Instructables

Balloon-tying jig

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Most kids go through a stage of being unable to tie a balloon without it farting off across the room.  Water-bombs can be even worse, slippery little devils that they are.

This simple jig makes tying balloons (especially water-bombs) a lot quicker, and makes it a lot easier to build up your ammunition for April Fools.





 
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Step 1: Materials

The jig must be smooth and snag-free, or every balloon will burst.

For this prototype, I used a dead Sharpie pen and some spare timber.

Tools included a small saw, sharp knife, drill+wood bit and a circular file.

Step 2: Cutting.

Picture of Cutting.
DSCF7528.JPG
First, cut a slot in the end of the pen.

The slot needs to be wide enough to slide the neck of the balloon into, and smooth enough to avoid snagging the balloon.

I cut into the pen with the saw, twice, then smoothed off the edges by trimming with a sharp craft knife.

Then, on the side of the pen that will end up at the bottom, I cut a wide, vaguely V-shaped notch to momentarily anchor the end of the balloon during knotting.



Step 3: Drilling, filing, hammering.

I had a wood-bit almost as wide as the end of the pen.

I drilled a pilot hole first, then used the large bit to drill a hole for the pen to wedge into.

The hole turned out to be ever-so-slightly too small.

To make the pen fit, I used a round file to enlarge the hole slightly.  Do not be tempted to hammer the pen into the hole - you will snap off the end of the pen.

Instead, grip the pen firmly with a pair of large pliers, and then hammer the pliers beside the pen.

Make sure that the V-shaped notch ends up at the bottom of the pen.

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ptownes4 months ago
Genius! I'll have to make one.
Kiteman (author)  ptownes4 months ago

Thank you. When you do, take a picture and hit the "I Made It" button!

kewrw281 year ago
Thanks a lot brother. I will try to make one of these this weekend with my grandson. Again, thank you
Kiteman (author)  kewrw281 year ago
You're very welcome.
uersel1 year ago
In the last few years I made several of this jigs. They were always of big help for tying large amounts of ballons for various theatre shows. On the image you see about 600 ballons, all inflated an tyed within 2,5 hours by one person, myself (its for the same play I made the fog chiller). I usually make the jigs out of wooden dowels and some leftover wood.
So thanks a lot for this instructable, it saved a lot of time and my fingers from lots of blisters!
PhotoGrid_1369482809519.jpg
Kiteman (author)  uersel1 year ago
Oh, that's awesome!
MrE1 year ago
Great Ible I will make one myself soon. Just one little question what is the name and who wrote that little song in the video.
Kiteman (author)  MrE1 year ago
It's called "At the Rising of the Moon", a traditional Irish song. I'm afraid can't remember the artist, but it's played on an ocarina.
this is cool. but i cant stop laughing at the shape.
torned002 years ago
i think you got that idea from:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErruUtVO9sw
good for making epic water balloon (double layered regular bloon so it dosent pop when filling)
Puzzledd3 years ago
Fantastic idea and description!
Kiteman (author)  Puzzledd3 years ago
Thank you.
chamster3 years ago
WOW! U have made so many insructable! Are u the creater of instructables?
Kiteman (author)  chamster3 years ago

LOL, oh, no.  You need Eric, the site's creator and CEO.
chamster3 years ago
Brilliant! But why is it in the pranks section?
Kiteman (author)  chamster3 years ago
Where else do water-balloon-based projects belong?
seabananers3 years ago
some thing is very wrong here
Wafflicious4 years ago
Excellent :)
Kiteman (author)  Wafflicious4 years ago
Thank you.
flowjuggler4 years ago
Great jig. We work with a lot of kids (and adults) doing balloon workshops and tying the balloon is inevitably a source of stress for a number of participants. Although we've gotten good at teaching a no-hurt, easy to understand method of tying, this will be a great tool to have on hand! Thanks.
Kiteman (author)  flowjuggler4 years ago
You're welcome, although, after just one afternoon of using the jig, my youngest suddenly worked out how to tie them for himself...
ikeike404 years ago
hi
Some people are ACTUALLY SELLING a similar product. Better go through copyright again...
mybluemake4 years ago
Fooking brilliant. As the world's coolest uncle and great uncle I've purchased over 5000 biodegradeable water balloons for this coming Summer. I love my siblings' spawn and their issue, but not a damn one of them can tie a balloon. As a fat fingered middle-ager, I've damaged my hands enough tying over 600 last August. This is on!
Kiteman (author)  mybluemake4 years ago
Excellent.  Post pics when you do.
EvanSavar4 years ago
That is really cool. I just looked up balloon tying on Google and the same item for $2.00. www.batteryjunction.com/ballon-tie.html. It be great though if I didn't have the 2.00 to buy the item!! 
little perverted ,much?

good job.
 lol I was thinking the same thing...
lol it's cool tho.
lol, me 2
XD
gserrano7014 years ago
 I agree with you all.   The gratest thing of it all is the simplicity.

What if you attach a foot pump to the other end of the sharpie??? that would let the friend with the big lungs make better use of them talking to the croud while blowing up the baloons.

Congratulations
imfasa4 years ago
Tou are such a genius!! (although i CAN tie balloons... :P)
Questor4 years ago
if you ran an "air supply" from the back, thru the sharpy, it would blow out the slot and you could fill the balloon and tie it at the same station. Just control the air like they do with helium balloons.  Could work with water, too. Just "messier"
girlcousin4 years ago
Thank you thank you thank you!!  Our little town has a halloween party every year and we do a 'bust the balloon win a prize' game and tying those knots just kills our fingers!!!  Now I am all exited about carving my sharpie pen and putting smiley faces on all my balloons, now!
AT4 years ago
Nice!  Simple yet very usable
mizantropic4 years ago
i'm really curios if you could do that with a swollen balloon.
You could, but with a water balloon filled to its absolute limits... You might have to be very careful.
cbergquistf4 years ago
Great idea !  Simple.  Effective.
dacker4 years ago
Nice!

Once or twice each year, I find myself volunteering at one thing or another which needs tons of balloons blown-up.  As a guy, with strong lungs, I'm often stuck blowing up a hundred or so.  Next time, I'll make 1-2 of these ahead of time.  I'll probably use a hardwood dowel in place of the Sharpie body.

I'm glad you posted the video or I'd never figure it out.  The video could be improved by appending a slow-motion version to the full-speed version.
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