with cute flag banners.
2. Looped ropes – Where each thread meets the balloon, I glued a tiny piece of looped rope just to make it fancier!
Other ideas include braided rope or lace trim. Honestly, the possibilities are endless.
Since I want my balloon to hang, I sew a little cloth loop to the top of the balloon. I wouldn’t recommend gluing, since gravity is stronger than you think. You don’t want your balloon to come crashing down in the middle of the night… while you’re sleeping. That would be scary.
Because of my trial and error with the pattern, my 3 balloons all turned out a little different. I think that kind of adds to their charm! Which balloon do you guys like best? Personally, I like the pink and white one 🙂