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How to Make a Balloon Dog

By Quinton Geller Edited By Francesca-Lauren Seguin


If you’ve ever been to a carnival or birthday party, you might have seen a balloon animal. From dogs and giraffes to monkeys and swans, balloon artists can make all sorts of unique structures from just one long balloon. The speed with which they create them can seem completely unattainable, or impossible to reach, to a first-time viewer—how can someone learn to make that many twists and turns in just a minute or two? It turns out that it’s surprisingly easy to get started—with the right type of balloon and a way to inflate it, you can learn today!


Before starting, you’ll need a long balloon, preferably a T260 (2-inch diameter, 60-inch length). Additionally, you should find a pump to inflate it. (You can also inflate balloons without a pump, but this can be dangerous—blowing up balloons too quickly can prevent you from breathing in enough air and cause you to faint.) With just these two materials, you can create a simple balloon dog through the following steps:


1) Inflate the balloon until the uninflated part (the tail) is only 2-3 inches long. Tie the end, or the head, to keep it from deflating.


2) Make 3 basic twists from the head end of the balloon, the first around 2 inches from the end and the other two each around 1 inch from the last. This should give you four balloon segments. (In a basic twist, you simply take the two parts of the balloon you want to create a twist between and turn them away from each other a few times.)


3) Take the middle two segments in one hand and the two on the ends in your other hand. Then, twist the two groups of segments together 2 or 3 times where twists 1 and 3 from the last step meet. This should lock the middle two segments in place above the other two, creating the dog’s ears.


4) Make three more basic twists, longer than the ones used for the head and ears, and make sure that the middle two sections are around the same length. The section attached to the dog’s head will become the neck, while the middle two will become the front legs.


5) Twist the 4 segments together in the same way described in step 3, with the middle two segments being grouped together and twisted against the other two, to create the legs of the dog. Make sure the tail end of the dog is pointed in the same direction as the ears—if you don’t, your dog’s front legs might be upside down!


6) Make three more basic twists, as in steps 2 and 4, to create segments for the dog’s body, hind legs, and tail. Again, make sure the middle two sections are around the same length.


7) Finally, twist the 4 segments together as described in step 3, again making sure the dog’s ears are pointed in the same direction as the end segment (the tail). This will lock the dog’s hind legs in place.


8) Optionally, push the air in the dog’s tail around to change the shape of its tail or use a marker to draw a mouth and eyes on the dog’s face. Your dog is now complete!

By changing the length of the dog’s legs, body, and neck, you can create different dog breeds and even some other simple animals like giraffes. Additionally, you can create more complex animals by googling “___ balloon animal tutorial” and following the instructions in the tutorials that come up. The skills you’ll learn by following the above procedure are just about all you need to begin your balloon twisting journey. What animals and creations will you make next?



References

Kawamoto, W. (2020, November 2). How to Make a Dog Balloon Animal. The Spruce Crafts; Dotdash Meredith. https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/make-a-dog-balloon-animal-2266439

wikiHow. (2022, November 10). How to Make Balloon Animals: Step by Step Guide for Beginners. https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Balloon-Animals


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