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Bird In Egg
by Ralph Dewey

There are a lot of ways to put balloon sculptures inside a balloon. But some of them have a few drawbacks. Sometimes the process of stuffing them also smashes or distorts the balloon sculpture. I've come up with an inexpensive device and method for putting sculptures in a #350 balloon and without messing it up. I'll demonstrate how it's done by putting a baby bird inside an egg. You will need a plastic tumbler or drinking container about 7" tall and with a 2" opening, a ˝" weather-tight electrical bulkhead fitting and a sharp straw or stick. Drill a hole in the bottom of the tumbler and attach the weather-tight electrical fitting. The fitting serves as a tube for inflating the balloon. The sharp stick that I use is a standard balloon straw with one end sharpened.

Begin by making the baby bird from a #160 Spaghetti balloon. First I inflate a small bubble so that it leaves a short length of uninflated nozzle. Tie off the nozzle. This will become the beak and head of the bird. Tie off a knot (the neck knot) at the far end of the small bubble.

Cut off the nipple end of the #160 and inflate a medium bubble (the body) next to the neck knot. Measure off an inch or so of uninflated balloon (the tail). Tie another knot (the tail knot). Trim the knots if necessary.

Pull the beak down along side the neck knot and squeeze the small bubble. This will give a little offset to the bubble in order to form a better head shape. Pull the tail down along side the neck knot and squeeze that bubble too. This will give a little offset to the bubble in order to form a better body shape. With a Sanford's SharpieŇ or ExpoŇ marker, decorate the bird's eyes and wings.

Place the baby bird inside the tumbler. Cut off five inches from the nipple end of a clear #350 airship balloon. Inflate to about 5 inches and tie off. Force the tied end of the #350 onto the tumbler's opening so that it also overlaps around the outside about ˝".

Grasp around the balloon at the tumbler's opening with your first finger and thumb to hold it in place. Using the sharp straw through the weather-tight fitting, puncture the nozzle end of the balloon.

The balloon will deflate but remain stretched around the tumbler's opening.

Blow into the weather-tight fitting to inflate the balloon again. Keep grasping the balloon at the tumbler's opening. Keep the tumbler tipped downward so that the baby bird will fall into the inflated balloon.

Twist the balloon so that it will close off and trap the air. Remove the balloon from the tumbler. Usually you have way too much air in the balloon, so let out enough air until gets down to the proper size for your egg, about 4". Squeeze and force the air and the baby bird all the way to the nipple end. Tie off the #350 and trim off any excess balloon.



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