Learn how to make a paper mache balloon! Paper mache is one of those crafts that is a lot of fun to do and lets you show off your creativity in many different ways. You can create many different things from just a few scraps of paper and some white school glue. Paper mache is a craft that you can do whether you’re a beginner or you have been crafting for a very long time. It is something that you can enjoy on your own, with friends, or with kids. A paper mache balloon is one of the easiest things you can make with paper mache. It is something that you can use to make a lot of other crafts or even party décor. Paper mache balloons are definitely something you will want to try your hand at.
Paper Mache Balloon – Supplies
Making a paper mache balloon is very easy but what will make the whole process a lot easier is having all your supplies ready. This should be a rule of thumb with any craft you do. Having your supplies readily available makes the whole process much more fun and saves you time and effort.
When making paper mache projects, there are two ways you can go about it. There is a method more suited to beginners and children, which is very simple and easy to do, and then there is the cooking method. The cooking method is a bit more advanced and requires more effort.
Supplies – Paper Mache Balloon
- Cut-up strips of newspaper or scrap paper
- Bowls (Large and small)
- Shallow container
How to Make Paper Mache Balloon Glue Mixture
Once you have all your supplies ready, you can then make your mixture for the paper mache project you are about to start. As mentioned before, there is an advanced method to make a paper mache mixture, and there is also a beginner-friendly method. Whichever one you choose depends on your comfort level, the time you have for this project, and the supplies you have at your disposal.
Beginner Glue Mixture
Beginner Glue Recipe Supplies
- White (PVA) or Clear Glue
Step 1 – Mix Glue and Water
For this step, you should know what kind of glue you have. If you have white or PVA glue, you need about 2 parts of glue to 1 part of water. For clear glue, you need 3 parts of glue to 1 part of water. Once you have your water and glue mixed together, you pretty much have your mixture ready to use whenever.
Step 2 – Soak Paper Strips
In this recipe, you're done with just the one step of mixing glue and water. This is a beginner-friendly method and is very easy to make. Once you have the mixture ready, the next step is to soak your paper strips in it and start making your paper mache balloon.
Advanced Glue Mixture
- All-purpose flour
- White sugar
- Small pot
Step 1 – Mix Flour and Water
In a large bowl, add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 5 cups of water. Mix these two ingredients till they make a smooth paste that is free of lumps. You can make sure your mixture does not have any lumps by tempering the flour first with a small amount of water and mixing it into a thick paste. Then add the rest of the water and mix until you have a lump-free mixture.
Step 2 – Cook the Mixture
Transfer the mixture to a small pot and let the mixture cook on medium-high heat. Stir constantly and let it come up to a boil. You don't need a rolling boil for this mixture. Just enough boil to let the flour relax and for it to become a little less rigid. Once the mixture is done, you can then take it off the stove-top. t
Step 3 – Add Sugar
While the mixture is still hot, add about 3 tablespoons of white sugar and mix until the sugar has dissolved into the mixture. Your mixture should now be smooth. Let the mixture cool at room temperature for a while before using it.
Paper Mache Balloon Instructions
Once you have your choice of mixture ready, you can then start making your paper mache balloon. Make sure that the paper mache mixture is completely cool if you're using the cooking method, as the paper will disintegrate if it's still hot. In any case, the steps ahead will not differ too much no matter what mixture you decide to use.
Step 1 – Inflate the Balloon
First and foremost, you need to inflate your paper mache balloon. It would serve you well to inflate a few balloons to different sizes so you can see which one fits your vision for the project the most. Don't inflate the balloons too much as then you run the risk of the balloon popping when you're working on it. When you have your desired size of the balloon, you're ready for the next step.
Step 2 – Cut Paper into Strips
Take your newspaper or whatever scrap paper you are using for this project and cut it into strips. For a better end result and time-saving, cut these strips to around the same size. You don't have to be too particular, just eyeball it and make them as uniform as possible.
Step 3 – Soak Paper in Paper Mache Mixture
Start soaking your paper strips into the paper mache mixture you have made. You can use a shallow tray and pour some mixture into it to make the soaking process faster and easier. Start soaking your paper strips in the mixture a few times, as many as you can handle, and make sure the strips are fully saturated before moving onto the next step.
Step 4 – Cover the Paper Mache Balloon
Take out the soaked paper strips one by one and shake off any excess. Start laying them on the balloon in one single layer and cover the whole balloon surface. For ease, you can place the balloon on a small bucket or bowl. Ensure that the edges of the paper strips overlap as you lay them to ensure a sturdy foundation for you to build on. You can go around the first layer and smoothen out any bumps that you may be seeing. Add a second layer of paper strips and a third if you feel like it needs it.
Step 5 – Let it Dry
Once you are satisfied with the number of layers you have on your balloon, it is not time for it to dry out. You can let it stay on top of the bucket or bowl you were using, or you can use a clothespin to hang it. The hanging method will allow air to get to the whole surface of the balloon and is a much more efficient way of drying out your paper mache balloon. The drying process will take about 2-3 days to be complete.
Step 6 – Pop the Balloon
When the paper mache balloon has completely dried, you can pop the balloon underneath and slowly pull it out. If the balloon is stuck to the paper mache somewhere, you can leave it in there as it won’t give you any problems once it’s popped. You now have your paper mache balloon ready for you to decorate or make other crafts out of.
Paper Mache Balloon – Uses
With your newly made paper mache balloon, there are a ton of things you can do. You can turn it into party decor or style it up a little and display it around your home, or you can try some more crafts using this paper mache balloon as the base. There are unlimited possibilities when it comes to paper mache balloons, and down below, you'll find some of the things you can do with them;
- You can make hot air balloons
- Turn the paper mache balloon into Easter eggs or Easter bunnies as décor
- You can make different animals for a kids’ playroom
- You can use this as a base for a paper mache mask
- Turn them into lampshades but cutting them in half
- Cut it in half and use it as a paper mache bowl.
- Decorate it with fun colors, add some fairy lights and make it into a night light
Paper Mache Balloon – In Conclusion
Paper mache projects are some of the most fun and versatile crafts that you can make. You can use it as party décor, or you can add a few more bits to it to make it a stand-alone decoration piece for your home. Once you try this paper mache balloon project, you will want to deep dive into the wondrous world of paper mache. Learning how to make a paper mache balloon will help you understand how to work with different paper mache mixtures and opens up a world of creative possibilities in terms of what you can do with the paper mache balloon.