Create your own festive decor for seasonal events -- or just for fun -- using balloons, string and a glue-and water-mixture that hardens once dry. Dip the string in the glue solution, wind it around an inflated balloon; then pop the balloon once the glue hardens to make your own sets of string spheres, eggs or even patriotic party-light covers.
The Basic Process
Things You'll Need
- Wax paper
- School glue
- Disposable bowl
- Plastic spoon
- Ball of thick string or yarn
- Rubber gloves
- Spring clothespin or binder clip
Cover a clean table with wax paper; wax paper works better than other coverings as the glue is not likely to stick to wax.
Inflate and tie one balloon, or as many as you need for your project. To make spheres, use round balloons. For string eggs, select balloons that resemble egg shapes when inflated.
Read the balloon packaging when purchasing the balloons to be certain of their inflated size; sizing and shapes may vary significantly from one brand to the next.
Mix equal parts school glue and water in a disposable bowl. Stir the ingredients with a plastic spoon.
Wrap the string or yarn loosely around the widest parts of the balloon at least 15 times. Snip the string off the string ball afterwards; then slide the string off the balloon and place it in the glue mixture.
Grab the wet string out of the glue, sliding it between your fingers to release excess glue back into the bowl. Wear rubber gloves while working with the wet string; otherwise, you'll get glue on everything you touch.
Wrap the string around the balloon, changing the angle but overlapping previous windings as you work your way around the balloon numerous times. The goal is to cover the surface of the balloon entirely with string, yet leave large gaps between areas where the string crosses itself.
Place a clothespin or binder clip along the loose latex beyond the balloon knot. Rest the clothespin or binder clip on the wax paper until the glue dries, or clip it to a clothesline if you have a clothesline handy.
Pop the balloon with a needle; then shake the bits of the balloon out of your string creation.
Use balloons of various sizes and shapes to make an assortment of string creations.
- Turn round balloons into string spheres to display in a basket or tray in your home. Use balloons of slightly different sizes for variety, or change the color of string from one balloon to the next.
- Use small round balloons and red, white and blue string to create patriotic string lights for an outdoor celebration. Attach the string spheres over a strand of lights -- one ball per light -- using zip ties to hold the orbs in place.
- Instead of hard-boiling and dyeing eggs for Easter, make string eggs for decor you can use year after year. Select small egg-shaped balloons and "color" each one differently using assorted shades of string.
- Create a string version of balloon animals by using long, narrow balloons and twisting them into animal shapes. Cover the balloons with a lot of glue-soaked string;, then pop the balloon animals afterwards.
- Make a faux helium balloon decoration -- complete with hanging string -- by covering a balloon with the wet glue string as usual. Cut another length of string and dip it into the glue mixture as well, this time resting the string to dry fairly straight atop the wax paper. Leave an inch or so of the string dry so you can tie it to the finished string balloon once both pieces are dry. To make your string balloon look as though it is floating, tie it to a ceiling hook or tree branch using fishing line, securing the top of the balloon to the fishing line. The bottom of the balloon has the stiff string hanging from it.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.