October 14, 2013

Halloween Carnival - "Glass" Hot Air Balloon

I gave myself a challenge to try and make a hot air balloon that looked like it had been made out of glass - I have Steampunk on the brain.

The balloon itself is actually a very straightforward construction.  I used the template available from Laura Carson (artfullymusing.bogspot.com) on her Hot Air Balloon tutorial page and just modified the length.  The five sides were made out of vellum.  A plastic piece was attached to each side and scored to give a look of individual glass panels and to give some flexibility to the sides.  Before I closed up the balloon completely I inserted a long screw post through a small hole in the top.

I reinforced the rim and then added a hinged door so that an LED tea light could be inserted to give the balloon a glow when it's dark.  I found some flat sided light bulbs and added them to the rim.

I wanted to have the option of either hanging the balloon or putting it on "legs" so it could stand at the back of my Halloween Carnival, so I attached the basket using some thin skewers so the whole unit would be sturdy.  I covered the skewers with waxed linen thread so they would look like thick rope.

The basket is a five sided chipboard box covered with embossed metal foil tape.  The characters are from Laura Carson's Halloween Collage Sheets.  I used her pin technique in the bottom of each character so they could easily stand up in the foam core base of the balloon's basket.

I painted two corks and suspended them from a chain to simulate ballast (don't you love the irony of corks for ballast?)  I added a couple of more gears on a skewer.

I added a clock key and a gear to the screw post on the top and supported a wire between them which is flying the Halloween Carnival banner.

I made some notes and took some photos of the building process.  A link to that info is on the "Projects" page under "Glass Hot Air Balloon" (or follow this direct link).

And to see how this element looks with all the other pieces I made for the Halloween Carnival, check out the Halloween Carnival project page.

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