by Ralph Dewey
This sculpture requires one pink #160 and one red #260 balloon. Start
with the center of the flower. Inflate the red #260 to only 1-1/2 inches
and tie off the nozzle. Make an apple twist on the end of the balloon.
It is really the same as making a tulip flower. With that accomplished,
poke the knot as far to the top of the apple twist (tulip) as you can.
Twist the apple twist in half to make what looks like a yo-yo. Arrange it
so that the knot is captured in the top half of the yo-yo. Trim and
deflate all except about 2 inches of the nipple end. If you plan to use
it as a wrist corsage, just deflate the entire nipple end. That will give
you enough balloon length to encircle your wrist.
Inflate the pink #160 fully except for about 5 inches and tie off the
nozzle. Twist off two tiny � inch bubbles. Ear twist (pinch twist) the
second one. Twist off a 4-inch bubble (the petal) and fold twist it.
Position the ear twist bubble inside the 4-inch bubble. This will keep
the petal from untwisting. Repeat making a set of three bubbles (1/2″,
1/2″ ear twist and 4″ folded) until you have five sets of petals. Tie the
nozzle to the last petal. Deflate and discard any extra balloon.
Push the yo-yo that you made from a #260 through the center of the five
petals. Arrange the petals so that the flower lays flat.
You can attach the corsage to the end of a pencil (coffee stir stick or
similar object) by using the 2-inch length of balloon that is attached to
the back of the yo-yo. Then place the pencil in your pocket. Another way
to wear it is by attaching it to a buttonhole. I have also used double
stick tape on occasion, but sadly, if it gets bumped it easily drops off.
Sometimes you have to think out of the box to get a special effect for
your balloon sculpture. One of the professional tricks that I use is
placing craft pipe cleaners inside a balloon. This allows me to gets
special shapes and curves. To keep the balloons from bursting I turn the
ends of the pipe cleaners back on themselves so that the wire is not
I use pipe cleaners for the brake handles on my balloon bike. You can
also use them to get the proper bend on alien antennas or dog’s ears.
With this technique, you can make a balloon spiral for a pig’s tail or the
smoke from a balloon cigarette.