Hello again! It’s Kati from Houseful of Handmade here to help bring a little spring to our homes with this DIY Hot Air Balloon decor. As much as I love winter, I am done! I want all things sunshine, bright, and cheery instead. This hot air balloon has all of that and makes me think of warm days on the grass watching balloons in the sky. And maybe if we all wish for it together, it will happen soon!
This DIY hot air balloon decor was an idea that I have had simmering around in my head for way too long. I wanted to make it last spring, but sadly it didn’t happen. This spring, as I was trying to come up with fun ideas for some new decor, I came across my notebook of ideas from last year. Immediately I knew I needed to finally make this idea come to life!
I have made 3D accordion paper decor before. For Christmas a couple years ago I made these beautiful paper ornaments for our Christmas wreath. I learned a lot about how to make the process work so I thought this time would be a breeze. Unfortunately, I hit a big snag before I could even start crafting.
After dropping my kids off at school, I ran to the craft store to pick up some 12×12 double-sided scrapbook paper. I knew I wanted double-sided paper since both sides would be very visible. And I wanted a big hot air balloon so 12×12 was the smallest paper I would go. Sadly, there was nothing. Not nothing I liked, there was seriously no double-sided paper. They use to sell it, but apparently not anymore. I ran to 3 different craft stores and discovered the same thing. I was determined not to let this idea disappear, so I called in reinforcements: my mom!
On the phone, I explained what I needed and we talked about trying to paint the back of some paper, gluing two pieces together, and other ideas that were quickly vetoed. Then it came to me, they do still make double-sided wrapping paper! After a quick search online, I discovered this bright, cheery paper at the Container Store and ran to grab it up.
A couple hours later, I had created the perfect DIY hot air balloon decor. It is so sad that it took me longer to figure out what to make it out of than to actually make it. I am so glad we discovered the double-sided wrapping paper too. It is the perfect weight for creating the accordion effect of the hot air balloon, and it can be cut bigger than even 12×12. My balloon is about 13×14 (without the basket) and it is the perfect size to hang on the door in place of a wreath or to make a big statement piece in any room.
So have I convinced you to make your own DIY Hot Air Balloon? Go grab some double-sided wrapping paper and let’s get going. Start by printing out the balloon template here. It is on 2 different pages, so you will need to tape it together.
Now you are going to cut out 12 of the hot air balloons on the fold. The easiest way I found to do this was to first fold the paper in half at about 6 1/2 -7 inches, then line the template up on the fold and cut around it. On a regular roll off wrapping paper, you should be able to get 2 on each folded section. You will need 6 1/2-7 feet of wrapping paper to get 12 balloons.
Once all the pieces of wrapping paper are cut out, Trace the template onto the back of a scrap paper (or two taped together). This will be your glueing template. Alternate writing 1s and 2s along the edge of the balloon template about 3 inches apart like you see in the picture.
Now lay your first folded piece of wrapping paper down on the template. Open it up and place a glue dot next to each of the number 2s along the side of the paper up against the template. Then fold the paper back over and press to secure it at the glue dots.
Put glue dots next to all the 1s on the top of the folded piece of paper. Line up a second piece of folded paper on top of it and press at the glue dots to secure. Open the piece of paper up and place glue dots at the 2s. Fold, press. Repeat over and over, gluing at the 2s inside the folded paper and at the 1s to attach two pieces of paper together, until all 12 pieces of wrapping paper have been glued together in a big stack.
Now you are going to need a sturdy piece of something to secure your DIY hot air balloon to so it will stay open when hanging it up. I used a piece of foam core board, but you could also use cardboard (you just might want to paint it to match your paper). Trace the template on the board, then flip it and trace the other half so you have a full balloon. Cut it out.
Glue one side of the hot air balloon to the first half of your board.
Then carefully open it up so the paper spreads apart, except where you have glued it together. The second side should lay flat against the other half of your board. Secure it with more glue.
To make the little basket, cut a piece of your board to 3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″. Then cut about 1″ wide strips of brown paper (or a brown paper bag). Fold them in half so you are left with thicker, 1/2″ strips.
Cover the front of your piece of board with a piece of the brown paper. Fold it over the top and secure with glue.
Start weaving the brown paper strips together. Fold over the tops of the vertical strips and secure with glue. This will be the top of your basket.
Once you have enough pieces woven together to cover your piece of brown paper covered board, you will want to glue the horizontal strips to the back. But make sure to leave some slack in the basket so it doesn’t look flat. Mine sticks out from the board about 1/2″.
Take a final piece of brown paper and weave it into the bottom of the basket. Secure it with glue on both sides. Then secure the bottoms of all the vertical pieces to the bottom back of the board.
Attach your hot air balloon basket to the hot air balloon decor with some string. Hot glue to the string to the back of the balloon and the back of the basket.
To hang my balloon, I glued a piece of string to the back of the balloon and use it to hang on a command hook on my door.
Now you can sit back, or even lay down, and wish you were outside actually watching the hot air balloons in the spring sky. I can almost feel the sun on my face. This is almost as good as the real thing.
But seriously. how cute is this DIY hot air balloon decor? I love it for my front door this spring, but it would also be perfect in a nursery, or really anywhere you want to enjoy some bright, fun decor.
For more fun paper decorations, check out these posts:
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