Other Uses For Balloons
Something that can be a very useful addition to your Personal Outdoor Safety Kit is a simple balloon.
- Adventure Spots Online
Tie Me up, Tie Me Down
- I needed to hold up my bathing suit cover, so I tied it up with a
- Tie onto objects for color-coding.
- Use a 260 as a garden tie. It lasts about 2 months and holds
without cutting into the bark or restricting growth.
- I do gift wrapping with 260's. I use a 260 for the "string" that
goes around the package and then make a flower, or boutonniere in
the middle of the package. If the package is for a child, I made a
balloon animal and then run the 260 through the legs of the animal
so it will be fastened to the package and will stand up. They are
really a hit with my family and friends.
- 260's as hair bands - take a 260 (or two) and tie the ends this can
be used as a head band or as simple elastic to hold hair in a pony tail.
- I very often use balloons to solve small problems by using them
for rubber bands and to tie things, etc.
- At IBAC, Christopher Horn gave a great suggestion about cutting off the
rolled lip from the nozzle of an old or broken balloon and then just using
the rolled lip as a rubber band.
- At a recent walkaround, I found myself without the large rubber bands I like to use for doing the linking/unlinking rubber bands. Two contrasting color 260's (red and green are great for Christmas parties, blue and white are great for Chanukah parties) each tied in a loop make terrific substitutes.
- When I arrive somewhere and notice that I've been driving on
fumes, I tie a 260 to the steering wheel to remind me when I come
out, to make my next stop the gas station.
- A small loop made from a piece of 260Q or the rolled end from a
larger balloon works well to keep old, tired Velcro in place.
Balloon Business: Quick-Fixes
- I have actually seen some face painters polishing up their full face techniques on nine inch round balloons and, you have got to admit, considering some of the stuff those customers want painted on their faces, it is appropriate to practice on latex first for preparing to perform on those AIR HEADS later.
- For holding tips, I make a garter for my sleeve out of 2 260's,
each tied nozzle to nipple. I fold a $20, a $10, and a couple of $5's
long-ways. These I hang off one balloon and tuck them under the other,
one going up, the next down, and so on and so on.
- Balloon Invitations. One of the party planners was planning a surprise party. They sent out party items in mailing tubes to each guest. They were stuffed with several toy items, a paperhat, a blowout and two imprinted balloons. One of the balloons had printed who the party was for, a surprise, no gifts, etc. and the other one had the location and time. I understand that it was very well received!
- Why not offer balloon invitations to our customers. They all send out
these invitation cards that they buy in the stores. Well, we could offer them a
set of simple balloons with either a (name) tag around there neck, or write
the party info direct on the balloons. Then at the party, make the more
special balloon creations.
- Quick draw pump strap: Tie one 260 in a loop and use another to
attach it to the end of a balloon hand pump. Put loop around
forearm and adjust so that when arm is lowered, pump drops into
correct hand position. Just let pump dangle below arm while
twisting sculpture. When needed just drop arm, and grab pump. No
reaching into pockets or setting down on table.
- Four to six 260's work as an emergency replacement for the Pogo
return mechanism (surgical tubing).
- I love using broken balloons pieces to tie up a bag of balloons (so
they don't spill).
First Aid and Health
- I talk an Active Older Adult aerobics class at my local YMCA. I took some balloons to class this morning. I blew up one for everyone and we exercised
with them. It was surprising to discover how effective they were. We did our usual aerobics exercises holding them with both hands. The instructor was very excited and said she was going to share this idea with the other instructors in the area. It was amazing that with something so light in weight, we could still feel the effects in our workout.
- I work with scissors "A LOT" and every once in a great while I slip
& snip. Most often it's my finger. I inflate a 260Q all the way full,
insert the wounded digit in, as though I were making a tulip or hook
twist, only from the nozzle end. Making sure the balloon covers the
cut, I then pop the remainder away. The balloon will stay at the
finger joint you take it to, even while you keep working. It not only
doesn't get in the way like a band-aid can, but it applies pressure so
as to stop the blood flow. "PLUS" it keeps your body fluids contained
as a bandage never could, stemming the fear of the possible spread
- YOu can fine online images of a heart before and after balloon angioplasty
- Last night, a kid slid into a chair and started bleeding. I made an
impromptu bandage with napkins as gauze as uninflated balloons
tied around his leg to hold it tightly in place. Not quite as dramatic
as ER, but it did the trick.
- 260's as Dental Floss - Just stretch the 260 and you can get that
nasty bit out of your teeth with ease. I just used this method after a
run in with corn on the cob at a company outing recently (just make
sure the clients or kids don't see).
- Several times at different amusement parks I've used a 260 as a
last minute eyeglasses strap, made up while waiting in line for the
thrill rides. Works great.
- The MPI Outdoors web site gives a lot of great reasons to put balloons in your first aid kit. A balloon is a useful thing!
Money Issues and Barter
- This weekend I had a lot of cash with me while kayaking; I didn't
want to leave the cash in the vehicle. But taking money on the river
usually means putting it in a dry bag and taking a small risk of losing
it. So, I rolled up $300 and put it into a 260Q, let the air out and tied
the end so that I could carry it in my splash jacket! At the end of the
day I was soaked, but the cash was still dry.
