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3-D Hot Air Balloon Paper Decorations

These rainbow-colored balloons are made to look like they're floating in mid-air! We used one template to cut, fold, and hang a batch of these easy-to-make paper decorations.

DIY hot air balloons

Photography: Shanna Sullivan

Source: Martha Stewart


This idea comes from Digital Editor Alexandra Churchill. They were part of an "Up, Up, and Away" themed baby shower.


These instructions give you the steps to make a single decoration, but if you're making them in bulk as you would for a party, place the template on a sheet of cardstock, and trace as many as will fit onto the sheet — this will save time and paper. They can hang from baker's twine or (to achieve the illusion of free suspension) monofilament.


  • Cardstock in multiple colors
  • Hot air balloon template
  • Gold glitter baker's twine or monofilament
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick


  1. Print out your own template, and cut out the balloon shape.
  2. Stack five sheets of colorful cardstock and cut out the template using scissors. (Tip: Stack different colors or subtly different shades of a single color to add dimensionality to each balloon.)
  3. Using a bone folder and ruler, score a straight line down the center of each balloon cut-out. Remove the ruler and reinforce the scored line, smoothing it down with the bone folder.
  4. Glue each folded balloon cut-out back to back, so each half connects to another half of a differently colored cut-out, along the fold line.
    Up Up and Away DIY hot air balloon
  5. Cut two small squares of paper (this will be the hot air balloon basket). Cut a short length of twine, tie into a knot, and loop between the basket cut-outs (this will be the line that connects the hot air balloon to the basket). Glue both parts to the hot air balloon.
    String from hot air balloon
  6. Glue balloon cut-outs together so they form one hot air balloon, threading baker's twine through the center of the folds and securing the end with glue at desired hanging length. Tie the opposite end of the twine to the ceiling, an overhanging fixture, or the wall behind a table.
    Up Up and Away DIY hot air balloons

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