Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hot Air Balloons

Look!  Balloons!

Lemme explain...Remember the countdown calendar I made for the holidays?

As I said in that how to post, I intended to keep it up, altering what was hanging from it according to the season.  After Christmas, I replaced the ornaments with snowflakes.

I was struggling to figure out what to do for spring.  I got to thinking too linearly, you know?  I kept vacillating between doing birds (which I thought was kind of expected) or flowers (which I thought would look odd, just blooms hanging), and since I wasn't sold on either idea I did nothing.  
I was yammering on about it with Jeremy, when  he suggested removing one of the wires to allow more space (we just unscrewed one side and taped it down) and do hot air balloons.  I was off and running.  

I cobbled together my version from several different ideas I found online-- passim as we call it in academia. A very useful citation device, passim.  It means you got it from here and there within a source.  In this case, my source was the internet~*
Because of how they hang in the frame, I only needed it to pop out on one side.  Theoretically, you could get a little double stick tape and tape the images directly to the wall.  You could also add layers and make a free hanging mobile-- if you want it to be fully 3 dimensional, 360, double up the amount of cut outs you use.  

So here's what I did:

Find and cut out a pattern for a hot air balloon, clouds and birds online (or freehand-- I got the hot air balloon online, and drew the rest). 

Since I wanted the basket to be separate, I cut off the balloon shape at the base of the balloon.
Cut out three shapes each per balloon and per cloud (if you were doing a 360 version, you'd need 6 per balloon/cloud).

Fold the one shape gently down the center, then use a ruler to draw a line.  Attach the 3 pieces together with paperclips.  Or clothespins if you can't find paperclips & get tired of looking for 'em~*

Sew them down the center line.  I prefer sewing since it gives the thinnest possible line, and thus the cleanest fold, but you could also use glue or double stick tape in a pinch.

Do the same for each of the cloud sets.

Now for the baskets. Cut two strips of paper (one per basket). You will have to judge how wide/long based on the size of your balloons.

Fold the ends so they meet neatly in the middle. 

Glue the ends so they overlap, leaving you with a semi circle.  Again, if you were doing a 360 version, you would make a full circle instead.

You could opt to do the birds 3 dimensional as well by cutting multiples and layering them as I did with the clouds and balloons, or you could do them 360 by adhering two together.  I chose to leave them flat and one sided to make them simpler visually.  Anyway, easy-peasy, just trace and cut out!

If you wanted this to be stuck directly to the wall, just apply removable double stick tape to the back of each piece, arrange them on the wall in question and you are done!

If you want them to hang, either in a frame or as part of a mobile, there is still a bit more to do.  Get some filament thread or fine fishing line.  For the birds, I simply attached the fishing line with hot glue.  The dab of glue gave the birds enough weight to pull the line straight and allowed them to hang neatly.  For a 360 effect, glue on the filament, then glue another of the same cut out to hide the filament.

For the clouds and hot air balloons, I used hot glue in the seam to create little loops.  To get it nice and tight, I clothes-pinned the center pieces together, and used the tips of my scissors to hold the filament in place.  
To attach the basket I used three pieces of filament and clear tape to attach.

I used the same ornate ornament hooks that I got for the calendar to hang the pieces.  For the cloud between the two balloons, I poked a hole with a needle and attached it directly to the hook, and attached two birds to the cloud.  I varied the other clouds and birds, depending on the look I was going for.

I am really happy with how it came out!   

We've been brainstorming all sorts of ideas for future designs--  another sky scene with kites and a sun, an under the sea version, or maybe a duck is so cool when your imagination gets unstuck!

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