Introduction: Balloon Topiary or Indoor Volleyball(oon)

When it's raining, you can sit by the window and hope the Cat in the Hat drops by...OR you can create your own chaotic fun with a little indoor volleyball(oon) game.

Whether you use this Instructable to make a party decoration or plaything is up to you...but either way, it's fast, easy, and my personal favorite: remarkably inexpensive.

The end result takes 12 balloons and about 10 minutes to make (about five if you have a helper with good lungs).

It will take you longer to read these directions than to make one!

The topiaries featured were made with either 12 9-inch or 5-inch balloons. They were originally made as party decorations, but were promptly "repurposed" by my kiddos.

Step 1: Inflate 12 Balloons

Begin with nine-inch balloons.

We’ll use good, old-fashioned lung power as our inflating method.

Find a clear bowl. Mine’s just a storage container with a diameter of about 7 inches.

Blow up a balloon and slowly deflate until it fits inside the bowl. (That’s to make sure the balloons are under inflated and are uniform in size.)

Twist the end of the balloon and tie into a very tight knot.

Step 2: Tie Two Balloons Together

Repeat with a second balloon, then knot the two balloons together.

Repeat, repeat, repeat until you have six sets of balloons.

Step 3: Twist Two Pair of Balloons Together to Make Three Clusters of Four

Connect two sets together (four balloons) by twisting them around each other at the knots.

(Because you under inflated the balloons, you don’t have to be too gentle.)

Repeat, until you have three clusters of four balloons each.

Step 4: Combine the Clusters

Holding the balloon clusters by the center knots, force/join two of the four-balloon clusters together, again twisting around each other at the center knot area. Add the final cluster and twist all the clusters together, weaving any or all 12 balloons around each other until you have a desirable color arrangement.

Step 5: To Use As a Decoration...

To hang, tie a ribbon around a balloon or two and pull the ends until a knot forms at the middle of the cluster. Hang as desired….

OR

Just separate a few of the balloons, place over the dowel, and release the balloons. The tension you’ve created by twisting the balloons is all you really need to hold them in place.

Decorate as desired by inserting ribbon curls, poking in squares of tulle or tissue paper...use your imagination. (Click here for other ideas and how to build a balloon column.)

OR

Step 6: Or Use As a Volleyballoon

Far better than just a single balloon, a Volleyballoon cluster has just the right weight and loft for indoor, rainy day fun (or at least 15 or 20 minutes worth).

Of course, ANYthing can cause damage under the ideal circumstances...

(Mom always said, "Don't play ball in the house"), so use at your own risk...

unless there's a Cat in the Hat-style cleaning machine Instructable that I haven't found yet!

Step 7: Quick Video Overview

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