Springtime Sky Part 1: DIY Paper Hot Air Balloon

Springtime Sky Part 1: DIY Paper Hot Air Balloon

Spring has arrived, and soon we will be going to all kinds of outdoor events and festivals! Among the many kinds of warm-weather activities to look forward to, there are, of course, hot air balloon festivals! If you're planning on attending one of these festivals, or if you just love the way these colorful balloons look floating through the sky, this easy springtime craft is for you!

colorful paper hot air balloon against white wall

To begin, you will need:
  • 1 Sheet of heavy card stock
  • 5 sheets of Brite Hue Recycled paper (5 different colors)
  • A paper bowl or other round, traceable object
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Glue Stick
  • 1 empty toilet paper tube
  • String of your choice
  • Liquid craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Clear thread or fishing line
  • A sewing needle

colorful paper spread out on desk with pencil, wooden ruler, paper bowl, and scissors

Step 1:

The first thing you will do is create a template for the individual sections of your balloon. To do this, place the paper bowl or other round object onto the card stock so that the edge of the bowl almost touches the top of the paper. Trace the bowl. This circle in the top of your balloon shape.

white upside down paper bowl traced on white paper

To create the bottom section of the balloon shape, measure and mark a 4 inch, a 3 inch, and a 2 inch line in descending order below the circle. The center if the circle and the center of each line should be lined up. (It is helpful to draw a line through the center of the circle and extending down below it with your ruler to measure this). Draw two lines angled inwards that intersect with the ends of the lines you measured. These lines should reach the bottom of the paper to form the base of the balloon. Use your ruler to keep them straight. Once your balloon shape is complete, you will cut it out using your scissors!

pencil sketches and measurements on white paper

Step 2:

Next, you will create 5 balloon sections using the template you just created. To do this, place the template onto one of your sheets of Brite Hue paper and trace it with your pencil. Cut out the shape.

balloon shape template and tracing on red paper

Repeat this with this four remaining colors.

colorful paper balloon shape cutouts folded

Step 3:

Fold each colored section on half longways. Starting with any color, use your glue stick to cover the top surface of a single folded piece. Take another piece of another color and align it with the glued piece so that the equal other surfaces are touching. Glue these pieces together. Repeat this with each colored piece, stacking them on top of each other.

folded Red and blue balloon cutouts attached with glue

Step 4:

Unfold the pile and glue the final two pieces together along the inner surfaces. You now have your balloon!

Red and green paper cutouts folded and glued together

Now it's time to create the basket!

Step 5:

Cut the empty toilet paper tube in half. Using your scraps of Brite Hue paper, you may cut and glue colorful designs onto the half you will use for the basket. Here, I chose to do stripes by cutting strips of paper and gluing them around the perimeter of the tube!

Toilet paper tube cut in half, wrapped with colorful rubber bands

Step 6:

Now you to to connect the basket to the balloon.  To do this, you will use your string and liquid glue. (Here I have used Ivory Kraft Twine, which is a fun choice because it resembles miniature rope!) Cut two even lengths of string. Glue the ends of these two strings evenly onto the halved paper tube. After letting this dry for a few moments, glue the other two ends of the string evenly into two outward-facing corners on your balloon. Let dry.

Toilet paper tube with line of glue inside and piece of twine

twine glued to center of folded colorful paper

Step 7:

Your hot air balloon is almost complete! Now you just need a way to hang it up. To give your balloon the appearance that it's floating in midair, cut a 8-12  inch strand of clear thread and string it through your sewing needle. Poke the needle through the top of the balloon evenly, but only pull the thread halfway through. Remove the needle from the thread and tie the thread at the top. You now have a nearly invisible string from which to hang your balloon!

roll of silver sewing string with needle and string holding up colorful folded paper

Once you have found a place to display your masterpiece, your work is done! Let your colorful balloon float and fly in any room you want.

Completed colorful paper hot air balloons

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