Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Make Hot-Air Balloons from Paper Lanterns

"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon." ~ Winnie the Pooh

We could not be more excited to be welcoming a sweet little nephew to our family this summer. In celebration, I recently hosted a party for my sister-in-law Shana. I will be sharing more details of our sprinkle -- a shower for a mother-to-be who already has at least one child -- in an upcoming post. But today I'm offering a tutorial for the charming decorations I made to fit our hot-air-balloon theme.

For this project, you will need paper lanterns. I bought one pack of ten 16-inch lanterns in pale blue and one pack of ten 14-inch lanterns in light apple green. (I will share photos of the green hot-air balloons in my next post.)

Hot-air balloons hung from the ceiling and served as candlelit table centerpieces at the party. I created bunting by cutting out scrapbook-paper triangles (2 inches deep for the 14-inch lanterns and 3 inches for the 16-inch lanterns), punching holes, and stringing the pennants onto lengths of baker's twine. Then I hot glued the bunting to the lantern.

When shopping for a basket to serve as the base, it is helpful to take a paper lantern with you for size comparison. I used straw baskets and whimsical animal-themed containers from Hobby Lobby for our balloons.

Paper straws connect the lanterns to the bases. Using a generous amount of hot glue, I carefully adhered four straws to the inside of each base, allowing the glue to cool completely before proceeding. 

To connect a base to a lantern, I turned the lantern over, touched the straws to the lantern to determine an even placement, then glued the straws to the lantern. This step must be done very carefully. Extra glue may be needed to assure a secure bond. Once the glue cooled, I turned the lantern back over to its base and glued lengths of ribbon to the lantern where the straws meet the lantern. This adds an extra embellishment and covers glue at these joints.

After the party, Shana chose several hot-air balloons to take home as mementos of our special day.

This sweet trio now hangs above the crib in the nursery -- special keepsakes to welcome the little one who has already stolen our hearts!

"If I were king of the world, babies born in airplanes, balloons and blimps would, instead of choosing to be German, Maldavian or American, all get special heavenly blue passports with a stork on the cover labeled 'Sky Baby' -- and they'd be allowed to come and go anywhere they please." ~ Robert Krulwich

Photos by Nathan Prichard. Used with permission.

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