Introduction: 7 Alternative Uses for Balloons

Picture of 7 Alternative Uses for Balloons

In this Instructables, we look into seven ways to use balloons.

Let's dive in!

Step 1: Drinking Glass Identifier

Picture of Drinking Glass Identifier

If you like to party, most likely you know the situation: Eh, which is my glass?

With so many glasses on the table, it's easy to loose your drink.

Since you're in the party, it's a good chance you'll find a balloon.

Use the balloon to cover the bottom of the glass.

Now you can easily identify your glass.

Step 2: Pimp Your Mouse

Picture of Pimp Your Mouse

Balloons are great to pimp your mouse.

You can make it more colourful to suit your personality or match the computer.

It will also have a better grip.

  • Take off the top of your mouse.
  • Cover it with a balloon of your choice.
  • Put back the top and enjoy your colourful mouse.

Step 3: Yarn or String Lampshade

Picture of Yarn or String Lampshade

Balloons are great for moulds.

You can use a big balloon as a mould for a string/yarn lampshade.

I used a very big balloon as it seemed to be more round when inflated.

I used yarn and wallpaper paste to glue it together.

I have also made yarn lampshades with white glue, but I prefer wallpaper paste as it's cheaper (at least where I live) and it's easier to clean it up.

Wallpaper paste might take longer to dry than a white glue.

Prepare your glue and pour some in a jug.

Feed in some yarn and push it down, so it gets covered with the glue.

Keep topping up the glue as well as feeding and pushing down the yarn.

When you reach the end, feed it through the spout and cut off the dry yarn.

Step 4: Yarn or String Lampshade

Picture of Yarn or String Lampshade

Now cover the balloon with the yarn.

It's very easy to do it this way.

You can spin the balloon or wind the yarn by hand.

When you reach the end, tuck it under other layers of yarn.

Hang the balloon to dry.

It will drip, so put a bucket under.

Drying time will depend on various factors.

Estimated drying time: 36h - 96h

Usually the bottom will dry last, so the ball might seem hard, but the bottom will be soft.

Step 5: Yarn or String Lampshade

Picture of Yarn or String Lampshade

When the ball is dry, pop the balloon and cut a bigger hole to remove it.

There are various ways to hang the lampshade.

I made a hook that attaches to the cable and holds the lampshade.

Step 6: Brighten Up That Chair

Picture of Brighten Up That Chair

If you have a chair that needs to be brighten up, balloons are great for that.

Put a balloon on a permanent marker or a similar item that size.

Roll it down.

Now roll the balloon on your chair's leg.

Repeat the procedure for all the legs.

Put adhesive pads on the bottom, so balloons would not break.

Your rainbow colour chair is ready!

Step 7: Balloon Gun

Picture of Balloon Gun

Get a pipe, tube or a plastic bottle neck.

Trim the balloon a little bit shorter and slide it onto the tube.

Wrap it with an electrical tape.

Load your gun and you're ready to shoot.

Be careful. It's more powerful than it looks.

Never shoot at animals, people or somebody's property.

Step 8: Fancy Drink Cooler

Picture of Fancy Drink Cooler

Balloons make fancy drink chillers.

Fill them with the water, tie a knot and freeze them.

Colourful way to keep your drinks cool.

Alternatively, take the ice out from the balloons, revealing huge ice balls.

Probably you should not use balloons in direct contact with food, but if you do,

make sure to wash them.

Step 9: Drums

Picture of Drums

I did not throw away the balloon I used for the lampshade.

It was big, so perfect for a big drum.

I got a container from some kind of sweets and covered it with a balloon.

I also put a rubber band on top.

Now my neighbours love me even more :)


metqa (author)2016-09-07

You are so silly. What I took away from this is the great idea for feeding glue-sodden yarn from a pitcher. Great delivery method!

BorgOvermind (author)2016-04-29

Ice balls... good to use against meatbags, cars, etc.

dlindstrom (author)2015-05-26

Some very fun kid freindly projects.

