Make a Balloon Animal

Visit my gallery page to find instructions for all balloons previously posted.


I wish I could claim credit for this figure, but 99% of it is borrowed from other sculptors. The basic sculpture came from Arleenie Powers, a clown who lives and works in Arizona. She developed the hat (which I have modified slightly) from the cowboy hat in Dewey's Balloon and Clown Notebook, page 17, A book I highly recommend. The scarf and arms ideas are my modifications of ideas suggested by Norm Carpenter and John Holmes, respectively. Arleenie, Norm and John are frequent contributors to the Balloon HQ page, and this month's figure is my salute to them.

Mr. Snowman needs a white 260, inflated leaving a 5" tail, A black 260 inflated only about 6-8 inches, and an uninflated orange 260.
Begin with the black (Shown as dark blue here for clarity) and make a 2-3 inch tulip twist, followed by three soft 1.5 inch bubbles. Give each of the 1.5 inchers a pinch twist. Arrange these around the base of the tulip twist to form the tophat.
Tie the nozzle of the white balloon to the base of the hat, then cut off and save the rest of the black.

Twist three 1.5 inch bubbles in the white and make a 3-bubble roll-through. This will be the head.

Twist three 3 inch bubbles and make another 3-bubble roll-through for the center of the body.

For the bottom of the body, make two 4-5 inch bubbles and lock twist them together.

Repeat this step and push one bubble of one locked pair between the two bubbles of the other pair, giving you four parallel bubbles, attached at both ends.

If the remainder of the balloon is shorter than the bubbles in the four-bubble group, tuck it into the middle of the group to make it bulge out more. If not, Twist off one more bubble the same size, leaving a short bubble on the end. Bring this down to make a five-bubble group (see the bottom view at left) and tuck the short bubble into the middle.
Now let's add the features.
Take the nipple end of the (uninflated) orange 260 and push it between the bubbles that form the head so that about 3/4 inch sticks out the front. This forms the carrot nose. The rest of the balloon should come out at the bottom of the head and be wrapped around the neck for a scarf.
Take the remainder of the black balloon (you should have about 8 inches) and blow just enough air into it to make it rigid. Don't inflate it enough to make bubbles, but you may want to have a bulge of about 1/2 inch to maintain enough pressure to keep it rigid. Tuck this behind one of the bubbles in the middle of the body to make stick arms. You should have half of it sticking out on each side. Take a dry erase marker to add eyes, mouth and buttons. Arleenie notes that in Arizona the snowman is a mythical figure and adds: "For an Arizona snowman, I just make the hat!"
Here's a photo posted to Balloon HQ by Peter Meurer. His method is not identical to mine, but the results are very similar.




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