Whimsical Hot Air Balloons

By  Melony Miller Bradley 

size: 9"

  • Whimsical Hot Air Balloons


  • Recycled standard-size light bulb
  • Recycled plastic bottle cap
  • Polyform Sculpey III Clay: Dusty Rose, Chocolate, White, Moss, Light Blue Pearl
  • Fabric scraps, in two coordinating colors
  • Fuchsia rick rack trim
  • String or twine
  • Green ribbon, 7/8”-wide
  • Shredded brown craft paper
  • Toothpicks


  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Razzleberry, Foliage Green, Dark Chocolate; Glamour Dust
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Beacon Adhesives: Liquid Laminate, Gem-Tac

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, pencil, foam brush, paintbrushes, plastic or glass jars, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Pattern - Whimsical Hot Air Balloons

  • 1. Print out patterns. Cut four shapes each from two coordinating fabric scraps.
  • 2. On covered work surface, working in small sections, use foam brush to coat light bulb and back of each fabric shape with laminate. Press fabric shape onto light bulb, smoothing out air bubbles with fingers. Continue adding fabric shapes around light bulb, overlapping edges. Let dry by placing light bulb upright in opening of jar.
  • 3. On clean work surface, condition clay in hands until soft and pliable. For birds, Light Blue Pearl or Moss clay into dime-sized ball (head) and 1" egg (body). For wings, roll two pea-sized balls from Chocolate clay; form into teardrop shapes. For hats, roll small Dusty Rose cone shapes. Roll tiny White and Chocolate balls; press onto heads for eyes and onto hats for polka dots. Press hat onto head and head onto body. Insert toothpicks (legs) into bodies and remove. Follow manufacturer's instructions to bake bird on parchment-lined baking sheet in oven. Let cool.
  • 4. On covered work surface, paint toothpicks (legs) Dark Chocolate. Paint bottle cap (basket) Foliage Green or Razzleberry. Let dry. Coat basket with laminate. Let dry. Coat light bulb with laminate; sprinkle with glitter.
  • 5. Cut toothpick in half; insert into holes in body. Spot glue to adhere. Let dry. Apply glue onto opposite ends of legs; adhere into basket. Adhere shredded paper in basket, supporting bird. Let set.
  • 6. Cut four 10" string lengths. Apply small amount of tacky glue onto back of string. Press strings onto light bulb, evenly spaced, forming balloon ropes. Position two ropes at front of light bulb and two at back so ornament is balanced when hanging. Let dry. Tuck rope ends into basket; spot glue to adhere.
  • 7. For hanger, cut two string lengths; adhere onto top of balloon at rope ends; knot ends together. Cut 3-1/2" rick rack length; wrap and adhere around basket. Cut and wrap green ribbon and rick rack length around base of balloon, covering rope ends. Adhere lengths using tacky glue; let dry.