From Grandma's Couch to the Nursery
After my grandmother passed away I was left with, among other things, a pile of hand crocheted doilies. While I didn't want them on every surface and couch arm in sight like my grandmother, I couldn't bare to throw them out either. They are very beautiful and someone went to the trouble to hand make them. They are vintage and lovely but don't really marry well to modern day life. (I had visions of my boys wearing them on their heads and wiping their noses on them!). So I decided to turn them into hot air balloons and use them to decorate my daughter's nursery.
Upcycled Doily Hot Air Balloons
* You want to make sure your doilies are clean. If they have been sitting in storage or a drawer somewhere, make sure you wash them before you use them.
To do this project you will need the following:
- Latex balloon (any color)
- Coconut Oil or Vaseline
- Mod Podge (Matte and Glitter - glitter is optional.)
- Cup or bowl
- Paint brush
You will need to blow up your balloon to whatever size you'd like your hot air balloon to be. Remember, you need to make sure it will be covered by the amount of doilies you have. You want your balloon to be covered, but not make the layers too thick.
Once your balloon is blown up, coat it really well in the coconut oil or vaseline, this will allow you to glue the doily layers together without them attaching to your balloon.
In a bowl mix together your Mod Podge with a little water to thin it out and about a teaspoon or so of flour to help thicken the doilies as the glue dries. You can use the Mod Podge Glitter too, if you want to add a little sparkle.
Now place the smaller end of the balloon into the bowl or cup, to keep it steady. Lay your first doily over the top of your balloon. Make sure the placement is where you like it. Be sure there is a couple of openings at the top where you will be able to string your balloon so it will "fly".
You many need to cut your doily a little to make it lay correctly, so it doesn't cause thick spots.
Once the placement is where you like it, you have to begin "painting" the doily with the Mod Podge mixture. You don't want it to be too thick but make sure it's soaking thru the doily. As the moisture gets into the doily, it will start to lay on the balloon better.
When the doily is soaked thru and laying flat against the balloon, allow it to dry. If you try to add more doilies to the side or the bottom before it's dry the top doily will fall off.
When the first doily is dry it will be hard to the touch. You can then shift the balloon to the side and add another doily and repeat covering it with the Mod Podge mixture. Allow to dry then do another side, and continue until the balloon is covered. Make sure you leave an opening at the bottom the balloon, so that you can pop and remove the latex balloon.
It is important to allow the doilies to dry completely before you do anything else. If the balloon isn't stiff and dry it will collapse when you pop the latex balloon. You should add a few layers of the Mod Podge mixture to doilies.
Once the doilies are completely dry and stiff, flip the balloon over and pop the latex balloon and pull it out thru the bottom.
To make the basket of the hot air balloon, cut a toilet paper tube or paper towel tube to about 2 1/2 or 3 inches. Wrap in twine and glue in place. Add four pieces of twine to the sides, forming an 'X' in the open bottom, run the tails up the sides to form your attachment points to the hot air balloon. Attach the tails to the doily at four places.
To make them "fly" add a long piece of twine or fishing line, if you don't want it to me seen, to the holes at the top. Attach to the ceiling about the crib. I used Command Hooks Flag holders to hang mine.
You can also insert LED battery operated wire string lights into the body of your balloon. The battery switch can rest in the basket of twine you created.
You can also use string to make these as well. I just soaked the string in the Mod Podge mixtures and then wrapped it around the greased balloon in random patters. Allow this to dry thoroughly before popping the balloon.
Feel free to email me with your questions or your finished products. I'd LOVE to see them!