by Ralph Dewey
This month’s Balloon HQ Challenge is a monkey.
In the Chinese calendar, 2004 is the year of the monkey. I thought that it would be appropriate to share a monkey design with you in this month’s column. I make several different styles of monkeys, but this one is fairly easy to do and also has a fairly nice looking monkey face. I use several brown #260 pencil balloons and one pink #321 balloon.
Start with the pink #321 Bee Body balloon. Inflate it to only 2-1/2″ and tie off the nozzle. Twist off two identical 3/4″ bubbles to be the eyes. Fold them and use the nozzle to tie them together. Fold-twist (pinch twist) the remaining bubble (the muzzle) by tying the nipple end to the nozzle. Trim off any excess nipple end. Set this balloon aside.
Inflate a brown #260 fully except for about 4″ then tie off the nozzle end. Twist off bubbles in this order; 3/4″ (nose), 3/4″ and 2-1/2″ (back of head). Continue by twisting off bubbles in this order for the head loop; 2-1/2″ (cheek), 3/4″ (ear), 2-1/2″ (forehead), 3/4″ (ear), 2-1/2″ (cheek). While still holding the first three bubbles, twist-connect the 5 bubbles of the head loop.
Ear-twist the first 3/4″ bubble (the nose) of the brown #260 (the nose) and twist-connect it to the center of the pink #321. Push the pink muzzle balloon into the head loop. Ear twist the 3/4″ bubbles (the ears) and then position them so they stand up on their edge. This action will tighten the head loop and therefore keep the muzzle in place. Arrange the muzzle and nose so they look like the photos below.
Now make the 3-bubble body. Twist off two 4″ bubbles and twist-connect them. Twist off another 4″ bubble and roll it through the first two. (Some people call this balloon shape a bird body.) Arrange it so there is one bubble at the front and two at the rear. The remaining balloon will be the tail of the monkey. Bend and curl it.
Take another brown #260 balloon and inflate it to about 14″ and tie off the nozzle. Twist off a 2-1/2″ bubble (thumb) and two 3″ bubbles (fingers). Twist-connect the two 3″ bubbles. Now twist off two 1″ bubbles (the wrist) and ear twist them both. Curve the 2-1/2″ bubble to look like a thumb. You should have about 12″ remaining for the arm. Arrange the bubbles to resemble a hand and arm. See photo below for details.
Bend each arm in the middle. Tie the two arms together and connect them at the monkey’s neck. You will need to tuck the ends of the arms slightly into the body of the monkey to stabilize the arms.
To make the feet and legs inflate another brown #260 fully except for about 1-1/2″ and tie off the nozzle. Twist off a 1″ bubble (heel) and two 3″ bubbles (toes). Twist-connect the two 3″ bubbles. Squeeze the remaining balloon to make it softer. Near the nipple end of the balloon, twist off two 3″ bubbles (the toes) and a 1″ bubble (the heel). Twist-connect the two 3″ bubbles. Find the center of the long bubble in the middle and twist there. Connect that twist at the base of the monkey’s tail. Bend and shape the legs of the monkey. Finally, decorate his eyes and mouth.
Adding a Palm Tree
If you want the attach your monkey to a palm tree, you will need three green #260 balloons. Inflate all of them fully except for about 1″ and tie off their nozzles. Take one of them and twist off a 13″ bubble and a 9″ bubble. Sizes are only approximate. Use the nozzle to tie their ends together. Twist off another 13″ and 9″ bubble and use the nipple end to tie the two bubbles together.
Make another set of palm branches from the second green #260 balloon. Then twist-connect them together. Take the third green #260 (the tree trunk) and twist off a 1/2″ bubble on the nozzle end. Place it in the center of the four palm branches as shown.
To attach the monkey, you will need to modify one of his hands. Instead of the hand previously described, use a simple loop as shown.
You may want to tie the heels of the monkey together so that his feet straddle the trunk of the palm tree. That completes the brown monkey in a palm tree.
By the way, you can add bananas to the tree, but wouldn’t that be silly? Palm trees don’t grow bananas.