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DIY Hot Air Balloons from Paper Lanterns

Learn how to make DIY hot air balloons out of paper lanterns! You’ll also need fabric and Mod Podge. These are pretty easy to make.

Skills Required: Advanced Beginner. These aren’t hard, but they take patience. You’ll be gluing fabric scraps to a lantern with Mod Podge, then hanging the basket from it. Not difficult, just grab a movie while you’re making them.

Make DIY hot air balloons from paper lanterns

“Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon. . .  “

Do you remember that song? I think I just seriously aged myself, because I searched for “up, up and away lyrics” and came up with a Lil’ Wayne song.

But the song I was really thinking of was this one by 5th Dimension, circa 1967. EVERY time I see a hot air balloon I think of that song (and sing it to myself), and apparently crafts are no exception.

Lindsey created a ton of different hot air balloons as part of an installation for her school’s main office – and I love them all. You have to see what a genius she is . . . using paper lanterns, produce baskets, yarn, Mod Podge, and more.

How to make a DIY hot air balloon from a paper lantern

These DIY hot air balloons look great on display at her school, but they’d be pretty cute in a kids’ room or nursery, too. And no judgements if I put a few in my studio, because hot air balloons make me happy, and as I already told you, they make me sing.

Look below for the full tutorial – and don’t forget to visit Lindsey. There’s a balloon with a bunting that will make you not only sing, but also squeal!

Yield: 1 balloon

DIY Hot Air Balloon

DIY hot air balloon with a paper lantern

Learn how to make a DIY hot air balloon out of a paper lantern, fabric strips, and Mod Podge! This is a fun and easy project for adults and kids to do together.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Difficulty Intermediate
Estimated Cost $2

Materials

  • Paper lanterns
  • Mod Podge
  • Fabric - a variety, scraps are great
  • Berry baskets
  • Plastic or foam cups
  • Yarn - 1 skein
  • Ribbon (optional)

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paintbrush

Instructions

  1. Begin by expanded the paper lantern and cutting the cup in half. Cut out the bottom of the cup inside the bottom rim.
  2. Line up the cup with the hole at the base of the lantern. Trim the cup if necessary. Hot glue to the base of the lantern.Cup attached to the bottom of the paper lantern with hot glue
  3. Cut a strip of fabric between 1 to 2 1/2″ wide, and hot glue it to the inside of the cup opening on the bottom.Strip of fabric glued to the bottom inside of the cup
  4. Paint Mod Podge onto the fabric where the strip will lay. Stretch the strip across the Mod Podge and smooth. Hot glue to the inside of the top opening.
  5. Paint the top of the fabric with more layers of Mod Podge so that it sticks to the lantern, in a paper-mache style.Mod Podge painted down over the top of the fabric strip
  6. Repeat until at least the cup base is covered.Adding fabric scraps to a DIY hot air balloon
  7. Fill in the rest of the balloon, using long strips as well as paper scraps. Add Mod Podge, continue coating, and let dry.Paper lantern covered in fabric with a basket and skein of yarn
  8. Cut two lengths of yarn and make two loops to sit on the balloon as shown (one larger than the other). They should not be large enough for the loop to slide off the balloon.Two loops of yarn sitting on a DIY hot air balloon
  9. Remove the loops and place the smaller inside the larger on the table. Attach the loops to each other where the arrows are in the image using short pieces of yarn. Snip off the ends.Diagram for connecting the two loops of yarn
  10. Place the loops back on the balloon as shown.Yarn loops on top of the lantern balloon
  11. Cut four long, even lengths of yarn and tie one to each corner of a berry basket.Yarn tied to four corners of a berry basket
  12. Tie the other end of each of those four lengths to the center of the bottom loop on the balloon. Knot and trim all ends.Tying the basket to the balloon with yarn
  13. Optional: make a final, smaller loop to keep the basket more secure. Slide it up onto the cup, and use four small lengths of yarn to secure this loop to the basket strands.Small loop attaching the berry basket strands to the balloon
  14. If desired, weave ribbon through the berry basket. Hang to display.How to make a DIY hot air balloon from a paper lantern

Did You Make This Project?

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If you enjoyed making these hot air balloons, I’d love for you to check out these other ideas:

Gale

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Those are adorable!!

Michelle

Tuesday 2nd of September 2014

Those hot air balloons are darling. You have me laughing about the song.

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