- 260's as money wrappers - at the end of a busy day busking, I
sort the ones into stacks of 25 and tie them up with a 260. The
ladies at the bank always get a kick out of it!
- I once traded three balloons for three bananas.
- Balloon Car Contest at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory According to the rules, a BALLOON CAR is any vehicle which travels on the course using one or two officially supplied balloons for power.
- An empty 260 works well for the return band on a yo-yo
balloon or a round (punch ball) balloon.
- Bicycle handlebar streamers.
- Chocolate Dessert Cups
- In a heavy pot over low heat, melt chocolate.
- Form the shape of cups by blowing up small balloons the size
you want for the cups.
- Dab a little melted chocolate onto a wax paper lined cookie
sheet. Press flat onto the wax paper. (this ensures that the
dipped chocolate balloons will stand upright). Dip the bottom
of the balloon into melted chocolate and let stand on cookie
sheet. Refrigerate until hardened. Repeat for remaining
balloons. If cups are very thin, dip again. When chocolate has
hardened, snip the top of balloons with scissors and pull gently
out of from cups.
- Fill the cups with raspberry mousse, ice cream or any of
your favorite yummy fillings.
- Doll fashion belts and accessories.
- Flotation device! Wrap 30+ 260's around your legs, arms, waist,
chest, neck, and head. It gives enough buoyancy to have a second
person use you as a raft. :-)
- Braid for youth group friendship bracelets.
- I have a "expensive" pen that I bought and never used because I could not hold on to it; it would literally slip through my fingers as I wrote. While playing with some balloon droppings I rolled the broken piece of balloon on the ink pen, I found the grip was no longer slippery and had a very comfortable grip. This can be done on pencils, or anyother item you may want a good grip on.
- I use 260's to hang mobiles. That way they bounce around, but
- I found another use for balloons in a parents magazine. You take
one round balloon, cut off the end of the nozzle and fill the balloon
with sand. Take two more balloons, cut off the entire nozzle of each
and stretch them over the first balloon. It makes a nice tight ball,
perfect for juggling. Works great I tried it!
- I've been making my juggling balls like that for some time now. I
like them better than most of the juggling balls I've used in the past.
The best part is that I can get the size and weight the way I like
them. I've found that I like the feel and weight of crushed walnut
shells for filling. (You can find crushed walnut shells in some pet
stores as bedding for bird cages.) They aren't as strong as cloth balls,
and the latex will break down, so they have a limited life span. On
the other hand, they're cheap enough to make that I haven't found
this to be much of a problem. I'm never concerned with them
wearing out and breaking, and I give away a set to everyone that I
teach to juggle.
- Juggling balls. I use two balloons instead of three. I'm not sure the third balloon will make much difference.
- My daughter used 3 balloons to make balloon juggling balls. She
cut a couple of holes so the other color showed through for a better
- There is a technique for making lettering that involves foam
board and 260's. It is called "lacing". They use 260's to create the
shape of the individual letters. Instead of tying them off at the right
length, they cut slits in the foam board, and tuck the remaining
length of 260 through the slit, behind the board. This makes the 260
look as if it ended in a blunt line, rather than tapering off to a
rounded end. There was an example of this shown in IMAGES, where
they created an IBM logo. It looked great.
- Sand-filled balloons are also sold as stress-relief balls to squeeze in your hand.
- It seems that balloons were handy gadgets back in the great days of radio
theatre as sound effect makers. Pop a balloon for a gunshot, rub a
balloon and then peel a rubber glove off your hand to simulate what it
might sound like to turn someone inside out... eeeewwwwww!
- There are examples of a Christmas themed "stained glass window"
made with balloons in a back issue of IMAGES. It was done by
cutting out holes in a sheet of foam board into a pattern, and
inflating round and 260 balloons inside the holes. The result was a
panel that could be back lit to look like stained glass.
- The kids needed water balloons the other day. 260's work, too!
- How about treating 260's as short, thick thread, and doing some
- See funky, super-pressure weather balloons at
- And of course, the ever popular... Bronx cheer
Twisting Other Materials
- Twisting Paper
I was wondering how many other people make figures out of straw
wrappers or napkins. I was introduced to the idea before I got into
ballooning, and just recently started to go wild with the possibilities.
Straw wrapper figures are made by twisting the straw wrapper
length-wise (until it is a nice long string) and continue to twist it
until is starts twisting up on itself. Then you finish up twisting
where it was twisting by itself (so you now have your straw wrapper
string in half in a helix form). This (in balloon terms) is your blown
To make a simple dog you would: Start at the looped end, pinch a
small section for the nose, and unravel a small section of the helix
behind it. With the loop that forms from the unraveled section, twist
two ears. Then make another unraveled loop further down the helix
and make two front legs. A third unraveled loop will make the final
back legs, with the tail being the remaining section.
I have found that McDonald's straw wrappers are the best for
animals (they are a little longer and more durable than the generic
white ones). This is one of my favorite restaurant tricks and usually
gets a good reaction. You make something that gets a smile with
trash you would normally throw away. For bigger animals, a long
thin strip of napkin also works.