How to Make Balloon Animals

Balloon animals appeal to children of all ages. They are created using a technique called balloon modeling or twisting which is an art that people (like Magic Mirror Face Painting!) have specialised in for hundreds of years. There are all sorts of balloon creations available today. But do you really know the history of balloon animals?

How To Make Balloon Animals

How To Make Balloon Animals

The Original of Balloon Animals

The genesis of making balloon animals is lost in the dim, dark mists of time, and no one can point out exactly how this balloon artistry first started. However several historians have given most credit to a famous clown known as Henry J Maar. Maar was referred to as the ‘Sultan of Balloons’ because he incorporated several tricks using balloons into his act. In a lucky turn of happenchance, it is believed that Maar started using balloons in his act when his other props were stolen immediately prior to a performance. Improvising like the old pro he was, Maar just took some balloons he had on hand and started modelling them on the spot. The audience loved it and the rest, as the old saying goes, is history.

Fun Facts on Balloon Modelling

  • It takes 30 to 60 seconds to make a balloon animal using a single balloon.
  • The dog is the oldest design used to make a balloon animal. It is also considered the easiest balloon animal to make because it used bubbles only.
  • To prevent the balloons from popping when twisting, you must squeeze out all the air from the inside of the balloon before you begin twisting.
  • It takes only one balloon to make a snail. This is another simple animal balloon design.
  • Not all balloons can be used to make balloon animals. You must only use ‘twist and shape balloons’ popularly referred to as 260s.
  • Not all balloons that are used to make balloon animals can be filled with helium. You must look for specific helium quality balloons which are designed to float.
  • If you have 4 balloons, you can make an octopus by folding each in half and joining them together.
  • A pump should be used to inflate the balloon for safety reasons.

Choosing the Right Balloons for Twisting

Sword and Helmet Balloon

Sword and Helmet Balloon

Before you start making balloon animals, you must make sure you’ve got the right balloons. As mentioned earlier, not all long balloons are made for twisting especially if you want to create the more complicated designs. Some balloons just can’t handle the stress and there are many factors you need to consider when choosing balloons for making balloon animals.

First, make sure the balloons are produced by well-known manufacturers. Most manufacturers will design balloons for twisting in different colors and sizes. Look for those known as “260s”. The “360s” are mostly used by expert balloon twisters and the “160s” are ideal if you have smaller hands. If you are just starting out with balloon modeling, we’d suggest you get the 260s because they can be used to make most standard sculptures.

How to Pump Balloon Animals

Creating Balloon Animals

Creating Balloon Animals

Once you’ve found good quality balloons, the next step would be to identify the best pump. Balloons for twisting are more difficult to blow up compared to the regular balloons. That is why you shouldn’t blow the balloons with your mouth. A mechanical pump would be easier and safer to use.

Hand pumps can be used in making balloon animals. Make sure you get a high quality hand pump because the cheaper ones usually break easily and you’ll have to get a replacement. Also make sure you get a pump that is designed for the type of balloons you’ll be using. For instance, make sure the pump can be used with 260s if you’ll be making balloon animals.

When choosing a pump, check the size of the nozzle because it will determine the effort you’ll use when pumping air into the balloon. Pumps with a smaller nozzle are usually easier to use but it depends on what you personally prefer.

5 Tips for Making Balloon Animals

It may seem easy but sometimes it’s hard to make a nice balloon animal especially if you’ve never done it before. You’ll face some common problems which we will address below. If you are still new to making balloon animals, the following tips can help you get started.

  • First, choose good quality balloons if you don’t want to deal with the stress of popping when you are trying to make balloon animals. Choose balloons that are specifically designed for balloon modeling.
  • Make sure your fingernails are not sharp because this can easily make the balloons pop when you are trying to make something. You can use a nail file to trim the sharp edges of your fingernails so they won’t cause the balloons to pop.
  • You can leave the tip of the balloon uninflated so that you don’t run out of balloon when you’ve already started twisting. This will give you more room to create some amazing designs.
  • If the balloon gets too hard to twist, there could be a problem. It could either mean that your balloon has too much air or you no longer have space to twist. The best solution is to always pump an adequate amount of air inside the balloon and to make sure you leave a longer tip for twisting.
  • If you find it difficult to hold and twist the balloons because you have small hands, try and choose a different size of balloons. Instead of going for the 260s, try and pick the 160s for balloon modelling.

Making Your First Balloon Animal – What to Choose

If you are new to balloon twisting, making a balloon dog is the first design that you might like try out. You will be able to master a few basics of making balloon animals when you start with this perennial favourite. And you only need one 260 balloon to make a dog balloon animal, so twist away!

Click here for for more information on BALLOON TWISTING SYDNEY.