Mobile #001 Balloon


Anna has designed and made the pattern for these cute small hot air balloons. Make a mobile and watch them fly and turn perpetually.

For each balloon cut two sheets in the colours you prefer. All strips are joined already and you only need to weave as described for Sphere #001. Use the glue stick to fix the strips at the edge when finished. Choose the basket pieces from the same colour as the top centre of the balloon. Make the small circular basket by gluing together bottom and sides. Form a circle from the wheel like shape and fix to the small basket as shown on the pictures. Now smear glue on both inner side of ‘wheel’ and outer side of lower edge of the balloon. Press gently together. Any inaccuracy will be dimmed. To hang the balloon make a small hole in the centre of the top and fix a piece of string tying a pearl or like to the end inside the balloon.

For the mobile on the pictures we used five balloons and 4 slim wooden sticks (12, 12, 16 and 24 cm).

This is a file for cutting: balloon mobile

You will find a video tutorial here.

101 thoughts on “Mobile #001 Balloon

  1. Pingback: Abigail Steinem – Graphic Designer » Fold, trim, weave, glue: repeat. Paper goes 3D!

  2. I could not understand how to make the balloon 001. Would have some explanatory video for me to learn this technique? Thank you!

      • I was looking at the 005 egg, still got some doubts to make the ballon 001. How do I make the transition from paper? I do not understand how they cross and terminate the closure of the entire balloon. And congratulations your work is very beautiful and excellent! thanks for the help!

      • You print the template on coloured paper and cut the forms out by hand – OR you use the pdf-files as basis for whatever type of files your cutting maschine requires, if you have one.
        When you weave tight the shape of the arms will make it 3D and close the form by itself. You only need a little glue to fix it when you have done all the weaving.

      • Then I print and cut out the hand drawings. Now I just do not understand how to start weaving and crossing the papers. If I had a video would be much simpler. Sorry for my ignorance on the subject. Could you explain me how to weave? Thank you!

      • Place one form on top of the other, same centre, so that the arms swirl in opposite directions. Now take one arm from the upper form and put it behind one from the lover form. Turn everything a little and do the same with the next set of arms. Work you way arround the centre, till you have made all 12. And then make the next row. After the third row you start using paper clips to keep the arms together. This is because the balloon starts going 3D and will unwind if you do not. Weave firmly and tight. Use a pair of tweezers to weave tha last tiny squares.

      • Hello! I am a new silhouette owner, and i am soon a owner of your fantastic book! I ordered it today. I have at big problem, When i trace the pdf i get double lines.. Is there any way of getting rid of on of them?

      • Hi Mikael
        You should not trace the pdf files we provide. The files are already vector files (information about lines running from point A to point B). When tracing them you treat the pdf-file as a picture. At this picture there are two sets of “edges”, one on each side og the line. Your Silhouette software then makes a new vector-file based on these edges.
        Our American book includes links to all templates as pdf(vector)-files.
        When I want to cut something from one of the pdf(vector)-files, I do like this:
        I open a new document in Inkscape (free software) (A4 landscape usually). Then I IMPORT the pdf-file I want using highest resolution. Move it to the centre of the paper. This I save as a dxf-file “Using ROBO-master type of spline output”. The dxf-file I then open from Silhouette Studio. I set the paper size and “make” the lines to move them into the sheet. If it is to be very elegant I may select everything, “release”, remove the frame introduced, and “make” again. I may also rescale. Them I cut. The finished file I save as a studio-file to use again sometime.
        I hope this is helpful. Lene

      • Thank you!!
        I am mosy greatful, i will try this as soon as i get the book in my hands!! You solved a big problem for me, and when i tried a minute ago with a file from your homepage it WORKED!!
        Thanks again!

    • A4, that is 210 mm x 297 mm. This is the size my cutting maschine manages. If you are ink printing and cutting by hand you may upscale as you like.
      I say with a bit of training weaving a small balloon takes about 15 minutes.

  3. Anna….I’m finally able to weave. Only once I go with holding clips, I ended up cheating, and guess why not the far right. It is better to use clips? Thanks for help!

    • Very good! In general you should NEVER use glue while weaving. Only for fixing the last row. When gluing as you go along, however tempting, you loose the opportunity to line up for a pretty result. This is why the paper clips are so important.

