While making a hot air balloon that can hold 18 people is probably not a realistic thing to do in your garage, it doesn't mean you can't make a smaller one to experiment with and watch it fly. With some basic household supplies, you can spend the afternoon with your eyes focused on the sky.
Method 1 of 3: Method One: Using Tissue Paper
Step 1. Gather your supplies
You will need a large space to work in, so clear a sizable area - you will be working with 1.5 meter long panels. You will need to:
- Tissue paper (60 cm x 80 cm)
- Cutting pattern (available on the El Tiempo para los Niños website)
- Pair of scissors
- Contact cement or stick rubber
- Pipe cleaners
- Propane gas stove or other high temperature appliance
Step 2. You must overlap two sheets of tissue paper
This will make a 1.5 meter panel. Use the glue stick or contact cement to hold the two sheets together. Make sure it is well glued! If the air escapes, the balloon will not fly.
- Do this same procedure seven more times for a total of eight panels of 1.5 meters each.
- Get an idea about the colors your balloon will have, but don't glue them on yet.
Step 3. Lay out all the panels in a row and cut them according to the pattern you have chosen
Make sure they are straight, so that each panel is the same size as the others.
Hook the panels together with the pins to ensure that the tissue paper doesn't move when you start to cut it. This will help prevent it from breaking or tearing, which could harm the success of your balloon
Step 4. Glue the panels together
Use 3 cm of flap for each panel, glued each one on the opposite side. After gluing all the sides together, this should be folded like a fan.
After forming a panel line, glue the first and last panels with their sides open. This will form a ring. Make sure the glue is on the entire length of each panel
Step 5. Cut a circle from the tissue paper to cover the open top
It is the easiest thing to do with the balloon stretched out. Glue it over the top hole of the balloon.
It is much better to make that cut much larger than the hole. The tissue paper is light enough that an extra 3 or 6 centimeters will not affect the weight of the balloon or its ability to fly
Step 6. Hold the open base of the balloon
You are going to start giving the balloon a permanent structure with pipe cleaners.
- Using the pipe cleaners, form a circle the size of the open base of the balloon.
- Place the pipe cleaners inside the balloon at a distance of 3 cm from the edge.
Fold the tissue paper around the pipe cleaners and glue them in place.
If you don't have pipe cleaners, you can use wire. They should be at least 60 cm and 16 gauge. You will also need pliers to cut them
Step 7. Check the holes
If there is any place with damage, please fix it immediately. Patch them with pieces of tissue paper cut to size.
If you want, you can put a small label with your name and current address. Tie it to the base with fishing line
Step 8. Hold the base of your air balloon over a heat source, such as a camping stove
Take a few minutes to let the balloon fill completely with hot air.
- A couple of hair dryers also work, among other things.
You will feel it start to fill with pressure. When it reaches that point, give it a gentle push and watch it rise.
You can be more successful if you do it in the morning, at night or during the winter, depending on your location. Cold weather makes the most extreme and effective temperature difference
Method 2 of 3: Method Two: With a Trash Bag and Hair Dryer
Step 1. Get organized
The process will go a little faster and lighter for you if you get everything you need before you start. Clear a table so you can start the process. Get the following useful items:
- Plastic bag ("dry cleaners" bags or 5 garbage bags)
- Paper clips (used to make weight)
- Pieces of paper or stickers (decorations)
- Pair of scissors
- Hair dryer
Step 2. Decorate the plastic bag
It is best to use small pieces of paper or stickers, anything that is light. The glitter is fine too, although it does look a bit messy.
This part is great for guys. Each child can make their own hot air balloon and individually design it to make them unique
Step 3. Tie a string around the top of the plastic bag
It should look like the base of a common balloon. Once it is securely tied, cut the excess rope.
Step 4. Place the paper clips around the bottom of the bag
This may seem not very intuitive (you need less weight to fly, right?), But it is good for obtaining the necessary balance and stability.
Don't go overboard. About 6 paper clips per balloon (again, equally spaced) is a solid number
Step 5. Hold the plastic bag over the hair dryer
The blast from the tumble dryer on will begin to inflate the balloon and within minutes it will heat up and completely fill with air.
- The bag will start to float. When it starts to crawl, release the bag. The hot air inside the balloon is lighter, causing the balloon to float.
- Give the balloon another blast of hot air when it starts to fall.
Method 3 of 3: Method Three: With a Trash Bag and Lighters
Step 1. Set up your job
You will need an outdoor area (without any flammable objects nearby) and your materials:
- Plastic garbage bag (The cheaper the better, these are quite light. 20 liters capacity, no more)
- Lighters (original Zip works great)
- Mechanical wire (about 18 gauge)
Step 2. Cut the wire into three pieces
One should be much shorter than the others - about 10 cm. The other two should be 60 cm.
Step 3. Twist the wires together
Use the long wire, forming an "X," twisting between them like a knot of wire. 5 or 6 times is fine. This structure will keep the bag open while it flies.
Twist the short wire around the center of the X. Leave the end exposed; there you will put the lighter. It should be pointing at the balloon when you launch it
Step 4. Push the edges of the wires through the bottom of the bag
Bend the end of the wire over the lock. Do this on each side, using the entire width of the bag. You should give it a square shape a bit loose.
Are the ends of the short wire pointing toward the balloon? If they are not, adjust them now
Step 5. Adjust the lighters
Most lighters come in a large block. You may have to experiment a couple of times to find the one that works best from the packaging. Break two medium pieces and join each end.
If they are too large, the bag will melt. If they are very small, the bag will not rise. With 5 cm in diameter they will be perfect for a light 20 liter bag
Step 6. Hold the bag open from the top and turn on the lighter
Hold the bag long enough to allow it to fully inflate. It will start to float and appear to want to fly. When you start to feel that you need more effort to hold it, give it a slight push and let it soar through the sky.
- Be careful! If the lighter is too large, the bag may melt. Keep alert.
- To carry out this method, it would be advisable if it were in winter. The difference in temperature allows the heat to work more efficiently.
- Tissue paper is good because it is lightweight and will fly easily, but be careful when you are gluing it, it is easily damaged.
- When the balloon is flying, watch for oscillations to one side. This can be fixed by placing a small weight on the opposite side. Make sure to use paper clips or this will seriously affect the tilt.