Introduction: Spider-Man Balloon Sculpture
This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a Spider-Man out of balloons.
This instructable will take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
Warning: Because balloons can be a choking hazard, this is not recommended for children under 6 years old.
Hi, my name is Eric and I’ve been a professional balloon twister for about 6 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed my profession and would like to share some of my expertise with you. I started out reading instructions and watching videos online just like you are right now. Balloon twisting can be either a fun hobby or a lucrative profession. Buying all the supplies initially will cost around $30, but you can make about 50 Spider-Man balloons with that. We will go over which supplies you will need, some basic techniques you should know before getting started, and finally, a detailed explanation on how to make Spider-Man.
Note for Beginners: Balloon twisting is not a skill that is easily picked up. It can take some time to master so be sure to practice the beginner techniques.
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Step 1: Gathering Materials and Supplies
- Balloons: I recommend using Qualatex 160Q balloons for making Spider-Man’s body. This project requires 2 red and 2 dark blue 160Q balloons. You may use 260Q, which is the standard size, but that would require scaling the instructions almost 3 times the size. For the head, Qualatex sells 5” round balloons with Spider-Man’s face printed on them. If you’re local party store does not carry these supplies, you can check out www.balloonworld.us or www.larocksmagic.com.
Note for Professional Twisters: By purchasing the Spider-Man printed balloons from Qualatex, you are purchasing the rights from Marvel to commercially create a Spider-Man.
- Pump: The mini pocket portable hand pump is ideal for inflating 160Q balloons. If using 260Q balloons, any pump from a party store will work fine but I recommend using a dual-action pump.
- Scissors: The scissors will be used to cut off the excess balloon that isn’t needed, any small scissors will do.
Step 2: Beginner Techniques - How to Inflate the Balloon
To inflate the balloon, make sure to insert the pump nozzle all the way before inflating. After inflating the balloon, pinch the non-inflated part of the balloon when taking it off so no air escapes. Leave enough non-inflated balloon to be able to tie the knot.
Step 3: Beginner Techniques - How to Tie the Knot
Wrap the non-inflated part around your index and middle finger. Push the tip through the gap between your two fingers. Remove fingers and tighten the knot.
Step 4: Beginner Techniques - Learning Basics and Terminology
- Basic Twist: Grasp the balloon with your non-dominant hand on the side near the knot. Twist the balloon using your dominant hand. When twisting the balloon, always be sure to twist the balloon the same direction. Use your non-dominant hand to size the length of each bubble. This is the basic building block of balloon twisting and will be used often. It is important to hold the segments on each end so that the balloon does not untwist itself. To keep the balloon twisted, we need to either create a lock twist or a pinch twist.
- Lock/Loop Twist: Make a basic twist near the knot and then make another basic twist any length down the balloon. Bend the middle segment into a loop and twist both basic twists into each other to complete the lock twist. These twists will hold their shape allowing you to continue creating more twists.
- Pinch Twist: The pinch twist is essentially a very small loop twist. First make a small round bubble. Then pinch, pull up, and twist the bubble into itself.
Note: Be sure to feel comfortable with the pinch twist as it will be used quite often throughout this tutorial.
Step 5: Inflating the Balloons for Spider-Man
- Inflate 2 red balloons and two dark blue balloons, leaving a 4-5 inch reservoir tip.
- For the head, inflate the 5 inch balloon all the way but do not tie the knot. Slowly let the air out until the balloon looks round, about the size of a cue ball in pool, and then tie the knot.
Step 6: Making the Feet
- Twist one of the red balloons about 1 inch from the knot for the foot. Twist again to make a small bubble that we will be using for the heel.
- Pinch twist the small bubble to lock in the heel.
- Twist about 1 inch from the heel and make 2 more small bubbles.
- Pinch twist each small bubble individually to make the top of the boot.
- Cut the balloon while pinching the rest of the balloon so that the air does not escape.
- Tie a knot on the cut ends and repeat steps 1-6 with the excess balloon to create the other foot.
Step 7: Making the Legs
- Take one of the dark blue balloons and tie the knot between the 2 pinch twists on the top of the boot.
- Twist the balloon about a ½ inch up the leg, make a small bubble, and pinch twist it to make the knee.
- Twist the balloon at about the same length as the heel to the knee to make his thigh. Make 2 small bubbles.
- Pinch twist each of those bubbles separately to make his butt cheeks.
- Make a segment the same length as the thigh, followed by a pinch twist to make the other knee, and the last segment about ½ inch. Attach the other foot to complete the other leg.
- Cut the excess dark blue balloon with the scissors and tie the cut end.
Step 8: Making the First Arm
- Twist a small bubble, about ¼ inch, on the knotted end of the other red balloon.
- Twist a very small lock twist to create the hand.
- Make a basic twist about 1 ½ inches up the balloon followed by a pinch twist to create the forearm and elbow.
- Make another basic twist about the length of the forearm and another pinch twist to make the shoulder.
Step 9: Making the Upper Body
- Make a basic twist about an inch from the shoulder and make another pinch twist for the other shoulder.
- Make another basic twist about the same length as your last basic twist and twist around the first shoulder made.
- Make 6 bubbles like in the photo above. These will be used for the abs.
- Between the 3rd and 4th bubbles, twist around the butt cheeks. Twist the balloon after the 6th bubble into the shoulder on the other side.
Step 10: Making the Other Arm
- Make a basic twist the same length as the other bicep and create a pinch twist for the elbow.
- Make the next basic twist the same length as the other forearm followed by a small lock twist for the hand.
- Twist a small bubble for the thumb, cut off the excess balloon, and tie a knot.
Step 11: Making the Back
- Twist the knot from the remaining blue balloon into the elbow.
- Press the blue balloon along the bicep and twist it into the shoulder.
- Bring the balloon down the length of the back and twist it into the butt. Bring it up the same length of the back and twist it into the other shoulder.
- Bring the balloon to the elbow and twist it in to complete the other bicep. Remove the excess balloon with the scissors.
Step 12: Attaching the Head
Place the head between the shoulders.
Push the excess balloon near the knot on the head through the neck.
Step 13: Making the Abs
- Take the abs and twist the 2 middle bubbles together.
- To reinforce that last twist made, wrap the excess balloon from the knot on the head around the abs.
Step 14: Finishing the Instructable
- Cut off all the excess non-inflated balloon scraps that are sticking out.
- The photo above shows what your finished Spider-Man should look like.
There are other great videos out there on YouTube that show you how to make many more balloon animals.
If you are interested in making more things out of balloons, check out www.balloon-animals.com.
If you would like to see some of my other designs, please feel free to check out my Facebook page.
I hope that you had fun and thank you for checking out my instructable.