Introduction: How to Become the Literal House From “Up”

About: Mad Scientist

Do you want more spice in your life? Do you like animated houses? Well, you're in luck! In this Instructable, you will learn how to turn yourself into the literal house from the beloved Disney/Pixar classic, "Up."

Does this mean you'll fly away into the abyss? Goodness, no! But the way you'll feel after you unveil your new identity as an iconic animated house will leave you soaring. SOARING!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Balloon Materials:

  1. 717 x balloons (multicolored if you want to resemble the literal house from “Up” or mono-colored if you want to go for a more refined look)
  2. Balloon pump (Optional if you have lungs of steel)
  3. Approx. 1 Skein of Yarn (any color)

Welding Materials:

  1. 2 x 20" flat steel bar
  2. 1 x 8" flat steel bar
  3. 2 x 48" steel rod
  4. 2 x 30" steel rod
  5. 2 x 15.25" steel rod
  6. 1 x 30.5" steel rod

Misc. Materials:

  1. 2 x plastic buckles
  2. Double Sided Tape
  3. 4 x 15.25" dowel rod
  4. Fishing line

Step 2: Assembling the Metal Base

In this step, we will be welding the metal base structure that will hold the balloons and allow you to become the actual, living, breathing house from “Up.”

You may notice this harness looks familiar. If you noticed this, I salute you. The design was pulled from a previous project of mine, “Hiding in Plain Sight Robot,” so when you finish building this and you want to hide in plain sight, you’re already ahead of the game!

Welding your harness:

1. Bend your pieces of 20" flat steel bar at an 85-degree angle, 7 inches from the ends. This will create the two structural pieces that go over your shoulders.

2. Take your remaining piece of 8" flat steel bar, and weld the ends to the bottoms of the pieces you just bent. (NOTE: Since your metal will not be bent in half, make sure, your 8" piece gets welded to the longer sides of your bent steel. This way, the shorter 7" ends will hang over your shoulders. )

Welding the metal ring:

1. Bend your two 48" pieces of steel rod in a semi-circle and connect them at the ends to form a full circle.

2. In order to add extra support to the circle, we will be welding a cross-section—Take your 30.5" steel rod and weld it across the diameter of the circle. Your additional 15.25" pieces of steel rod can be welded to add cross support to the circle (see image).

Connecting the two pieces:

1. Bend your remaining steel rods at a 90-degree angle an inch from the ends.

2. Weld the bent ends of the rods to each of the shoulder pieces. Before you weld, mark out the placement of the rods by putting the harness piece over your shoulders and manually placing the rods. Make sure the rods extend straight up.

Attaching the Extra Balloon supports:

1. Take the four pieces of 15.25” dowel rod and drill a hole through each of the ends.

2. Using fishing line, attach your dowels evenly between the existing metal rods to create extra connection points for the balloons. Refer to the image for placement of the dowel rods.

Step 3: Put Together the Harness

In this step, we will be creating the straps that allow you to physically tether yourself to your metal base structure. This way, you can not only become the genuine, human-being, house from “Up,” but you can also be 100% hands-free. This feature was especially important to the new parents I interviewed beforehand.

Here you will be making and attaching the straps to the metal harness you just welded. The three main parts consist of the "V" piece that connects your metal shoulder pieces, the strap that will go around your waist, and the intersecting "T" piece that connects the "V" piece to your waist strap.

Making Straps:

The straps will be made by taking two strips of gaffer's tape and folding it onto itself. Gaffer's tape is very forgiving, so length can be both added and cut away as needed.

Waist Band:

The buckle of the waistband will sit right below your ribs at the midpoint between your sternum and the middle of your upper arm.

1. Put on your metal shoulder piece (built in the previous step) and measure the length from the back corner of the shoulder piece to the midpoint you just found. (When making this strap, be sure to add about 6" of extra strap. This way, you'll be able to adjust the fit of the harness.

2. Lace one end of the buckle through the end of the strap you just cut. Tape the other end of the buckle to the back of the metal harness (see picture).

3. Measure the length from the other corner of your harness to where the buckle ends. (Do NOT add an extra 6" of strap to this end, as you will not be able to adjust this side of the buckle).

4. Attach one end of this strap to the metal harness and the other to your buckle. Now you should have an adjustable waistband.

The "V" Piece:

The "V" piece is the part of the strap that connects your shoulder mounts to your waistband.

1. Measure the length from the ends of the shoulder mounts to the middle of your chest. Cut two pieces of strap this length.

2. Attach the straps to the ends of the shoulder mount and tape them together to form a "V" shape.

3. Take 6" of strap and attach it to the bottom of your "V" shape. This extra piece will act as the adjustment end of your buckle.

4. Thread the adjustable end of your buckle through the strap at the end of the "V" piece.

The "T" Piece:

Now you should have your "V" strap and your waistband. The final step is to connect them using the "T" piece.

1. Mark your waistband at the spot right below your sternum.

2. Take a piece of gaffer's tape and wrap it around the spot you just marked. This will make a strap that forks off of the waistband.

3. Take the non-adjustable end of your buckle and attach it to the end of this "T" piece (see image).

Step 4: Wrangling Your Balloons

In this step, you will indeed be wrangling your 717 balloons. This multi-step process will not only guide you in adorning your metal base with multi-colored plumage, but it will also leave you emotionally drained. Don’t worry! This is to be expected, and at the end of the day, it will strengthen your bond to your new identity as the physical, glorious reincarnation of the literal house from “Up.”

Attaching the Balloons to the Metal Base:

1. Inflate 717 balloons, either using a balloon pump or your lungs.

2. Cut 117 pieces of 5" yarn, and tie a single balloon to each piece.

3. Attach these 117 balloons equally spaced around the circumference of the metal ring. These balloons will be used to create a festive fringe.

4. To create the next layer of balloons, cut 200 pieces of 8" yarn, and tie a single balloon to each piece.

5. In order to create an even look, attach these 25 balloons to each of the metal ring’s 8 supports.

6. Next cut 200 pieces of 15" yarn, and tie a balloon to each of the pieces.

7. To continue creating layers of balloons, attach these 25 balloons to each of the metal ring's supports. NOTE: these pieces should be tied closer to the center of the metal ring.

8. Finally, cut 200 pieces of 20" yarn, and attach a balloon to each.

9. Attach these 25 balloons to each of the metal ring's supports, this time even closer to the center of the ring.

Step 5: Assimilate to Your New Life

You will notice this step is a little open-ended. That is because each person must choose their own path when assimilating to their new life as the non-levitating, iconic house from “Up,” but I can offer you a few words of advice.


1. It is best to inform your friends one at a time. Not only does this allow them to process the information in their own way, but more often than not, they’ll want to join you in this new life direction. Be sure to encourage them, but not without a stern warning of the responsibilities that come with your new lifestyle.

2. When navigating crowds, you may find that bystanders actually make room for you to pass. This new spacial leverage may also be accompanied by what some users describe as “a flurry confused or bashful looks.” Don’t worry! This has more to do with them than it does to you.

3. You may also notice a sharp increase in inquiries from strangers. REMEMBER: basic rules of safety still apply to you. You’re not invincible like Batman. Stranger Danger.

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