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Papier-Mache Hot Air Balloons

The sky is the limit with these charming papier-mache balloons: Use them at children's parties, baby showers, nurseries, or any place your decor needs a lift.

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, September 2010

materials

  • 12-inch balloon

  • Large bowl

  • Newspaper

  • Half-water/half-white-glue mixture

  • Scissors

  • Sandpaper

  • 1/4-inch tape

  • Craft paint in 3 to 4 colors

  • Paintbrush

  • 1/4-inch ribbon

  • Fabric glue

  • Paper cup

  • Pencil

  • 1/4-inch hole punch

  • Scrap of pom-pom trim

  • Monofilament

  • Small 2-inch scrap of dowel or piece of wood

  • Wooden bead

steps

  1. Blow up balloon and place in a large bowl for stability. Cut newspaper into long, skinny triangles.

  2. Dip newspaper strips into glue mixture and papier-mache 3 layers of newspaper onto balloon. When papier-mache is completely dry, cut a small hole in bottom and slowly deflate the balloon. Even out the bottom hole with scissors. If the dry papier-mache is too wrinkled or bumpy, sand it smooth.

  3. Section the papier-mache balloon into 8 equal lengthwise parts with 1/4-inch tape.

  4. Alternating colors, paint sections of balloon with craft paint.

  5. Remove tape. Attach 1/4-inch grosgrain ribbon over tape lines with fabric glue. Glue two long pieces of ribbon in an X over top of balloon, with ends hanging down to hold basket.

  6. To make the hot-air balloon basket, mark a paper cup 2 3/4 inches from the bottom, all the way around the cup. Cut off the top of the cup with scissors. Paint cup with craft paint to match the balloon. Make four equidistant marks around top of cup, and then use a hole punch to make a ribbon hole at each mark. Add pom-pom trim around outside of cup with fabric glue.

  7. Tie monofilament to a 2-inch length of dowel, then thread through top center of balloon for hanging. Hang balloon before attaching basket. To attach basket, thread four hanging ends of ribbon through each hole on the basket, from the inside out, then pull and slide ribbons until basket is level. Thread all ends of ribbon through a painted wooden bead under basket; tie in knot.

  8. Add additional embellishments to balloon as desired.

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