      • I understand this! I will try to make a balloon using clips. Do you can take a picture with balloon when you finish weave for me? thanks!

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  7. I love the outcome! But the thing is, I thought it was really hard to make the balloon.
    It would be great if you have a video tutorial. Thank you very much! I’m going to comeback and try the others.

  8. Lovely idea, great video tutorial, thank you.

    I’ll try to patch something up without the cutting machine, here in 3rd world countries this little tool is quite SF equipment…

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  10. Love this! I finally found something fun to theme my boys bedroom around! Thank you so much for sharing, I love your site and the video tutorial is great. I watched the condensed version and had no problems with my first attempt. I think I will make it a bit bigger, like you said in another comment, when printing from a printer, not a cutting machine it is a bit small for beginners but still easy.

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  13. Just found your website and i especially liked this balloon mobile. Very lovely. I’ve been trying to convert your JPG file to silhouette cut file, but not very successful. Lines come out double. Is it possible if you can provide studio file?

    • WordPress only supports uploading the most common types of file. Thus I provide simple vector-PDF cut files for download. You may transform them into the file type apt for your specific type and issue of cutting machine. In your case I would download and save the PDF file to my computer. Open the PDF in Inkscape or some other program that can edit vector files like CorelDraw or Adope Illustrator (Inkscape is free). Then save the file as DXF or SVG and open in Silhouette Studio or RoboMaster. Cut!

      • Thank you so much for your quick and very clear instruction!
        I tried it and it worked fine! I am new to Silhouette and playing around with it. Your advice solves a lot of frustrated problems I am having with converting images into cut file.
        Thank you for your great help!

    • 80 g/m2 is the kind of paper we have used. Print quality paper is OK, however you might also use a better and more expensive type. Heavier weight than 100 g/m2 I can not recommend for these small items.

      • thanks! finished my first last night. Had fun, gonna watch videos a second time to see if I can speed it up.

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  15. my wonky little balloon is cute–though it is far from perfect. This was challenging yet very forgiving—my mistakes add to the charm 😉 . Thanks for sharing–I will be assembling a mobile for my infant!

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    • Oh – try going to the description on how to make a woven drum #001. Look at the small pictures on how to make the drum skin. The first in the second row should get you started. The principle of starting the balloon is just the same. Lene

  17. I teach middle school art and I know this is a project the kids will love but only after I (perhaps) learn how to make it. Anna

    • We had a workshop in Copenhagen this December. Everybody even a couple of guys who never had done any weaving before were able to bring home a pretty balloon. Just watch the video and try. If you get stuck ask me for help. Lene

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  19. Hello!!
    I first saw your blog yesterday and today couldn’t resist and I made a ballon!! my first one!! it’s soooo beautiful, so cute!!
    I printed the file for cutting in a A4 sheet. It was too small, and my ballon got too tiny!!
    I’ll try a bigger size next time!
    thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!!!

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  21. I have a Cricut cutting machine. How do I convert your file to this machine? I teache preschool and my classroom theme is “Up, Up and Away to a Great Year” and I use hot air balloons all in my room. Always looking for a new way to carry out this theme. I am so excited about trying this but am afraid that I won’t get the cutting out as precise as it needs to be that is why I was looking for a program or something that I can use with my machine. If you could help, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all your hard work. It is BEAUTIFUL!!!! 🙂

    • Hi Mary
      I have no experience with Cricut machines. I don’t know how to help you. When I Google Cricuts this comes up:
      “Provo Craft has been active to resist the use of third-party software programs that could enable Cricut owners to cut out designs and to use the machine without depending on its proprietary cartridges. In a comparative review of die-cutting machines, review site TopTenReviews identified being “limited to cutting designs from a collection of cartridges” as a major drawback of the Cricut range, though the review noted that it could be a preference for some.” Maybe this is no longer the case, but I do not know. Maybe somebody else knows the trick?

    • Your mobile looks great. And your blogging is fine and very instructive. We are glad to hear and see that you like the balloons. Fun to see how the paper with stripes turn out. And DIY makes you free to match the room colours. Lene

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  26. 5 pretty little balloons completed :). Any guidance in the spacing to hang then on the wooden sticks do that the mobile will balance? Thanks!!!

