December 25, 2013

Balloon Tissue Paper Ornament

Balloon Tissue Paper Ornament

The colors in this Balloon Tissue Paper Ornament become brilliant when Christmas tree lights are shining on it.

To make this beauty we used:
  • a 6" balloon blown up to a 4" diameter width 
  • various colors of tissue paper cut into tiny bits
  • glue
  • foam brush 


  • As soon as Calvin saw the balloons, he had to play with them.  

  • Once he had all his play out, he was ready to begin art.  First he squeezed glue onto a paper plate.

  • I handed him the red balloon and he painted it with glue.  You can't see my hand, but I am holding and rotating the balloon so Calvin could paint the entire surface with glue.

  • Calvin's next step was to roll the balloon in the tissue paper bits.  

  • I encouraged him to keep rolling so he could get tissue paper all over the balloon.  It was like rolling a snowball.  The thing kept growing bigger and bigger the more he rolled.

  • As Calvin worked, tissue paper blew everywhere: the chair, the counter, the floor.  And his hands grew sticky and covered with tissue paper, which he didn't like.  Okay, these things happen sometimes.  The teacher in me went to work fast.  I cleaned Calvin up and sent him off to play.  Then I tackled the mess.

  • I wasn't about to admit defeat to a little tissue paper and glue.  Besides, we still had two more balloons to cover. So I made a few adjustments.

To keep the tissue paper from flying all over:
  • I cut it into even smaller bits, which helped the paper stick without adding much width.  
  • I put a smaller amount of paper on the plate, adding more as needed.

To keep Calvin's hands from getting sticky:
  • I attached a pinch-type clothes pin onto the knot of the balloon for him to hold on to.
  • I encouraged him to pat the balloon in the tissue paper bits instead of rolling it around.

  • This story has a happy ending.  With my new method, we got those last two balloons covered with an acceptable amount of mess.

Once the balloons were dry, I twisted a pipe cleaner around their knots and hung them on the tree.  

Extending the Activity:

This ornament will only last one Christmas. Once the balloon deflates, the ornament will look pretty sad.

An older child could add several layers of tissue paper and glue, letting each layer dry before putting on a new one. After three or four layers, the ornament would be strong enough to insert a straight pin and pop the balloon inside. Then the ornament would retain it's shape year after year.    

Do you have a comment or a suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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