FOR THE LOVE OF BALLOONS

Posted on September 3, 2011. Filed under: Balloon Crafts, Balloons, Candy, Chocolate, Dean Jones, Desserts, Fun, General Crafts, Jane Fonda, Jason Robards, Kids, Movies, Party Ideas, PLAY, Recipes, Uncategorized, Winnie the Pooh | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


 I must have always loved balloons, but I never realized how much until I saw the movie “Any Wednesday,” starring Jane Fonda (who I love as an actress and was devastated by her politics) and Jason Robards.  One review I saw described the movie as:

“Broadway hit about a married millionaire’s mistress befriended by his unsuspecting wife and cooed over by a loyal associate. Lots of slamming doors, comical deception, hissy fits and balloons…” (By moonspinner55 found at http://www.imdb.com).

"ANY WEDNESDAY"

 Unlike moonspinner55, I loved the movie.  And the scene where Jane walks into her apartment and finds it filled with balloons has always stuck with me.  It is a dream of mine to one day come home and find that someone I love has filled a room with balloons for me.

Thinking about balloons, I thought, why not write a post about them, so that’s what you are going to read about here today.

Winnie the Pooh says, “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”  I think that Winnie is 100 percent correct.  We like to decorate our parties and events with balloons.  We take balloons when we visit someone who is ill to try to cheer them up a bit.  Many times someone will bring a balloon(s) to a friend or relative who is celebrating a birthday or an anniversary.  People give loved ones balloons on Valentine’s Day.  They are also appropriate for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  When someone in your workplace gets promoted, balloons are an inexpensive, thoughtful way to say, “Congratulations.”  And don’t forget to give a balloon(s) to a brand new Mom, Dad or Baby!  Balloons are really a go-to gift for most occasions!  I remember giving each of my grandchildren a bunch of colorful balloons for their first birthdays.  I began doing that with my eldest grandson, Marc.  He loved the balloons so much that I made it a tradition that continued with my granddaughter, Rachael, and my youngest grandson, Joshua.

Up, Up and Away

Another dream of mine is to go up in a hot air balloon.  I think they are so gorgeous and I think it would be an exciting and relaxing way to see a special place such as Letchworth State Park in Castile, New York or go over the Ocean in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  I’d make sure to take my husband, a picnic lunch and champagne with me!  Would I be scared?  Yeah, a little bit.  But I would still like to go in one.

You can do easy craft projects using balloons and other inexpensive supplies like home-made paste, string, newspaper strips, comic strips or tissue paper.

String Ball Craft

Difficulty:  Easy and a Great Craft To Do With Kids

Supplies:

String, yarn or thread

Round balloons

Flour

Instructions:

  1. Make a wheat paste by mixing  3 parts water with 2 parts flour in a pot. Heat to a boil, whisking occasionally to remove lumps. After the paste boils, allow it to cool.
  1. Blow up a balloon of the appropriate size for each ball you want to make.
  1. Dip string or yarn in the cooled paste and then wrap it around the balloons. Go around many times, in different directions, until you have covered the basic shape of the balloon, but be sure to leave gaps if you want to make a see-through string ball.
  1. Allow the string to dry thoroughly; approximately 24 hours.
  1.  Pop the balloons if you want to get them out right away, or wait for them to shrink gradually on their own. When the balloons are gone, you should be left with a see-through string ball.

Hints:

  1. For more exciting string balls, interweave different colors or types of yarn or string. You can also add paint or glitter to the paste mixture, decorate the finished balls more or put small items inside the balloons before you blow them up, which will end up trapped in the balls (as long as the holes in the string layer are small enough).
  1. These string balls are not water-resistant, so they’re probably more of an indoor toy. The paste is nontoxic but will definitely dissolve if wet.

Make small and medium balls of different colors and hang your finished ball(s) from the ceiling with different lengths of string, yarn or curling ribbon to use as party decorations.

Make small balls using gold and red and/or gold and green colors to decorate your Christmas tree, or to use in a table centerpiece.

Make small balls using dark or royal blue and silver string, yarn or thread to hang from the ceiling as above, or to use as part of a table centerpiece for Chanukah.

