How to start balloon modelling
Step 1: You will need
- a 160Q balloon
- a professional pump with a nibbed end
Step 2: Balloon types
You can buy special balloons for modelling from any good balloon or party shop. The most common balloons you will need to make most simple balloon models are 260Q or 160Q. These balloons are the same length but the 160Q is slimmer. These can be used for arm straps on fairy wings or small objects like a carrot for your rabbit.
Step 3: Blow it up
A professional pump is essential for balloon modelling. It takes a lot more time and effort to inflate a balloon with a normal party pump. Blowing them up yourself takes even longer.
Place the lip of the balloon over the pump's nozzle. Push it down and hold it tightly over the nozzle with one hand and pump up the balloon with the other.
For most models, you won't need to inflate the whole balloon. The size will depend on the model you are making. There should be a tail at the end. This means that as you twist the balloon into shape, there will be space for the air that gets squeezed along the balloon.
Step 4: Tie off
Relax or burp the balloon by letting a little air out making it easier to tie. Pull the end out and loop it around two of your fingers. Pull the end through the loop and release. Now you're ready to start twisting.
Step 5: Twist
When twisting, work from the knot end to the tail so that the air is pushed to the end.
Always twist the balloon in the same direction. This will ensure that all your twists stay in place. If you twist in different directions, they may come undone.
If you are twisting a chain of bubbles, hold the first and last bubble to make sure they stay securely twisted. If you let go of one end, they will all come undone.
Step 6: Locking off
To lock off two bubbles, make the first bubble, then bring the rest of the balloon round to meet it. Twist this part of the balloon together with the first bubble to create another bubble of equal size and to hold the two in place. This technique is often used to make animal ears or legs.
Step 7: Tulip twist
The tulip twist or apple twist is used in a number of models. Use your finger to push the knot up inside the balloon. With your other hand, grab hold of the knot inside the balloon and gently pull your finger out. Twist the balloon above the knot to create an apple shape. Finally, push the knot inside the apple to hold it in place.
Step 8: Pinch twist
Use a pinch twist when you need to change the direction of the model. Make a bubble then bring the end of the balloon round to meet the rest. Pull the bubble away from the two ends and pinch together the parts where the balloon is twisted. Twist these together to change the direction of the balloon and hold the bubble in place.
Why not try out your new skills and amaze your friends by making some of Jelly Kelly's models?