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Balloon Twists

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Here's the scoop on some of the basic twists used in balloon sculpture. By combining these twists in various ways you can create thousands of figures from your balloons. More twists will be added as the need arises.

Lock Twist

Twist two bubbles, usually about the same size. Bring opposite ends together so that the two bubbles are parallel and touching each other. Twist them together to lock in place. This is the most common method of making legs and ears on simple figures.

Loop Twist(Fold Twist)

This is a lot like the lock twist, but it is done with one long bubble instead of two shorter ones. Just take a long bubble, fold it back on itself, and twist the two ends together. This is good for large ears, hands or feet on multiple balloon figures.

Pinch Twist (Ear Twist)

Twist a 1 to 1.5 inch bubble, leaving it a little on the soft side. Then twist the two ends of the same bubble together. This makes an ear-shaped bubble that is good for ears, lips, or sometimes to hold another bubble in place.

Toe Twist(Split Twist)

Begin with an ear twist. Grab the two sides of the bubble and twist it in two, making two bubbles about 1/2" or less in diameter. These are good for adding fine detail to faces or hands and feet.

Another method of beginning the twist is to roll it so that the center part attached to the adjacent bubbles splits the pinch twist in two. Then wind the two bubbles in opposite directions to make it hold.

Pinch-pop Series

The pinch-pop series is used to separate two sections of a balloon. It consists of three small bubbles in a row within a loop of bubbles.
Make a pinch twist in each of the outer bubbles in the series. Then toe-twist each of the pinch twists to secure them. Both the pinch twists and the toe twists should be given three full twists to ensure that they will hold.
Now comes the 'Pop' part. You pop (break) the center bubble to allow the rest of the loop to separate. The pinch twists and toe twists will seal the ends and keep the balloon from deflating.

Bird Body (3-Bubble Roll-Through)

Twist three bubbles, usually about the same length. Lock twist two adjacent bubbles together to make a pair. Now take the third bubble and carefully push it through the pair, rolling the outer two bubbles around it, so that you have three bubbles all joined together at both ends.

Apple Twist (Tulip Twist)

No, this is not a pastry. It is a technique used in round balloons to make an apple shape. With long 2" balloons it is sometimes called a tulip twist. Push the knot about 2" down into the balloon with your index finger. With the other hand, pinch the outside of the balloon and grab the knot. Carefully pull out your index finger and twist a bubble at the point where you pinched the balloon on the knot.

Apple Link

This twist is done exactly like the apple twist, except that you hold the knot of another balloon along side of the knot that is getting the apple twist. When you grab the knot from the outside, grab both knots, and the two balloons are linked together.

Hook Twist

The hook twist is similar to a very deep apple twist. Push the knot as far into the balloon as your finger will reach, and grab it through the balloon with the opposite hand. Instead of just pulling your finger out, bend the finger and peel the balloon off from the outside of the curve. This takes a bit of practice, but it allows you to make some unique figures.

S-Hook Twist

Once you have mastered the hook twist, try the S hook. This works the same way, except that you bunch up the balloon to get your finger even deeper into the balloon. I think it makes a terrific squirrel tail.


To make a sharp bend in the middle of a balloon, fold it over and squeeze the air out. Then pull the balloon out of your fist, and the bend should remain. Repeat if necessary.


Make a twist in the middle of a balloon and fold the ends toward each other. Rotate both ends in the same direction and the two segments will spiral around each other.

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