For Easter, make the balls in pastel colors, for Valentine’s Day make pink and/or red balls to decorate and perhaps put a special note inside for your beloved.

If you like glitter, add glitter!  Use more than one color for a rainbow effect.  There are countless ways to use this craft.  Let your imagination soar!

Another craft that is similar to the string balls is making Piñatas.

I found this great Piñata project at Make Pinatas.com.  This is a good resource for children’s party ideas.

How to Make a Hot Air Balloon Piñata 
This hot-air balloon piñata is great for first time makers and it makes for a nice big target for little kids.

 

Materials:

Papier-Mâché Paste*
• 14-inch balloon, inflated

• 10-inch bowl
• One batch papier-mâché paste
• 1 two-page spread each of regular newspaper and the comic pages
• 32-oz. plastic yogurt container, cut in half horizontally
• String
• Hole punch
• Glue stick
• 5 sheets of tissue paper in bright colors, cut
• into 3 1/2-inch squares
• 4 lbs. of individually wrapped candies

*To make Papié-Maché Paste, combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl.

Add this mixture to a saucepan of 2 cups boiling water and bring it to a boil again.  Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool; it will thicken as it cools. Once it does, it’s ready to use.

Directions:

 Step 1:  For stability while working, place the balloon in a 10-inch bowl. Fold the spread of newspaper in half and then in half again. Tear (don’t cut) 1 1/2-inch-wide strips so they have a slightly rough edge (tearing along a straight edge works well). The rough edges help make a smooth overall surface. Drag a strip of newspaper through the papier-mâché paste, wipe off any excess with your fingers, and place it at an angle on the balloon. Place the second strip so that it slightly overlaps the first. Continue until the balloon has been covered with one layer of paper strips–except for a 2-inch square at the top, through which the candy will go. Give the papier-mâché up to 24 hours to dry. Cover your leftover paste with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out (if it does, add warm water).
Step 2:   For the piñata’s hanger, wrap the midpoint of a length of string (doubled up, if necessary) around the bottom of the balloon, pulling the ends up to the top; tape it to the balloon in a few places. Knot together the ends of the string 6 inches above the top. Tape the top half of the yogurt container to the bottom of the balloon. This will become the neck of the hot air balloon.

Step 3:   Cover the balloon (including the string), the neck and the bottom half of the yogurt container (which will become the hot air balloon basket) with a layer of strips of comics, placing them at a different angle from the first layer. (Using different colored strips lets you distinguish one layer from the next, ensuring a uniform overall thickness.) Allow the second layer to dry.

Step 4:  Cover the balloon, neck and basket with strips of plain newsprint going in a third direction. Smooth over any rough edges as you work. Allow the balloon to dry thoroughly.

Step 5:  Punch four holes into the neck of the hot air balloon and four into the basket. Attach string to the neck about 3 1/2 inches from the base of the balloon to later suspend the basket.

Step 6:  
Dot the corners of a tissue square with a glue stick and place it just to the side of the 2-inch square on the top of the balloon. Follow with other squares in the same color, working your way diagonally down around the balloon. When you get to the bottom, start at the top again in another color, fitting the squares into a hound’s-tooth pattern. If you want to add streamers, cut 2- by 30-inch lengths of tissue paper and glue them onto matching colored squares about halfway down.

Step 7:  Cover the basket with squares of tissue in different colors. Attach the basket to the balloon. Puncture the uncovered part of the balloon at the top of the piñata and remove all of the balloon fragments. Make sure the inside of the piñata is completely dry before you fill it, so the candy won’t stick to the sides. Fill it about halfway with the candy. Cover the opening with some tissue squares, and your piñata is ready to hang.

My very favorite balloon craft involves chocolate…. wouldn’t you know it!   I’ve known about this craft for years and it’s on my must try list.  I just think that this is so classy that your company, young or old, will be talking about these for years to come, making you one savvy host/hostess.    The directions for this project was found at Chocolay.

Chocolate Bowls

Chocolate Bowls Recipe

 “This is a fun & easy project, although it can be messy! The chocolate bowls can hold all kinds of goodies including ice cream, mousse, fruit, pretzel sticks, chocolate candy, or any other treat you have in mind. You can get as creative as you want with using white chocolate that has been colored (with specially formulated coloring oils) and coordinate the theme of your party or event. We recommend making more balloons than you’ll need because chances are good that when you deflate some of the chocolate covered balloons the chocolate might fall apart for one reason or another! You can always reuse the chocolate…don’t worry!”

