Learning Balloon Twisting and Sculpting

Balloon Twisting

Balloon modeling or balloon twisting is the shaping of special modeling balloons into almost any given shape, often a balloon animal. People who create balloon animals and other twisted balloon sculptures are called Twisters. Twisters often work as busker, clowns, or restaurant entertainers.

Basic Twists

Here’s the scoop on some of the basic twists used in balloon sculpture. By combining these twists in various ways you can create thousands of figures from your balloons. More twists will be added as the need arises.

  • Lock Twist, Loop Twist(Fold Twist)
  • Pinch Twist (Ear Twist), Pinch-pop Series
  • Toe Twist(Split Twist), Spiral
  • Bird Body (3-Bubble Roll-Through)
  • Apple Twist/Tulip Twist, Apple Link
  • Hook Twist, S-Hook Twist, Z-Bend

View step by step tutorial at www.professorwonder.com/twists.htm and www.balloonhq.com/faq/twists_101.html

Balloon Sculpting

Still one of the merriest ways to welcome guests—whether to a simple party or to an elaborate extravaganza—is to festoon the venue entrance and stage with balloon pillars or to put them up as stand-alone props on the dance floor.

Materials Needed

  • 28 pcs 10” metallic balloons (violet, green, yellow and pink)
  • 7 pcs 5” metallic balloons (pink and green)
  • 2 pcs 160 elongated balloons
  • 6 meters 0.88-mm thick nylon cord or tansi
  • 2 yards Curling ribbon
  • 1 unit Double nozzle air compressor
  • 1 unit Hand pump
  • 1 pc Stable or fixed pole like a tarpaulin stand

Procedure

1. To begin, inflate two different colored 10” metallic balloons with the air compressor and tie them together. Set aside. Inflate another pair of 10” metallic balloons and tie them together as well. Make sure not to overinflate the balloons; a 10” balloon when inflated should only be about 8” in diameter. The balloons should be all of the same size when inflated.

  • Put one pair of inflated balloons on top of the other perpendicularly. Fasten the four balloons together by twisting one of the balloons with the one next to it, then twist the balloons at their tails.
  • Tie the nylon cord to the pole, then fasten the four balloons around the pole using the nylon cord.

2. Make six more sets of four balloons each, then tie them to the pole. This will make for a seven-layered balloon pillar. Make sure to follow a certain color pattern. When layering the balloons, do not align similar colors. Arrange the colors of the balloons so as to create a twisting effect; for instance, if you are using yellow and purple balloons, the yellow balloon of one layer must be placed in between the yellow and purple balloons of the layer on top or under it.

  • When tying the layers of balloons, make sure that the tie is neither too tight nor too loose so you could still manipulate the balloons.

3.  Inflate a 5” balloon by filling it with water. Tie it to the end of the pillar using the nylon cord tied to the pole. This balloon will serve as a weight to keep the pillar from toppling over. Cut the excess cord and let the pole stand.

  • Inflate three 5” pink balloons and three 5” green balloons, using the hand pump. Tie the green balloons together; do the same for the pink ones. Attach them to the top of the pillar using nylon cord.
  • Accent your balloon pillar by putting two twisted balloons made from the two 160 elongated balloons. To make the 160 balloons more flexible and thus easier to twist, inflate and then deflate them.
  • Press one end of the deflated balloon between your middle and index fingers. Then twirl the rest of the balloon around these two fingers. Stretch the balloon as you wrap it around the fingers.

4. Inflate the balloon while still wrapped around your fingers, gradually releasing the balloon from your fingers. For this step, it is best to ask another person to inflate the balloon while you are holding it.

  • Repeat the process with the other elongated balloon.
  • Tie the end of the twisted balloons, then insert one end of each balloon in between the 10” balloons and 5” balloons in the pillar.

Balloon Business Basics

When making balloon sculpture for corporate events, husband and wife Archie and Roschelle Catbagan, trainers at Businessmaker Academy, say that a minimum package using 100 balloons could be priced at P3,500. Each balloon could be priced at least P15, depending on the size and type of balloon required. In under an hour, two persons could turn these 100 balloons into several pillars (the number of pillars depends on how big the pillars would be) and an arch. Each person may be paid P300 an hour.

For the P3,500 package, the projected profit margin would be 200 percent.

This is one business where location is not a very important factor—you simply need an aggressive marketing plan. To promote your services, you may get accreditation from event venues, put up a website, and post your work samples and balloon decor offerings in networking sites and in e-commerce portals. And if you have some money to spare, advertise online. These approaches will draw more clients than such traditional marketing tools as flyers and print ads.

sources: professorwonder.com, entrepreneur.com.ph, photo from eullababydoll.blogspot.com

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