Paper Hot Air Balloons – Tutorial

It’s raining outside, the nights are drawing in, a conker collection is gathering pace (well I’m fishing them out of the washing machine after they’ve been hidden in pockets) and I’m wrapped in a blanket rather than pay for more electric. That’s it, summer is officially over, but it has at least given me the excuse to make new autumn themed decorations for the shop!

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We’ve got paper windmills and autumnal coloured pom-poms in the window, but my favourites are the paper hot air balloons and clouds we’ve made to hang throughout the shop.

I was very honoured when a customer asked if they were Flensted mobiles. They’re actually much cheaper and easy peasy to do yourself, so if you fancy having a go, here’s what you need….

  • 7 sheets of A3 card (I used a 240gsm so it was thick but not immovable) and I brought mine from here
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • A paper template of the half balloon shape you would like – here’s a copy of the template I made (you need to stick the two bits together, obvs)
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery cotton and embroidery needle
  • Something blunt to score with (I used a butter knife!)
  • A ruler (I used a quilting rule, but anything with a straight edge will do)

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First of all get the six sheets of the card you want to use to make your balloon and put aside the one you’ll use for the basket. Score them lengthways down the middle and fold them over. Once folded, trace around your template and cut out your balloon shape.

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Next on the outside right hand side of the balloon shape cover the edge with double sided sticky tape – don’t take off the tape just yet! Do this on all the pieces then gradually stick them all together until they all meet up (hopefully the pictures explain this better!)

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Next make the basket.  Draw a 4in square and score a line 1in from each edge the whole way round. Cut diagonally in from each corner and fold up the edges to form a box using some more double-sided sticky tape to keep it in place.

Cut four pieces of embroidery thread then tie knots in one end of each and thread them through each side of the box. Once all of them are in place, thread them through the card at the bottom of the balloon and tie them off.

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To hang the balloon I used some more embroidery thread and a needle to push through the top of the balloon and form a loop to hang it. You could try and attach some thread inside the balloon when you’re sticking the sides together, but I found this didn’t hold as well, although you may have more luck!

If you fancy making some clouds to go with your balloons, it’s simply the same technique again, but with just three pattern pieces. And there you have it, beautiful balloons!

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