Introduction: Air Balloon Launcher
I think that we can all agree that things that fly are pretty fascinating. But of course they are also really expensive and complicated. Luckily this DIY project is inexpensive, creative, and fun! This tutorial will show you how to make something that resembles a hot air balloon and doesn't even need fire! It also has a parachute to help with the landing. All of this will make more sense once we get to building it.
1. A plastic grocery bag (Any kind from anywhere)
3. One Toilet paper Roll
5. String or Yarn (any type and color)
6. 1 Punch Balloon
8. Hair tie
Step 1: Making the Base
In this step you will be cutting your toilet paper roll. This first step is very important because this toilet paper roll is what connects all of the pieces of this project together essentially. Take your whole toilet paper roll and draw a where you think 1/4 of the roll is. It's ok if it's not exact but the line should be under the halfway point. Then once you've done that, cut right across the line. Do not cut it through the center so that it splits apart. Just cut it so that it looks like a smaller version of a normal sized toilet paper roll.
Step 2: Cut 4 Pieces of String
These 4 pieces of string are also very important to this project because this is what will be connecting your parachute to where the balloon sits (the toilet paper roll). You can use string, yarn,or anything like that. The color doesn't matter either. But the length does matter. I suggest making your sting around 15 inches long but as you can see in my picture it doesn't need to be exact. Just around that. And once again you will need to cut 4 of these.
Step 3: Tie Strings to Toilet Paper Roll
This step is what will be connecting your "Base" (the toilet paper roll) to the parachute. You might be wondering how to tie them on though. The first thing we need to do is poke 4 holes near the top edges of the toilet paper roll with a pencil. I found that a pencil worked well and made good sized holes. Be careful that you make sure that the holes aren't too close to the edge or it might end up ripping and make sure to try and spread them out evenly around the sides. Now that you have the holes poked in it's time to tie the strings through. As shown in the picture just loop it through them tie a knot. But be careful that when you are tying them that you try and keep the strings the same length.
Step 4: Making the Parachute
Now it's time to make the parachute the will be tied on to the strings from previous steps. Take your plastic grocer bag and lay it flat out on a table. It would help to smooth out the wrinkles too. Then cut out the whole front side in a square. If you need help see the pictures. Finally, take the pencil again and poke one hole in each corner of the parachute. Again, be careful that you don't put them too close to the edges so that it doesn't rip.
Step 5: Connecting the Base to the Parachute
You already tied your 4 strings to the toilet paper roll or "base" so now you just need to tie the other end of each string to the holes in the parachute. Each string goes into it's own hole. Make sure that the strings aren't tangled and go with the hole according to where they are on the toilet paper roll. Just like any parachute. When tying the strings onto the parachute make sure to pull it tight. I would even recommend double knotting the string. Be careful not to rip the parachute though because plastic bags can rip easily if pulled on too hard.
Step 6: Adding the Balloon
By this step you have made your base and parachute and connected them together but now it's time to add the part that makes the whole thing fly. The balloon. Take your deflated punch balloon and put it through the toilet paper roll so that the part you blow in is facing away from the parachute or out the bottom. Then, blow it up so that it's not pushing against the parachute but close to touching it and grab the end so the air doesn't fly out. Next, put a hair tie on the end to hold it shut while you do the next steps. Now that the balloon is in the project like it's suppose to be, get your tape and get 4 pieces ready. Put one piece in between each of the strings, half of it on the base, half of it on the balloon. See the picture for details. This will help keep the balloon connected to the base.
Step 7: Let It Fly!
Congratulations! All of the steps to building the balloon are complete! Now it's time to let it fly. Before letting it go to fly you have to take that rubber band that you put on the balloon off. If it loses some air that's ok, Just blow it up a little bit again. One very important note is that when you are blowing up the balloon make sure it's not squeezing up against the parachute because it might rip. But if your parachute does rip at some point you can just cut out a new one and tie it on again. Then to launch it just hold the end so the air doesn't rush out and hold it strait up. The let go of the end and let it fly! The great thing about this project is that even when you let it go and your balloon deflates you can just blow the balloon up and do it again and again!
Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you have tons of fun building it and launching it! You can download the videos of it being launched below!
Participated in the
Make It Fly Challenge