Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thank you Pinterest! "Modeling Dough" Balloons.

**REVISED ear placement!** 
I decided that I would actually try something that I pinned from Pinterest! If you would like to see the original post here it is!  I work at an elementary school as a para and run the after school program.  I wanted to do something for them for Easter and came across this and thought I could make them look like Easter eggs.  After thinking about this for awhile I realized these little balls of fun are made to be squeezed.  I didn't think that filling the whole balloon with marker would be a great idea, eventually I am sure it would come off on the kids' hands.  Then I somehow came up with the brilliant idea to make them into bunnies!  I found a 24 pack of the dough on sale for $11.99!  They were only 3oz rather than 5oz but I thought that would be ok!

There were some issues of course!  The first issue was that I happen to be allergic to latex..  My fingers were burning after a few balloons; another obstacle was that I happen to only have two hands!  A third hand would have been a wonderful addition!!  I tried several things some of which included: using my toe as an extra finger (yes they were clean) to hold it open, which kind of worked but as you can imagine was awkward!  I also tried holding a nail polish bottle between two of my toes to act as another mode to keep the balloon open.  That DID NOT work and was still quite awkward!!  ;)  My lack of success, and burning fingers inspired me to find something that I would be able to pull the balloon around with a large enough opening that I could still get the dough inside!  This is what I came up with!


This is a science beaker.  The opening on the side was perfect for pushing out the air as I pushed in the dough!  It made my life so much simpler!!  :)  (Please excuse the dough all over my fingers/nails)

I also had trouble getting out all of the air bubbles.  I tried to poke holes into the top of the "neck" of the balloon in hopes that it would offer a place for the air to come out as I kneaded it.  That did not work.  In the end I just squeezed the balloon until I could get all of the air out.  Then to prevent more air from slipping in when I tied it I twisted the "neck" so that no air could enter as I tied the knot!

I made 17 of these little ones!  I think they are actually a great size!  I also like that they somewhat lie flat!  This made it much easier to make the bunny faces later!  :)

I had also wanted to make some of these for my nieces, nephews, and little brothers/sister in law.  In order to do that I would have needed more dough than I had, so I decided to go the dollar store to pick up full size canisters.  The dollar store had a 5 pack of an off brand for $2.50, or a 4 pack of the name brand also for $2.50.  I opted for two-five packs.  This ended up being a bit of a mistake.  The off brand is more sticky.  It was harder to get into the balloon as it stuck to the "neck" of the balloon, and it was harder to remove the air bubbles!  I was unsure if this was because of the increased amount of dough, or if it was because of the brand of the dough.  I decided to combine two of the remaining name brand colors to make 5 oz.  I even used a scale!  :)  The result was that it was still MUCH easier to get the dough into the balloon, and I liked the squishiness (not a word I know..) of the name brand better than that of the off brand..  Oh well, live and learn!  :)

 I knew that my beaker would not work for the larger amounts of dough; there is no way it would have fit back through that hole!  I told my husband that he would have to be my second set of hands...  He does not share my passion for projects!  He came up with an even better plan!  He found a funnel!!  GREAT IDEA Tony!!  It still had about the right size opening to fix the balloon to, and once I was done filling it I could pull it off and it would "fall out!"


This was of course one of those DUH moments for me!  The only problem I had with this was that the balloon would slip back into the funnel leaving too small of an opening to put the dough in!  I try to fix it onto the funnel near where the balloon starts to take shape.  This provides much more room to get the dough into the balloon!

In the above picture you can see my solution to the slipping problem.  I pulled the balloon over the opening of the funnel, and then pulled the balloons "ring" up over it to act like a rubber band to hold it into place.  I also held onto the balloon as I was stuffing it.