    • For a mobile you need:
      • 5 hot air balloons provided with fish line to hang
      • More fish line
      • 4 sections of piano wire length 12, 12, 16 and 24 cm.
      (you may replace the piano wire and use wooden sticks).

      You make the mobile like this:
      • Crease eyes at both ends of the 4 piano wire sections using round nose pliers. The eyes shall keep the balloons in place
      • Start by tying a balloon to each end of a 12 cm section of wire. The lines may be of different length
      • Hang this from a piece of line tied to the midpoint of the wire
      • Tie a balloon to one end of the 16 cm wire
      • Tie the 12 cm wire carrying the two balloons to the other end
      • Hang the assembly from a piece of line tied to the point of balance of the 16 cm wire
      • Tie a balloon to each end of the other 12 cm section of wire
      • Tie this assembly to one end of the 24 cm wire
      • Tie the 16 cm wire carrying the three balloons to the other end
      • Hang everything from a piece of line tied to the point of balance of the 24 cm wire.

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  29. Okay, so I would love to do these but it seems hard to physically cut the shapes out. Can you recommend any good yet cheap cutters? I will only be using it for cutting so I’m having a hard time finding one like that. Since you use one, I thought you might be able to advise a brand..?

    • Hi Jasmine
      If you want to try weaving balloons before you invest, you may order precut balloons from here: Precut balloons from Germany. Our cutters are Silhouette machines. They are about $250.- in the US and about £225 in the UK. We live in Denmark. The market is small and the selection of machines is at yet scarce. We have no experience with other machines. Lene

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  32. I came a crossed your website last year and feel in love with paper crafts/art because of it. Now I can’t get enough. Thank
    you so much for that, and THANK YOU for sharing all of your designs I can’t tell how much I truly appreciate them. I love all the paper weaving but it seamed hard and very time consuming. I finely tried Balloon 1 today. It was actually not to hard. I had a blast making it. I find paper cutting and now paper weaving therapeutic. My husband was teasing me saying that we’re going to have little hot air balloons hanging all over the house. hahaha he’s probably write 🙂 thank you so much for bringing paper art into my life. I hope you and your family are blessed with true happiness laughter and love. Thank you Jennifer

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  38. On part one on the You tube tutorial there are circular shapes in the centers on the both of the patterns before you weave, but they’re not on the pattern it’s self. can we use any circular shape in the center? Thank you.

    • The circular shapes on the first version of the balloon include the narrow paper hangers to hold the basket. We learned that this way of assembling the balloon was a little troublesome for some. Then we decided to attach the hangers to the basket insted. That made the process somewhat easier. You may use any design you like. Just use strip and basket from the same project. Lately preparing Balloon #007 Anna developed the project even further as she designed 3 pieces, a strip, a basket, and then another strip for the basket with the hangers. This balloon is however larger than #001 and its basket will not fit. Lene

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  41. I watched the whole video to see if the beginning would eventually make sense to me….but I still don’t get it 😥 I’m still stuck on the beginning part…. the lady’s fingers move so fast and she makes it look so easy!! I wish i could do it like that!! And, please, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with your video….i just don’t understand it….
    Thanks so much for your time!!!! 🙂

    • Hi Liz
      With some patience you will most likely be able to learn. Did you ever weave anything before? It is really quite simple. The strips go over – under – over – and so on. Try watching this video:
      Imagine that instead of piecing together all strips at the top using tape – for the balloon they are already joined at the center of the swirling piece and radiate from here. Important is then that when you place the other swirling piece on top of this, the arms must swirl in the other direction. In that case the strips will be perpendicular just as in the simple flat and square example in the video above. And then you may weave. Lene

      • I have weaved before….just really simple things like the mat in the video, though.
        Thanks so much!!!! I will give it another try 🙂

      • I just tried it again, but I still seem to be doing something wrong…..What do I do after I weave the strand as far as it can go??? Or am I just completely doing it wrong??

  42. And also, I’m pretty sure I’m weaving it wrong, because that star doesn’t show up in the middle….I’m so sorry for all these questions….

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