Try This: Hot Air Balloons

DIY Hot Air Balloons

Try This: Hot Air Balloons

Yesterday, I shared pictures of the hot air balloon-themed baby shower that I co-hosted over the weekend. I worked with Alison, the mom-to-be, to make sure all my shower decor could pull double duty in the nursery.  In fact, she even shared scrap fabric from some bedding projects that her mother-in-law is taking on to integrate into my projects.  Today, I'm here to share the full how-to for making the centerpiece of the shower's decor -- the hot air balloons themselves.

Read on for the full tutorial.

DIY Hot Air Balloons 1
MATERIALS: Paper Lantern, Fabric, Wooden Berry Baskets, Twine

DIY Hot Air Balloon Measurements
ONE: What we're essentially doing here is making a fabric tube with drawstrings at the top and bottom.  The length and height of this tube will be guided by the measurements of your paper lantern.  Measurement A represents the circumference and length of the tube.  Measurement B is the surface distance between each of the lantern's openings and represents the height of your tube.

TWO: Based on these measurements, cut your fabric to size adding the necessary seam allowances.  For example, my lantern had a circumference of 56" and a surface distance of 22".  I chose eight alternating panels using Alison's fabric -- each cut to 8" wide (56" divided by 8 panels + 1/2" seam allowance on each side) by 24" tall (22" + 1" on the top and bottom for the drawstrings).

DIY Hot Air Balloons 2
THREE: With right sides facing, sew all the panels end to end -- including the first and last panels -- to create a tube.  Along one of the seams, leave an unsewn opening about 1/2" long 1/4" from both the top and bottom edges.  Trim any excess fabric.

DIY Hot Air Balloons 3
FOUR: Fold over about 1" of fabric on the top and bottom.  Press into place.  Place a length of twine under the fold, and thread the ends through the unsewn openings.

DIY Hot Air Balloons 4
FIVE: Topstitch the folds down about 3/4" from the edge, making sure to keep the twine inside the fold.  Tie the ends of the twine together, and trim.

DIY Hot Air Balloons 5
SIX: Assemble the lanterns.  Place the fabric tube around them and cinch the top and bottom.  Tie off the twine, and either trim or tuck inside.  Attach a little wooden berry basket like these with some twine.  I glued a few mini paper flags around the edge for a little something extra!  Hang and enjoy!

DIY Hot Air Balloons 6
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DIY Hot Air Balloons 9

Mandy P
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  1. These are just darling! How I wish I could sew. :-( And that bunting along the table edge is so sweet, too!

  2. Pinning NOW!! xx. McKenna Lou

  3. Those are Oh. So. Cute! Thanks for sharing how you made them. I saw your post over at Dollar Store Crafts. I don't know if I have seen the large paper lanterns like those at my Dollar Store but now I will keep my eyes out for them.

  4. Oh my goodness-the cuteness is too much!

  5. These are probably the cutest shower decorations I've ever seen. Such a good idea!

  6. I just love love love these! I think these are perfect for any room.

    Sisters, Sisters

  7. Does anyone know where to find lantern material?

    1. I'm not sure I understand the question. The fabric that I used to make the lantern covers were just quilting cotton. The paper lanterns themselves can be found at World Market, Ikea, or at online shops like Luna Bazaar. I hope this helps!

  8. You can find a wonderful selection of paper lanterns at www.orientaltrading.com

  9. Hi there! What size lanterns did you use? I was hoping to find smaller lanterns somewhere, any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Not sure what size these were, but they were pretty big...maybe 18" in diameter. As for smaller ones, I'm not totally sure. I would suggest just poking around online to see what you can find.


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