• Belinda

Colourful Ride

I was in the mood for colour on this, my second project in April for the Faith Pocock Design Team - a Hot Air Balloon. This lovely kit is a great one to work on, coming together very quickly which makes it a brilliant option to start out on, if you've never done one of these before, as well as being suitable for younger creatives.

Hot Air Balloon model, dry run
Hot Air Balloon model, dry run

Let me first show you the kit together on a "dry run" (fitting it all together without glue). Isn't it cute?!

There are many options on how you could deck out this kit. How would you choose to decorate it?

Since I had already decided that I wanted lots of colour on this project, I needed to maximise the surface area for that colour. To achieve this, I needed to cover the balloon.

Time to go through the steps to making my version of this kit...

Hot Air Balloon basket pieces covered in paper
Hot Air Balloon basket pieces

Step One: Decorate the pieces that form the sides of the basket. In flicking through my stash of 6x6 papers I found this lovely brown check that I thought worked perfectly to imitate a woven basket. I cut a square to fit over each piece and glued it on with PVA. Then I carefully trimmed off the excess with a craft knife. The inside of the basket was painted to match the rest of the structure.

The bottom of the basket was painted in a dark chocolate brown and the remaining pieces were all coated in Resene's Blast Yellow metallic gold.

Covering sections of Hot Air Balloon
Covering sections of Hot Air Balloon

Step Two: Glue together the pieces that form the balloon.

Step Three: Cover the balloon. I picked up this scrap of fabric from my favourite art supply shop, and have been waiting for a suitable project to use it on. A beautifully bright orange and purple with metallic design accents. Perfect colour pop for the balloon. I made a rough template of a section of the balloon's top and used this to cut out 8 pieces from the fabric, leaving an ample allowance. I covered every second section (4 sections in total), trimming as I went, gluing it in place on the inside of the ribs. The fabric was wrapped onto the inside of the arched pieces and up under the bottom of the balloon.

Interior view of balloon coverings
Interior view of balloon coverings

Then I spent a little bit of time considering how I was going to achieve the covering of the remaining four sections. It turned out to be not so difficult as I feared.

I applied a line of glue along each the two ribs on either side of an empty section and carefully stretched out the fabric. I used an alcohol glue for this for a quick and sturdy hold. Once dry I snipped the excess fabric

Gluing in panels on balloon
Gluing in panels on balloon

away - VERY caefully. The bottom of the section was wrapped under and into the balloon as for the first 4 sections.

I was really happy with the end result. At this point I have left it like that, as it really has a tidy finish, but I may go back and cover the joins with ribbon if I can find one that matches in nicely.

Decorative button to hide the joins
Decorative button to hide the joins

The ends of the pieces at the top of the balloon were all trimmed so that they overlaid each other, but without becoming too bulky. In my stash of embellishments was some glossy 'buttons' my husband had given me for Christmas one year. It was providential to find one had a hot air balloon on it. I used it to cover over the top joins.

Step Four: Glue the basket pieces together and attach it to the balloon.

Step Five: Many hot air balloons have a rope looped around the rim of the basket and I liked the idea. So I found some yarn that went with the fabric and glued it as a rope festooned around the basket.

Gluing a 'rope' festoon onto hot air balloon
Gluing on a 'rope' festoon

And, it's finished. As you can see, there were not that many steps. If you don't fancy covering it in fabric, you could use paper (tissue would be lovely!), or simply paint it up in lots of lovely bright colours, add some twine, wool, or ribbons and hey presto, you have a delightful balloon decoration.

This would make a great gift, too, and would lend itself to placing a small treat or toy in the basket. Think chocolate egg or toy chick for Easter, a marshmallow Santa for Christmas, or even a key for a 21st birthday.

And here it is, my finished balloon.

I have an exciting project coming up for May. I hope I get it finished in time. ;) If you would like to purchase this kit, head on over to via this link.

Until next time,


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