As you can see, those 2 oz do make a difference!  I am a little bummed that the purple balloon looks black!  You can tell it is purple when you squeeze it though.  After I filled all of the balloons I looked online for a bunny ear template.  I should actually say, after attempting to free hand a bunny ear template, I decided it would be in my best interest to find one online!  This is the one I decided to go with here.  It is from Martha Stewart.  This happened to be a perfect size for the bunnies!  I did have one mishap with this as well!  I didn't factor in the whole left side right size might have different angles thing, so I ended up needing to make another copy of it.  If I was planning ahead, I could have traced the outside of both ears, cut that part off then traced the inside...  I labeled them "L" for left and "r" for right.  Though they ended up being switched as I didn't want the pen marks on the side that shows!  :)  I didn’t want to cut down under the outline, just in case I went too far and made them not fit together as well. To attach the ears to the balloon, I made a small tab glued to the back of the ear.  I then used a low heat glue gun to attach the balloons to the ear.
**REVISED** The hot glue did not keep the ears on very well.  They came off very easily.  My BRILLIANT husband came up with another fabulous idea!  He has "Shoe Goo" to fix his shoes (he refuses to buy new shoes/boots until he can feel the ground through them) and thought it might work.  So far it is working pretty well!  It does have to dry overnight though!

I added the next two pictures after it was brought to my attention that I was unclear on how to attach the ears to the balloon!  If you look at the bottom of this ear you can see the small tab that I glued to the back of the ear. 

The picture below shows the ear/tab glued to the balloon.  As you can see, I made the mistake of originally gluing the smaller color onto the wrong side of the larger one!  OOPS!!  :)

The finished product!  I think all in all they are pretty stinking cute!  Once I FINALLY finished all of them none of them had the exact color combination of balloon and ear colors!  So they really are one of a kind!  ;)

All in all, this was a fairly simple project.   It did take a lot of time (hours) but it was fun, and worth it in the end. It was fairly cheap, I spent about $20 and made 28 balloons and have leftovers! They are similar to those stress relief balls.  They could also probably double as the hand strengthening gadgets!  

As you can see by these faces I am no artist!  That is partly why I wanted to start this little section on my blog.  I am going to attempt doing things I find on blogs/Pinterest and see if they really are as simple as those experts make them sound!  I will start a board on Pinterest of pins I have succeeded at!  Trust me; if I can do these things so can you!

Tomorrow I tackle one of those beautiful hair dos everyone posts!!  I have only found a few that actually tell you HOW to do it!!  Seriously, why tease me with things that don't teach me how to do them!!  I am not clever enough to figure it out on my own!!  :)  
If you are interested in checking out my "Thank you Pinterest!" board it is here!

Until next time,

P.S.  My fingers are still burning!  The tips of my index and middle fingers on both hands are red and sore!  The heat from warm water burns my finger nails when I was my hands or shower!  If you are allergic to latex (or wheat), I suggest wearing latex free gloves while doing this project!


  1. So cute! I am going to add this to my facebook page right now! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. maybe i missed it, but I didn't see what you used to attach the ears... nice project. I have supplies on hand and am about to make them too. thanks!

    1. You did miss it. I didn't post a picture I just explained it with words. I hot glued (low heat gun) the smaller color onto the larger one. I then hot glued the ears onto the balloon. I didn't really like the way it looked though, I wanted them more on the top of the "head." So I made a small tab out of foam scraps. I hot glued the tab onto the bottom/back of the ear. After that I put hot glue on the bottom of the tab and the small strip of the ear that would be touching the ear and placed them onto the balloon. I didn't even think about putting a picture of that step onto the blog. I would be more than glad to do so if you would like!

    2. I added in pictures of the ear attachment! :)

  3. I'm late to the party but wanted to say how cute those are! Thanks for sharing all your tips and I'm hoping that by now your fingers have stopped burning!

    1. Thank you!! They were very fun to make! The kids loved them, but the ears fell off quickly. I hope my techniques work out for you. It only took a few days to have my hands back to normal! ;-)

  4. Thank you Thank you... was looking at these on pininterest.. thinking so how do I do this and your way was very inspiring... so off to make these lil ones for my lil ones!!! Have a great and blessed day!

    1. You're welcome! Thank you! I hope they worked out for you!