With Balloons

With Balloons


submitted by: Tim Chase

BalloonsBalloon sculpture is not a difficult art. You see clowns blow up balloons and create everything from dogs and swords to hats, hearts, and butterflies. You can easily learn to craft them, as it took me an afternoon to learn some basic creatures, a week to learn some more complex ones, and a month to learn some really wild ones (e.g. the motorcycle and the mermaid).

I grabbed a book from the local library which provided some basic ideas (eventually purchasing one of my own with far more ideas). A trip to the party-supply store later, I was stocked with a gross of “260s” (the “balloon-animal balloons”) and a pump. Dodge the mini-hand pumps. A ball or bike pump should work nicely.

The most difficult task for most people is overcoming the fear that the balloon will pop. They will. You smile and toss the bits into your pocket or the trash, and start again. If you get better quality balloons such as Qualitex, you might lose 5-10 out of your gross, compared to the generic ones where you can easily lose a third of your balloons to popping.

Once you get some of the basics, you can move on to more advanced balloon art. There are only a few basic twists and folds–it’s the combination of them that makes the final product. You don’t have to memorize them (although there’s something to be said for crafting latex into art before your sweetie’s eyes) which makes it less daunting.

Hearts, bears, flowers, doves, and swans are all “romantic” fodder. If friends see them, they may ask you to make balloon art for their sweeties too.

I don’t clown professionally, but was just interested and wanted to learn. Since then, I’ve taught children as young as first or second grade to make some of the basics…one of them is now doing parties for friends to supplement his allowance. It’s easy and a fun way to show someone you care.