 

Before you begin, make sure to wash and thoroughly dry the balloons.

Ingredients:

 

 You’ll also Need:

  • Balloons (please note: some people are severely allergic to latex. Make sure that if you use latex balloons anybody eating your bowls know you used balloons to make it)
  • Bowls
  • Heavy Weight Dipping Sheets or Waxed Paper

 Tips: 

 Don’t use water balloons! They will pop. Also, water is the one thing that can really mess up chocolate!!!

  • The thicker the balloon the better.
  • Keep in mind that some people are alergic to latex.
  • If you put the chocolate balloons on waxed paper be careful about the corners of the paper curling and touching the chocolate.
  • When dipping the balloons, the longer you leave the balloon in the warm chocolate the more likely it will pop (which is a mess!!!), so dip fast & do multiple layers if you need to.

 

How To Make Chocolate Bowls:

 

1. Blow up balloons and place them in a bowl to hold them upright. Don’t blow them to be bigger than 6-8 inches tall. A lot of people like small bowls that are about the size of a coffee cup. It’s up to you. Whatever size you blow up the balloon to be will be the size of your chocolate bowl. You might want to make the balloons slightly different sizes for variety.
2. Spray each balloon (the area you’ll be putting the chocolate on) with non-stick cooking spray such as Crisco spray so that the chocolate will release easier.
3. Melt the chocolate using instructions that came with your chocolate. Ideally, use a double boiler (or a double boiler insert). Do not let the water touch the bottom of the double boiler. Only let the water simmer. Do not allow it to boil or you may burn the chocolate. If you must use a microwave, melt on medium heat for short periods being very careful not to overheat thechocolate. (Softa’s advice:  Use the microwave!!!!)
4. Let the chocolate cool for 5-10 minutes in a bowl that is sized so that you can dip your balloon into the bowl. The chocolate can’t be so hot that it will pop the balloon.

If you want to add a marbleized effect to the chocolate bowl: Pour the base color/flavor of chocolate in the bowl first. Then add a smaller quantity of a second color/flavor of chocolate on top. Swirl lightly with a knife. When you dip the balloons the bowl will look marbleized.5.There a couple of ways to make your chocolate bowls – or you can combine the methods for added flare. Either way, hold the balloon by the knot.

a. For a solid bowl that looks like flower petals: Holding the knot at a slight angle, dip the ballon in chocolate, then using the opposite angle, dip the balloon again. You may be able to do this 2-4 times. Slowly swirl the balloon around to make an even coat. Then lift the balloon slowly and let some of the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Sometimes the balloons will need to be dipped twice to make sure the chocolate is solid enough.

 

b. For a not solid bowl: Holding the knot, use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the bottom of the balloon going back and forth in one direction and then in the opposite direction. When drizzling, cover about half of the exposed balloon. Then dip the very bottom of the balloon a couple of inches into the chocolate so you have a nice, solid chocolate bottom. When doing this, you can use more than one chocolate flavor (or colored white chocolate) for added design.6.After each balloon is dipped, place on a Heavy Weight Dipping Sheet or waxed paper lined tray. The chocolate will start to settle making a flat bottom for the chocolate bowl.7.After your balloons are finished, move them to a cool area to set up (harden). Hopefully they will fit in your fridge! If so, they will set up in about 10 minutes.8.After the chocolate is completely set up, it’s time to deflate the balloons. Gently remove the chocolate covered balloon from the dipping sheet. If using waxed paper, you might need to slide a knife around the bottom edge to loosen the bottom of the chocolate bowl. Once you remove the balloon, you can use a hat pin to deflate it or cut a small hole in the top of it to deflate it. Make the hole near the area where the balloon is tied.9.As the balloon deflates it will still be attached to the inside of the chocolate. Very slowly peel the balloon away from the chocolate.10.You can add additional decorative touches by gently handling the bowl and adding more drizzled chocolate.Keep the chocolate bowls cool until you plan to use them!


Play around with these crafts and have some fun!

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: