by Ralph Dewey
The Balloon HQ challenge this month is a turkey or turkey hat.
When designing this hat I aimed for a hat that's not too complex or detailed. By making it fairly simple, it can be used for restaurant work. Start by making the turkey's head and the hat's headband. Fully inflate a brown (Mocha Brown is a good choice) except for 1" and tie off the nozzle. If the hat is for an adult you will need to stretch the balloon by drawing it through your had a few times. If you feel some heat being generated by the stretching and drawing, you know that the balloon is getting longer. Twist off 1" bubble and ear twist it. (This bubble will be positioned at the back of the head between the beak cheeks later.) Then twist off a 3" bubble, a 1/2" bubble and another 3" bubble. Twist-connect all three bubbles. Then ear twist the 1/2" bubble. That completes stage one of the turkey's head.
Now continue by twisting off a 5" bubble (the neck) and a 1" bubble. Ear twist the 1" bubble. Twist off two 14" bubbles and a 3/4" bubble. Twist-connect the 3/4" bubble to the 1" ear twist. That completes the turkey's head and the hat's headband.
To make the eyes you will need two 3" bubbles from an inflated section of a white #260 balloon. Tie the ends together and discard any excess balloon except for a 1" piece. Push the 1/2" ear twist (top of the turkey's head) through the two eye bubbles. Then tie the 1" piece of the white balloon around the base of the turkey's head to secure it in place.
The beak is made from an inflated section of a Goldenrod #260 balloon. Twist off a 2-1/2" bubble and two soft 5" bubbles. Fold-twist both 5" bubbles. Tie off and discard the excess balloon. Place the beak at the base of the turkey's head and lock in place. The 1-1/4" ear twist should be at the back of the head and positioned vertically. To shape the beak, roll the knot tighter. Pull the knot downward and squeeze the sides of the beak. This will make it be more pointed and curve down slightly. Trim off the nozzle.
Here is the back view of the turkey's head.
The twaddle can be made several different ways. I like to use a pipe cleaner inside a 5" piece of a red #260. The nipple end of the #260 can be inflated to about 1-1/2" and tied off. The bend the pipe cleaner so that you can stick the tied end under and between the eyes, across the beak and down one side of the beak. Use a black balloon marking pen to decorate the nostrils and the eyes.
Now your turkey head is complete.
The tail feathers can be made from your favorite colors, but I like to keep an autumn look so I use a Goldenrod, an Amethyst Violet and a Mocha Brown balloon. Fully inflate the Goldenrod #260 except for about 3" and tie off the nozzle. Twist off a 1" bubble, two 6" bubbles and another 1" bubble. Ear twist the 1" bubbles and discard the excess balloon. Take the Amethyst Violet balloon and make the exact same thing. Twist both balloons at their centers. Fully inflate the Mocha Brown #260 except for about 3" and tie off the nozzle. Twist off a 1" bubble and ear twist it. Twist-connect it to one of the 1" ear twists on the Goldenrod balloon. Twist off a 6" bubble and twist connect it to the 1" ear twist on the Amethyst Violet balloon. Twist off another 6" bubble and twist connect it to the second ear twist on the Goldenrod balloon. Twist off another 6" bubble and twist connect it to the second 1" ear twist on the Amethyst Violet balloon. Twist off a 1" bubble on the Mocha Brown balloon and ear twist it. Cut off and discard any remaining Mocha Brown balloon. I like to curve all three of the 6" Mocha Brown bubbles so the tail feathers have a rounded look.
Take a short piece of the Mocha Brown balloon and twist off two 1/2" bubble. Tie a knot on both ends. Use these two bubbles to lash together the center of the tail feathers to the twist at the back of the turkey's headband.
That completes the turkey hat. Now you are ready for Thanksgiving.