Introduction: Giraffe Hitchhiker Balloon Hat - Can You Spot Me?

Did you know giraffes 🦒have 3 hearts ❤️❤️❤️?

That's why THIS giraffe hat is sure to send LOTS of love and HAPPY faces to those around you.

Face covers and social distancing have made it more difficult to identify and find people? Or get their attention?

This giraffe balloon hat is the solution. It's just the perfect color and height for people to spot you 😻from afar.

The typical hitchhiker balloon hat consists of an animal, super hero, space alien or other creature that wraps their arms or legs around your head while getting a free ride. In this case the arms will wrap around your head and the legs will rest on your shoulders. The neck will extend straight up with many options for variations that will be discussed at the end of this lesson.


1 - white 5 inch round balloon

6 - yellow size 260 balloons


Permanent markers (brown for spots and another color for eyes)

Scissors to cut off excess balloon

Step 1: Arms and Torso

  1. Inflate 2 yellow size 260 balloons leaving about 3 inches un-inflated at the end.
  2. Starting from the knotted end, Make a small loop (for the hoof) on each balloon and pull the knot through the loop and wedged to secure the knot in place so the balloon doesn't unwind
  3. Twist the 2 loops together. (This creates interlocked hands that will wrap around someone's head
  4. Measure the next section around the person wearing the hat.
  5. Twist and make two pinch twists.The pinch twists hold the balloon from unwinding and also will add stability for the neck. You can find many tutorials online for making a pinch twist. Here is one that I like:
  6. Measure the balloon down to about shoulder height
  7. Add another set of 2 pinch twists at shoulder height

  8. Finally cut the tip off the end of the balloon to release excess air. Tie a knot as close as possible near the pinch twists. Wrap the un-inflated part a few times around the pinch twists and then cut off the excess.

Step 2: Legs

  1. Inflate 1 yellow balloon leaving about 2.5 inches un-inflated.
  2. Make a small bubble followed by a loop for the hoof
  3. Find approximately the midpoint of the balloon and then back up by half for the knee.
  4. Make a pinch twist for the knee.
  5. Find approximately the midpoint of the balloon and then back up 1 cm to account for expansion when twisting.

  6. Now, make a symmetrical leg. Measure a similar distance for the pinch twist at the knee.

  7. Take the endpoint of the balloon and make a tiny bubble followed by a loop about the same size as the other hoof. Congratulations; The legs are now complete.

  8. To add the legs to the previous hat section: First make several twist at the midpoint of the legs.

  9. Slide that midpoint through the 2 pinch twist at the base of the hat completed previously.

  10. Then lock the legs in place by spinning the midpoint around the pinch twists 2 times.

  11. The hitchhiker body is now complete. We will next add the neck and head.

Step 3: Neck, Head

  1. Inflate 2 yellow balloons leaving 4 inches un-inflated at the end.
  2. Starting from the knotted end; make a small bubble on each balloon and twist them together to connect.
  3. Braid the two balloons by spiraling them around each other. If you find that one side becomes longer then the other; use the longer one to spiral around the shorter one or blow up a new balloon for similar length.
  4. Stop braiding about half of the way up. Now we will make the head.
  5. First grab both balloons and twist the same size bubble about 4 or 5 inches.
  6. Fold another set of the same length of bubbles back to the junction where the spiral ended.
  7. The remainder is used for the horns on the giraffe. Hopefully there is leftover air to split in the remaining bubble. Twist off a 1 inch bubble and squeeze that air to the top leaving a gap between the top and bottom air so it has an antenna look.

Step 4: Ears and Eyes


Inflate a new yellow balloon for the ears. Make 2 loops about the same size as the head; I used 5 inches. Then cut off and tie off the excess balloon.

Grab one loop in each hand and push through the intersection of the head below the horns. Wrap one loop around to secure in place

Make final adjustments to the head so the ears are below the horns and the head is in a diamond shape.


Inflate a 5 inch white round balloon to about 3 inches. Tie the knot high up so the balloon can be split in half and twisted. Grab opposite sides of the balloon with your thumb and index finger meeting in the middle (the knot should be in the middle). Twist the balloon in opposite directions 3 or 4 times around to get 2 bubbles. I like the eyes to be unsymmetrical to give it a more goofy look. Slide the middle of the eyes through the neck to meet in front and then twist the eyes around each other to lock in place. Use a marker to color in the eyes.

You may wish to use a marker to add spots on the giraffe; otherwise your hitchhiker giraffe hat is now complete. ENJOY!!

Step 5: Variations to Try:

Every design is hackable. Join the R-Evolution!!

Mix and match different colors

  • Using all yellow 260 balloons makes it quick and easy but also plain. Add some pizazz with multiple colors such as brown for the hooves and horns. Try using colors other than yellow.

Use a different structure for the neck:

  • There are many ways to achieve the height for the giraffe neck. Often times extra balloons are added for more support. The braid was one example but maybe you can find a weave, pinch line, column or other pattern.

Use a size 360 for the neck

  • Size 260 balloons measure 2 inches and should inflate to 60 inches. I used 2 balloons to make it stronger then a single balloon but there are many other different sizes of balloons. The 360 is 3 inches in diameter and replaces the need for a 2 balloon braid of the 260.

Cut out colored Duct tape instead of using a marker

  • Often times it is easier to just use stickers in place of drawing with a marker. The duct tape allows you to cut your own shapes

Change the height

  • Cut the balloon to a shorter length
  • Spiral the entire length of the neck and then add the head using a new balloon

Change the shape or parts of the head

  • Try a head with a different number of bubbles
  • Try a head with different proportions
  • Change the shape or size of the ears and horns

Use a round balloon for the head

  • The round balloon makes it easier to see the mouth and expression but a round balloon limits the possibilities of experimenting with alternative shapes and styles of head design

Don't forget look online for other examples of "HitchHiker Balloon Hats" such as the flying super hero

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