Friday, August 26, 2011

Homemade Friday: I’m trying to create memories here, child! (Balloon Lanterns)

As I said last week, so many of these craft-type things I try to do with Sebastian always end up with me doing them and him watching.  And this was no different.

I’d seen these lanterns online and thought they’d be really neat and easy to make and had been thinking about it for awhile.  So one night when Sebastian was being especially cantankerous I used it as a bargaining tool to get him to go to bed.  As in, ‘If you go to bed like a big boy and stop the fussing we can make a really cool balloon ball tomorrow.’  

It worked, and once he was in bed I began researching how this whole thing was done.

And then got a little bit scared.

There would be glue.

And cornstarch.

And string.

And water.

In other words, a gigantic mess.

But I couldn’t back out now since Sebastian remembers everything.  And I correctly predicted that he would ask about it first thing once he woke up.

So just went with it.  I used these instructions, except I didn’t use Vaseline since it was in Adele’s room and she was napping when I started.

I got us all smocked and aproned up and blew up the balloon, mixed up the glue, tied everything up outside then found some old yarn I thought would work.

Sebastian grew impatient, of course, and by the time everything was ready to go he’d lost interest.  Apparently Thomas was much more fascinating.  As was hitting the other two balloons I’d hung up in the hopes of making more than one of these things.  (I was a little too optimistic in the amount of glue required and I ran out so was only able to make one.)

So I got everything started and attempted to focus his attention on the bright shiny balloon and goopy mess of a pile of yarn.  He touched it once and said it was too messy.

But I couldn’t let that whole bottle of glue that’s required for this task go to waste so I carried on.  And on.  And the thing about making these outside is that the yarn, covered in the paste concoction, falls to the ground picking up whatever happens to be around.  In our case it was sand and random pieces of dried grass.  But I just smiled through my clenched teeth and considered it as added decoration.

By the time I was finished I was covered in paste and dirt.  I stepped back and took a look at the balloon ball and decided that I didn’t like it so I took it all apart and did it again.  And then one more time just for good measure.  Now, for reals, I was finished.  I thought.  

I left it outside hanging up and went on about our day.  Sebastian asked over and over again when we could hang it in his room and I told him each time that it had to dry first.  He went down for his afternoon nap still waiting.

And during said naptime the sky darkened and I know I heard a bit of thunder so I raced outside to cut the drying balloon ball down and hang it inside, where it could hang and mock me for freaking out about the rain that didn’t happen.

A couple of hours after that I decided that if I just poked a small hole in the top of the balloon and let the air out slowly it would come away from the ball easier since there was no grease to help it a long.

Maybe you can see where this is going.  About 20 minutes after the hole was poked this is what I saw:

Do you know how depressing that site is after you’ve worked so hard on something?  And so I threw the whole mess away.

But then thought better of it and dug it back out, making sure to brush the coffee grounds off of it, and put it in a bowl with a tiny bit of water to try again.  Sebastian was still sleeping at this point so in order to keep him from finding out what I’d done I used the same color balloon and tried again, this time using an old standby to prevent the same thing from happening again. 

I also left that damn thing hanging for two days before I popped the balloon.

Of course, it’s been a week and the ball is still sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for someone to hang it in Sebastian’s room.

But it was a pretty neat craft and I’d actually like to make lots of them to hang around the house.
If I make it again, though,  I’ll be sure to load it up with grease first.

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