Balloon lights tutorial
Here in New Zealand we are now in the middle of winter, and when playing around with some LED fairy lights I thought I would combine my love for origami and bringing some winter sparkle to our house. And so the balloon lights were born!!
Ok let’s get started with the tutorial!
This is what you need for this project:
- Pretty paper (appr. 20 sheets, mine were 90 x 90mm) on a white or light background. I went to Canon Chiyogami patterns and printed off Ya-mon in red. For more information on printing of paper from these sites have a look at June’s tutorial review here.
- A string of LED fairy lights (mine had 30 lights). Normal fairy lights would probably work but I think leds are safer since they do not give off lots of heat.
- A pair of very sharp scissors or a guillotine if you are printing off paper from the internet.
Here are my 20pcs of paper after I cut them with my guillotine.
Now first make a water-bomb base. This goes as follows:
With the printed side of the paper facing up, valley fold in half.
After that turn 90 degrees and valley fold in half again.
Now turn the paper over and do the same diagonally. Valley fold one side in half; turn 90 degrees and then valley fold in half again.
Use the creases you have made so far and the paper should naturally fall into this shape. I always look for the triangle and push the sides in with my fingers.
Here is your finished water-bomb base.
Now to make the actual balloon.
Fold the corner on the left hand side (top layer only) up to the middle.
Do the same on the right hand side; it should look like the picture above.
Turn the whole thing over and do the same on the other side.
Your paper is now a little square with a line across the middle. Lift one of the sides up and fold the point to the middle; fold the opposite side the same way.
Now turn over and do the other side.
If you have your paper exactly like the one in the picture above, you can see on the right hand side some loose flaps. They will be folded and pushed into the little pockets you made earlier.
This picture is with the flaps folded down.
Pre-crease as above.
Fold the side out a little and blow hard in the little hole you see on the bottom.
Tadaa here is your first little balloon! Now make another 10 or 15 depending on the amount of lights you have on the string.
The last part is to attach all the balloons to the string. I found the easiest way to do that is to first put up your light strings and then attach the balloons. The lights poke through the little holes you also used to blow the air in.
All done! Now sit back and make yourself a nice cup of tea with a biscuit and admire your work.
Once you’ve made some balloon lights, why not show them off in the Folding Trees flickr group? We’d love to see them!