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Twisting Balloons 101

Let's twist again like we did last summer...
- Chubby Checker
Twisting Balloons 102

basic pinchbasic pinch twist
lock twist
no alt pic
Lock twists
3 bubble body3 bubble body
ear or pinch twistEar or pinch twist
apple twistapple twist
>yo-yo or split apple
twistyo-yo or split apple twist
hook twistHook twist
pop twistpop twist
roll balloon nozzle Roll knot toward nozzle
poodle tailPoodle tail

Note: The symbols used in the above table are not part of any standardized system. They are simply a suggested set of clear pictures to be incorporated into drawings of balloons. Expect these symbols to change and become more abstracted as we work toward a standard set of symbols.

Also, some twists have multiple names and many of us use terms that are accurate only part of the time. This may be make it difficult for beginners and ESLers (English as a second language ers).

David Graves has provided a suite of drawings of basic twists. These are very well done, and he's offering them for your use, free of charge, in any and all future publications. These images can be found in the Balloon HQ photograph database If you are thinking of writing a book, a web page, etc, that has basic instructions, you probably ought to have a look at these and send David feedback on them. They can be found in the photo area, under: Drawings of Balloons. Additionally, there are also animated balloon drawings for the following twists: Apple twist, Bird Twist, Ear Twist, Fold Twist, Meatball Twist, and Pop Twist. Check them out!

Basic pinch and twist

Locking twists and the basic four-legged animal

Bird body or 3 bubble roll through

Fold twist or large (elephant) large ear twist

Ear (Pinch) (Bean) twist

Apple twist

Advanced apple twists:

Yo-yo twist (split Apple twist)


  1. Make a 3-inch bubble. The actual length is best determined by experimentation, and depends on what the final use will be. Tie a knot. At this point, I prefer to trim off the nozzle close to the knot so the knot is smaller.

  2. Make an apple. This is done by making an apple twist (see above) all the way down and about 1/4" - 1/2" into the uninflated part. Grab the knot through the uninflated part, extract your finger (or other apple-twist tool) and twist a few times.

  3. Trim off the uninflated balloon after the twists you just made, but keep hold of the twist itself -- it won't stay twisted by itself (yet). Push the twist you are holding back into the balloon, as if you were making an apple twist in the opposite direction as you just did. Once the twist is fully inside, it will stay twisted by itself. Push it back in far enough so the knot is more than halfway back toward the side where it started.

  4. You should now have an oblong bubble with a thread of uninflated balloon running through it from end to end. Give this bubble a simple twist in the center, making two back-to-back apple twists. The friction should hold the twists in place. You're done!

    Yo you twist

           /--\ /--\
           |  | |  |
           |  | |  |
           |  |=|  |
           |  | |  |
           |  | |  |
           \--/ \--/
    (Side View, and Top View)

  5. Pinch one side of this, and the other side opens up like a spring clothes-pin. Clip this on to whatever body part(s) you desire.
More instructions:


Tips and variations

Suction Cups

Marriage Twist

Rattlesnake Tails

Hook Twist

Apple Twists and Deep Hook Twists: How NOT to Get Your Finger Stuck


Putting An Object Inside A Balloon


Things to put inside balloons



Peas In A Pod


Super Balls

Things NOT To Put Inside Balloons

Where To Get Stuff To Put In Balloons

Tools for Putting and Object Inside a Balloon

Pop twist

Pop Twists: The Alternate Method!

Popping the center bubble

Implements of Destruction

Pocket Knife

Letter Openers


Olfa "Touch-Knife"

Other Solutions

Fear of Popping

Noisy Pop Twists

Banana Twist

Attaching balloons with adhesive

Rubber Cement

Cold Glue Guns

Twisting Balloons 102

The second half of this chapter is called Twisting Balloons 102.

MB 12/21/95
LM 7/31/96
SKB 12/01/96
SKB 01/06/97
SKB 02/11/98
LM 02/17/99
SMB 09/14/00

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