Indeed. Apart from the gun. When I was a kid, my brother shot me in the eye with a berry. I started to cry. He carried me further from the house, so the parents would not heart me crying. When people asked me why my eye was red, I said that I ran into a branch :) The gun is not that bad, just need to make sure kids understand that they should not shoot at people :)

gmcluvvin (author)ShakeTheFuture2016-01-13

These are very powerful !!! When i was younger i used to make them from a coke bottle. First time i fired one i smashed a bus stop advert glass.. ???

gmcluvvin (author)gmcluvvin2016-01-13

Mine tho was a lot lot shorter then yours, so i could imagine mine was maybe more powerfull.. thanks for reminding me tho ;) #childhood memories... ☺☺☺☺

GraceDyer (author)2015-05-25

Oh, I like the mouse! My boyfriend always buys ugly ones so I guess this is a good way to change its appearance a bit

VIGNAUDM (author)GraceDyer2015-09-27

changez de copain

ShakeTheFuture (author)GraceDyer2015-05-26

The only problem you might have is that your boyfriend might not like a balloon covered mouse :)

GraceDyer (author)ShakeTheFuture2015-05-27

Well, that's not my problem xD Next time he'll know to buy more nice looking ones

Yonatan24 (author)2015-09-19

Wow! The lamp one is the best!

pattygandara (author)2015-09-15

LOL u r incredible!!!

damyar (author)2015-08-18

That is awesome

SnazzyBot (author)2015-05-29

Eeeek! Love these tips! Can you tell me what kind of wallpaper paste you used to stiffen the yarn? I have had disappointing results with some of the things I've tried. :(

Also, if the finished light shade were to get wet, would it collapse? Or does it hold up well in moisture/humidity?

ShakeTheFuture (author)SnazzyBot2015-05-30

I used ordinary wallpaper glue. It was a cheap stuff.

Sorry, can't tell you more details about the glue.

It was a normal glue, white granules that you mix with water and get jelly-ish glue.

When using wallpaper paste, make sure the yarn is really wet. Ball should be dripping wet when finished.

You should also give it a long time to dry.

When it's not dry it might seem that the glue is not working as the yarn is soft, but if you wait an extra day, it will go hard.

If I remember correctly, it took me 3 days for this lampshade to dry.

Try white glue mixed with a little bit of water instead of the wallpaper paste.

SnazzyBot (author)ShakeTheFuture2015-06-03

Thank you. :) It helps to know that it was not a pre-mixed glue.

I know there are so many different kinds of wallpaper paste... wheat, clay, vinyl, etc and I'm not familiar enough with which one would work for my project. I'll get a powdered one and try that. :)

DIY-Guy (author)2015-05-26

Congratualtions on a very good Instructable!
This is exceptionally creative and tasteful.
Yours gets the virtual "Family Friendly" award!

(Our family is so glad you didn't use those "other kind" of balloons, thank you so very much!)

ShakeTheFuture (author)DIY-Guy2015-05-27

Thank You!

robolimbo (author)2015-05-27

Wow! I must make this lampshade!

CarlosS11 (author)2015-05-24

how many shots you tried to hit the glass? rsssss

nice ;-)

thundrepance (author)CarlosS112015-05-25

i'm not internet-savvy; what does "rsssss" mean??

In Brazil (internet language) rs is "risos", that means laughs

ShakeTheFuture (author)CarlosS112015-05-24


First time the glass did not brake :)

CarlosS11 (author)ShakeTheFuture2015-05-25

Nice Shot rsss

gungajin (author)2015-05-25

Great ideas! One word of caution though: You can never know what the precise content of the balloon rubber is, it may content traces of chemicals which you just don't want to ingest, so I'd recommend not to bring it in direct touch with food at all.

ShakeTheFuture (author)gungajin2015-05-26

Thanks for suggestion.

thundrepance (author)2015-05-25

if my old-lady, arthritic fingers can do the drinking glass covers, that's the first thing i'll do .... what a fantastic idea! :^D

p.s: i like your little dance @ the end :)

Yes, the glass covering will require some force :)


Cat00x (author)2015-05-24

Thanks so much for this 'ible. I read on another site about toe fungus that a person put small balloons filled with vinegar or tea tree oil on the affected toes. The acidity of the vinegar and ingredients in tea tree oil provide an unsavory environment for the fungus. I loved the idea of keeping your toes covered with the "juice" but not messing up socks or shoes.

