Make a Balloon Animal

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Make a Balloon Sculpture

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Uncle Sam Hat

A few years ago I posted instructions for a hat similar to this on the BalloonHQ email list. This improved version uses more balloons, but it's easier, faster, and looks better. While not practical for line work, it's an attractive piece for a special occasion.

Start with four red and four white 260's. Inflate leaving about a 6-inch tail and tie off. Exact length doesn't matter because you will be removing the excess from all 8 balloons.

Tie the knots of any two balloons together, and repeat with all the others so you have 4 pairs of balloons tied together. Take all 4 pairs and twist together at the knots. Arrange the balloons in alternating colors like the spokes of a wheel. Make a 2-inch pinch twist in each of two balloons and arrange them on either side of the hub of the wheel to hold the spokes in position.
In each spoke, twist a 4-inch and then a 3-inch bubble. Connect the end of the 3-inch bubble to the end of the 4-inch bubble adjacent to it, working around the wheel until you have done all eight spokes. This forms the top of the hat.
Decide how tall you want the hat to be, (8-16 inches is good) and twist off a bubble of that size in two adjacent balloons. Twist a 3-inch bubble in the red balloon and lock twist it to the end of the long bubble in the white balloon.
Twist another 3-inch bubble in the same red balloon, and twist it to the long bubble in the next red balloon. Now make a pinch twist in the first red balloon, break off any extra balloon and tie a knot. When you have have done this with all four red balloons, you should have the body of the hat done with a red headband and 4 white balloons extending from it.
Fully inflate a dark blue balloon and tie the knot end to the nipple end, making as large a ring as possible for the brim. Place the hat body inside the brim to determine how long a white bubble you need to connect the hatband to the brim. Connect one white bubble at the knot of the blue balloon, and the other ones evenly spaced around the brim.
Finish each white balloon by making a pinch twist where it connects to the brim. Break off any extra balloon and tie off the end. If you want a wider brim, instead of finishing off the white balloons, extend them beyond the ring and make another, larger ring using two balloons, connected at the points where the white balloons attach.


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