Picture of Emergency Blanket from Old Party Balloons
A backpacking trip in northern British Columbia is something in the works for me and my husband. We love to hike and are pre-planning to see what exactly we need and how much we can get in our packs without weighing us down too much. Since we will be in-the-middle-of-nowhere I figured an emergency blanket should be a vital part of our packs.

My son recently had a superheroes themed birthday party with life-sized superhero mylar balloons. I couldn't bring myself to throw away that much material and found the perfect use for it. Turns out mylar is very easy to work with and makes for a great homemade emergency blanket! An emergency blanket helps regulate body temperature to prevent/counter hypothermia.

Fashionable too I might add. As I am shivering to death at least I will be in style!! I'm kidding.....really!

Step 1: Have a Party - Then Wait

Picture of Have a Party - Then Wait
Have a party with many small mylar balloons or a few HUGE mylar balloons! Or, save them up over time.

Wait for them to deflate or until your kids don't remember that you have new members of your household. I have to say in the middle of the night having these things lurking around the living room is kind of freaky!

Anyway, it's a good idea to get permission from your kids before cutting up their balloons!! Save yourself a tantrum!
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Most Excellent! Thanks!

i have the opposite problem I'm afraid, but this was lovely to look at, perfect for a child traumatized by a natural disaster.

I need to find something to do with a mylarized thermal blanket. I was using it as a curtain to keep the heat out this past summer but it had duct tape induced tears. Still, I could feel the difference, the kitchen was several degrees cooler.

I've cut small to medium sized pieces of it and folded the blanket up. maybe i can make a plant heater or a reflector to warm my room up this winter.

bakdrft1 year ago
WOLD, I did mention "IMHO" If I remember correctly this remains a FREE country to which an individual can speak freely about something. I DID say that I would not spend time making an emergency blanket out of mylar taping cutting and the like to which I would TRUST to keep ME warm in an emergency situation. What I find terrible in the society today is that someone made a cool project out of something that most people would throw away and someone had a difference in "Opinion" about what I would trust for myself. Society thinks that I slammed them terribly to which I did NOT. So please toughen UP take criticism, LORD knows we can all use and take someones opinion with some maturity.

Bakdrft, I think you'll find this is not a free country but an international site dedicated to sharing projects and not dedicated to unfounded criticism, greetings from Ireland bye the way! As a professional sports equipment design engineer I can say with some certainty that this would be a safe project as long as the seems were fully sealed, robust enough to survive transport and 12hr use. This is easily achievable with the method described, but, as with all great instructables, the reliability is in the hands of the maker. Great Project for kids, sustainability and the outdoors!


Please read my prior reply to your initial email/post. I personally do NOT care where you live , that is not my business. BUT what is my business is someone like you TELLING me what is wrong to say or THINK. Therefore I shall not take anything you say or think as anything constructive.

Have a GREAT day, where ever you inhabit....

I have read the predominantly negative and unfounded comments you have left here and for others and your are a simple troll.

poofrabbit1 year ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Great Outdoors Contest! This was a fantastic instructable...and just plain cool! Now I want someone to give me really cool superhero balloons so I can eventually make them into blankets. :) Good luck!
wold630 (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thank you so much. I'm glad you like the ible! Hopefully some oversized superhero balloons will enter your house in the near future!
Great project!! Thanks for sharing.
yNfWWKpHNb2 years ago
Great idea! I even love the custom label you put on the blanket packaging. Looks very professional!
wold630 (author)  yNfWWKpHNb2 years ago
Thank you!
curbowman2 years ago
wold630 (author)  curbowman2 years ago
Thank you.
What a great idea. I am a huge proponent of recycle/reuse. I can see all kinds of uses for this. Thanks
wold630 (author)  twentyfathoms2 years ago
DTninjagirl2 years ago
nice instructable! voted for you
wold630 (author)  DTninjagirl2 years ago
Thank you, much appreciated!
I used to make balloons from emergency blankets (certain types that are hot sealable).
I like your idea going the other way around very much too. Great Ible!
wold630 (author)  masynmachien2 years ago
Never thought about homemade balloons! Great idea.
I was thinking much the same thing.  Perhaps, when you get back from your camping trip, or when you are no longer worried about whatever kind of emergency it might be that would necessitate this emergency-blanket, then perhaps, perhaps you could heat-seal together the edges of your homemade mylar blanket for to make ONE GIANT MYLAR SUPER BALLOON!

Many small balloons come together to form one GIANT SUPER BALLOON!   Somehow I am thinking I got this idea from watching Voltron(r). ;-)
wold630 (author)  Jack A Lopez2 years ago
I LOVE this idea and so would my kids!! I will definitely keep this in mind!
bignail19542 years ago
I wonder if chip bags would work since they are mylar on the inside?
wold630 (author)  bignail19542 years ago
If they are mylar they will work. I would just make sure to wipe them well to get any grease off.
kishida2 years ago
Do you think that I can use empty potato chip bags (the ones with the shiny inside) too?
I've been saving a few to make a solar reflector oven and I'll eventually have enough to make a emergency blanket too.
wold630 (author)  kishida2 years ago
If they are mylar, yes they would work. You will have to experiment and see.
This is brilliant! Voted for this in all the contests you entered.
wold630 (author)  pittiesmom102 years ago
Much appreciated!
sunshiine2 years ago
Very clever! Thanks for sharing!
wold630 (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
Thanks Sunshiine!
bajablue2 years ago
Ingeniously creative and definitely stylish! :-D
wold630 (author)  bajablue2 years ago
Thank you very much!!
joyfulnana2 years ago
Is Mylar machine washable? Thinking if it is it could be used as batting layer in quilt.

I think you are brilliant. I just found you and viewed two of your ables. I have added both to my list of to dos. Was just thinking yesterday about making a weaving setup for my 3 yr old grandson. Loved your twig weaving but saving that for me! I love it!
Thank you for sharing your know how with the community.
I would not recommend using mylar in a quilt. First, it is very noisy, even between layers of fabric. Second, it retains moisture as well as heat: the side next to your skin would end up soaking wet by morning. The moisture retention problem is a common complaint for many campers who use mylar as emergency shelters. Water vapor must be allowed to escape.
wold630 (author)  joyfulnana2 years ago
I did a quick search and could not find a definitive answer to if mylar is machine washable or not.

I do think if used in a quilt it might be kind of noisy. I also think the color would probably wash out and possibly stain through the quilting fabric. It would be worth it, however, to make a test square and wash and dry it to see what happens. If you do please let us all know.

Thanks for viewing my ibles!!
From experience I know both the ink and the metal come off with moist.

Just a note: balloons are usually not made out of Mylar. Mylar is a brand of polyester film. Foil balloons are commonly made out of a nylon film. This difference is important for the heat sealing.

I see you have only entered this in the epilog V contest. I think this is a really good idea for the great outdoors contest!
wold630 (author)  mymyjames20002 years ago
Thank you. I did enter it in the outdoors contest just haven't been accepted yet.
onemoroni12 years ago
really clever and it keeps Mylar out of the environment. Good idea to get the child(s) permission.
wold630 (author)  onemoroni12 years ago
Thank you. I agree - there should really be more craft ideas for mylar to keep it from ending up in the landfill. Everyone I have ever asked just throws mylar balloons in the trash after they deflate.
HollyMann2 years ago
This looks awesome - what a grea idea - and those kiddos are so cute!
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