You can make not only a lamp but a small rattle for fun using papier mache. Fill it with various fillers, like small seed beads, beans, bolts, etc., to get different sounds. Make sure you use several layers of papier maché.

And then, of course, there's the classic balloon animals made from long, skinny balloons.... thanks for stimulating the creative imagination. I look forward to part 2!

thundrepance (author)Cat00x2015-05-25 that's FUNNY! can you imagine someone coming to your house unexpectedly just before you've put your sox on, & seeing balloon-covered toes?! hahahahahahaha-a-a-a!

ShakeTheFuture (author)Cat00x2015-05-24

I have never heart of it. Great info.


rochafernando (author)2015-05-24

Ohhh man, not the beer.... :(

Very nice instructable!

When me and my friends were young, we built some ballon cannons like yours using scrap pvc pipes, and played shooting seeds, like a poorman's paintball. And indeed it hurts like hell.

Alastra (author)rochafernando2015-05-25

+1 for the beer !

Sorry about the beer. It hurts seeing such a waste of a beer :)

Yes, I was also doing it as a kid, but with cranberries

You could make a big mess on somebodies wall.

a1cndn (author)2015-05-24

Yuppers ! I like it .

ShakeTheFuture (author)a1cndn2015-05-24

I am glad you do.


callhow (author)2015-05-24

Another use for balloons - fishing bobber! Blow it up to whatever size you prefer....tie

it off & attach to line depending on depth of lures or sinkers. Fish can hardly feel the

air-filled balloon resting above them! - AHNauss

ShakeTheFuture (author)callhow2015-05-24

That's an interesting one. I never thought about it.


vvagte (author)2015-05-24

You can also try to make a bowl out of waste from paper cutting. For this,apply glue on half side and dip that side in the basket containing waste, allow to get glued. Now, fold the remaining half of baloon as the inner side and turn the bowl upside down and repeat the gluing and sticking process.

ShakeTheFuture (author)vvagte2015-05-24

Thanks for the info.

I am sure it would look awesome.

anyuferrari (author)2015-05-24

Was that a glass of beer? D: Guns only bring disgrace...

Yes, it was a glass of beer. I know, what I was thinking :)

arveasheim (author)2015-05-24

There is also this: Fill a balloon with water, put it into the freezer for about 5 hours, then the water in the center will not be frozen. Cut away the rubber, put a lit candle inside and you have an awesome lamp. Short life span, though.

leonardipc (author)arveasheim2015-05-24

I do with pots of plastic, rectangular and round. Let freeze to the outer face be with a thick shell. This takes about 4 hours.

That sounds interesting. Cheers

callhow (author)2015-05-24

Similar to the "lampshade", (really dating myself here)...2nd grade blow balloon to whatever size you wish - tie it off.....then take newspaper(comics are colorful) and dip newspaper strips into shallow container/lid holding,"white school glue"....apply

strips all over - except about quarter size at bottom (where balloon was tied). Let

glue harden. Untie/or use object to puncture balloon at bottom. (hold below where it's tied so it doesn't get stuck inside. Can paint/decorate as head or whatever. It's the

cheap version of "paper-mache" from

ericCycles (author)2015-05-24

In an foolish effort to impress a young woman, I once made a chocolate spider cake topping using a balloon. Took a balloon, painted melted chocolate on it except for a patch by the knot, let it harden, carefully (nonexplosively) deflated the balloon, glued (with more chocolate) some segmented legs constructed with pretzel sticks and black jujubes, and added some red jujubes for eyes.

The trick is: start with a full size balloon and only partially inflate it. First time I tried, I started with a small fully inflated balloon. Just as I was finishing the painting, it exploded, sending approximately 200gms of melted chocolate everywhere! It took an hour to clean up.

In situations like these, I always say: Well, at least I'll have a funny story to tell years later :)

Hannahhoo (author)2015-05-24

Very creative! I think I'll try out the lampshade one. :)

ShakeTheFuture (author)Hannahhoo2015-05-24


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