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Hot Air Balloon - Project #190

Time: 2-3 Class Periods
Difficulty: Advanced
Cleanup: Soap & Water

White Paper Lantern
6x6" Chipboard
Non-Bleeding Tissue Paper in assorted colors
Paint Brushes
White Glue
Packing Tape
View Project Video
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Use a paper lantern, tissue paper and chipboard to create a colorful hot air balloon! This project also has an instructional video available!


  • Step 1
    To make the basket, draw two perpendicular lines on the back of a sheet 6x6" chipboard to divide it into four 3x3" squares. On the horizontal center line, measure 1/2" to the right of the left edge and mark. Draw a diagonal line from the top left corner to the 1/2" mark on the center line. On the horizontal center line, measure 1/2" to the left of the vertical center line and mark. Draw a diagonal line from the top right corner of that square to the mark. Repeat this process for the rest of the 3 squares. Draw a horizontal line 1/2" above the bottom edge and 1/2" above the horizontal center line. Cut off both 1/2" strips, then cut both strips in half at the center line. Cut along all the diagonal lines to create four trapezoid shapes, 3" wide at the top and 2" wide at the bottom. From a second piece of chipboard, cut four 2x2" squares; these squares are the basket bases and can be divided among four different students.
  • Step 2
    With packing tape, attach the four trapezoids together as shown, making sure all the 3" sides are at the top and the 2" sides are at the bottom. Tape one side of the 2" base to the 2" side of one of the trapezoids. Fold up and tape the rest of the trapezoids to the base to form the basket.
  • Step 3
    Mix a couple of tablespoons of water to 1/2 cup of white glue to thin it slightly. Use a brush to apply the glue mixture to the paper lantern and cover it with non-bleed tissue paper in the desired pattern.
  • Step 4
    Use the same method to add tissue paper to the basket. Color the four strips with a marker.
  • Step 5
    Cut eight 12" lengths of yarn, making sure to use the same tension when measuring. We wrapped yarn around a ruler four times and taped the yarn in place, then clipped the ends to ensure even tension. Glue one piece of yarn to each end of the four chipboard strips, 1/2" in from the edge. Trim the strips so they fit inside the top of the basket, and attach them with glue. You can use hot glue if you want it to set quickly.
  • Step 6
    Once the basket is dry, place the lantern on top. Put a line of glue on the lantern, running from the very top to the middle. Attach one of the yarn strings. Repeat with the rest of the yarn strings.
  • Step 7
    Add horizontal string details around the top of the lantern and along the sides as desired.

Products Used

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