How To Make a Balloon Airplane

Image of birthday balloons

Balloon twisting is a fun activity for both kids and adults. There are many types of figures and shapes you can create by using just one long twisting balloon. By twisting, pinching and manipulating a long thin sausage shaped balloon, you can make:

  • animals (dog, cat, mouse, parrot, lion, dragon fly, and more)
  • plants (flowers, fruits and trees)
  • vehicles (bicycle, plane, raft)
  • weapons (sword and gun)
  • headgear (hat and helmet)
  • sculptures (which are basically any balloon twisting object that you cannot identify)

The professional balloon twisters can make more elaborate designs using between one and many long twisting balloons. Balloon twisters have been known to create popular cartoon or movie characters like Optimus Prime, Wall-E, Disney Princesses and many, many more.

Balloon twisting is simple enough to learn. But it takes a lot of practice, patience and balloons to go beyond the simple puppy or balloon hat. Using a good quality balloon is essential as well because you want a balloon that can hold the shape and not pop each time you pinch or twist it.

For starters, use a latex modeling or twisting balloon that is about 30 cm long (without air). Professionals use a twisting balloon with the code 260E (2” x 60”). Once inflated, the balloon will grow to about 150 cm or 60 inches. Use a balloon pump (or a ball pump, bicycle pump or mini-compressor) to inflate the balloon. Unless you are a tuba player or trumpeter, you may not be able to produce enough air to blow up a twisting balloon.

If you want to create a balloon airplane, follow the steps below:

  1. Blow up the balloon three quarters full. The extra latex at the end ensures that the balloon does not pop as you twist and manipulate it. Tie the balloon.
  2. Holding the balloon at the end with the knot, make a 3 to 3 ½” bubble. Twist it two or three times. Hang on to both ends to prevent it from untwisting.
  3. Next, make a bubble about 4-5 fingers in size for the topside of the wing. Twist.
  4. Make another bubble of the same size that will become the bottom side of the wing. Twist again.
  5. Make the twisted ends of these two bubbles meet and twist them together all the way around at least three times. You now have one set of wings.
  6. For the second set of wings, go back to step 3 and repeat until step 5. You should have both sets of airplane wings.
  7. Make a bubble that is roughly 4-5 fingers longs. This will be the body of the plane.
  8. Next, make the tail wings. To do this, follow steps 3-6 but this time, use a 2 or 2 1/2” bubble for the tail wings. Tail wings are smaller.
  9. Twist the excess balloon in between the tail wings to lock it in place. The excess balloon will now serve as the tail of the plane.

Now you have your first airplane balloon!  Don’t expect it to be perfect the first time. Balloon twisting takes time to master. Just keep on twisting, pinching, and locking and you’ll surely be on your way to becoming a Balloon Master!


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