When I was little, my dad used to make these neat paper balloons for us to play with. He taught me how to do it in about 5 minutes when I was 10 or so. Since then I’ve always been able to impress the kids (My own and those of my friends.) with this little feat, although, I’ve never succeeded in teaching others how it’s done.
Hopefully this tutorial will show others how to easily impress their friends and kids. It’s actually very easy, but until you’ve made two or three, it won’t seem that way. The most important thing to remember is that every step after the third has to be repeated four times and the folds should be as exact as you can do.
Tools? There are none. Only your hands and a sheet of paper. This also makes it more impressive when the kids watch you make it. It’s almost like a magic act. If your paper isn’t square to begin with, you’ll do a little tearing in step 2. While you could use scissors, it would take away from the performance.
I’ve created a printout that should help you the first couple of times. This printout covers an entire 8.5 x 11 sheet and should be printed with a printer that can print to the edge of a standard sheet of paper. My Epson printer does this nicely. Don’t try to get the folds to match up exactly with the lines. It’s more important that the folds be in the exact centers. Remember that it’s most impressive when you can perform the process with a blank sheet of paper. Almost any size will do.
Step 1: Fold the Diagonals
Step 2: Remove the Excess Paper.
Hold onto this extra sheet. You can use it later to make a few tiny baloons!
Step 3: Fold the Horizontals to Make Pyramid
Pop the center of the sheet so the point is toward you and fold the sides in to create a flattened pyramid. One of the horizontal folds will be unfolded and in the center of the face of the pyramid. (See figure 3 on torn off piece of the printout.)
Step 4: Fold the Pyramid to Form a Diamond
Step 5: Fold the Diamond Sides Inward
Step 6: Fold Up the Bottom Flaps
Step 7: Tuck the Tab Into the Slot
Step 8: Inflate!
Step 9: What Then?
A fun thing to do with the completed box (balloon) is to disassemble it and draw a scene on the inside surface. so that it’s viewable from the inflating hole when reassembled. If the center square drawing has a bit of depth with the sides, top and bottom relating to the back, you can have an interesting spy-hole presentation
Another thing you could do with the paper ballon is make interesting christmas ornimants. Just let your kids put design to a square sheet of paper; Build the balloon and don’t square it off. Fit your hanger wire into the inflating hole and hang it on the tree! Nice thing about this is storage is a breeze. No broken bulbs!
I challenge someone to build a large enough paper balloon with heavy enough stock to install a computer into it. Should make a great Mod!