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The Fun of Balloon Hats

Updated on September 19, 2014

Dr. Who Tardis balloon hat

Who would have imagined you could do that with balloons?! It turns out you can, and I photographed this amazing hat at the 2014 Emerald City Comicon.
Who would have imagined you could do that with balloons?! It turns out you can, and I photographed this amazing hat at the 2014 Emerald City Comicon. | Source

Ready...? Set...? Balloon!!!

Balloon hats are made by twisting long, skinny balloons into joined sections so that they hold their shape and fit onto the head. After that, almost anything goes!

I recently did a project that left me with a lot of twister balloons, and I decided the best way to use them up was to learn to make balloon hats... so here goes! After all, making animal shapes are fun, but what do you do with them... really? I mean, you have to carry them around or find somewhere to put them but with a balloon hat, you can carry them around in a hands-free form, they are less prone to get popped while on your head and they really are a lot of fun as far as headgear goes!

THE INFLATABLE BALLOON CROWN HAT KIT - this is THE balloon hat book to own

Inflatable Crown Balloon Hat Book, The
Inflatable Crown Balloon Hat Book, The

If you could consider there to be a "Bible" of balloon hat-making, this is that book! Authors Addi Somekh and Charlie Eckert are the two guys behind the Balloon Hat project, traveling the world to bring balloon hats to all corners of the globe.

 
Balloon Top Hat, Fremont Solstice Parade 2011
Balloon Top Hat, Fremont Solstice Parade 2011

The beginnings of a balloon milliner

I got started making balloon hats after I created a Big Giant Squid head as a mask-making commission. I had lots of twister balloons leftover after making the tentacles. In fact, I had every color of long skinny balloon you might want except orange. I decided I had to do something fun with them.

So that's how I got started on making different types of balloon hats. If I can mange to come up with something cohesive, I promise to put up pictures here. My housemate has a fear of the sounds of balloons popping, so I only make balloon hats when she's out of the house.

Balloon hats are really fun to make, they travel well (you don't make the hat until you get to where you are going) and they are fun for anyone as you can easily make them in whatever size you need!

Balloon Inflator - Double Action Air Pump
Balloon Inflator - Double Action Air Pump

It turns out that blowing up twisting balloons takes more lung power than you would imagine. Most people prefer a balloon pump.

 

Instructions for Different Balloon Hats - make balloon hats right now!

If you've got some twisting balloons on hand and are ready to start, the below links will get you hat-making in minutes!

Get Twisiting... - stuff to make balloon hats

Qualatex 260Q Pencil Balloons - Traditional Assortment - 100/bag
Qualatex 260Q Pencil Balloons - Traditional Assortment - 100/bag

This is a standard size of balloon used for twisting, and ordering a whole bunch makes it easier to practice.

 

"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon."

- Winnie the Pooh

Farmers market balloon hat, photo by Relache
Farmers market balloon hat, photo by Relache

Tips and Tricks for Twisting

helpful hints and suggestions

Getting started with balloon twisting is both easy and hard. Here are some suggestions of things I found helpful through my own trial-and-error ballon games.

  • Trim down your fingernails. Long fingernails or ragged edges make it easier to accidentally pop your balloons. Plus long nails can make it harder to tie knots.

  • If the sound of popping balloons freaks you out.... Wear earplugs! Seriously, this is easy to do and can really increase your comfort level until you get more skilled at all the twisting.

  • Watch out for your pets! Not only can popping noises make them scared, some animals will try to play with, or eat, the balloon shrapnel.

  • Right before you start twisting, wash your hands. Getting all the oils off your skin will give you a bit more grip, which can be really useful to the beginning twister.

260Q Animal Balloons
260Q Animal Balloons

Totally reload your balloon stock with this assortment.

 

Gettin' Fancier with your Balloon Hats - more complex balloon hats and videos

Here are links to sites that feature follow-along balloon hat videos. You can go absolutely balloon hat crazy with these!

Radical Balloon Hat Twisting Dvd

Radical Balloon Hats Twisting DVD
Radical Balloon Hats Twisting DVD

Amazing balloon hat from superstar balloon artist Denis Regling. Learn to be a balloon professional with this DVD!

 

Let Them Wear Hats! - some silly and instructional balloon hat videos

So, what's on your head... oops... I mean, what's on your mind in regards to balloon hats?? - share your twisted balloon hat thoughts!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 

      4 years ago

      Crazy! As in fun-crazy! I've seen the occasional balloon critter but had no idea ballon hats existed to such creative depths! Wow...great read!

    • schwarz profile imageAUTHOR

      Rae Schwarz 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @jemacb: They are awesome to wear at parties.

    • jemacb profile image

      jemacb 

      5 years ago

      This is the first time that I have read (or heard) about balloon hats. Pretty neat.

    • profile image

      glindathegood 

      5 years ago

      I love hats, but I never heard of balloon hats. Great lens!

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Can't say I have every considered a balloon hat lol. They look,a little "peculiar" and could pose a real danger to children. But fun nevertheless to look at :)

    • profile image

      KitchenMagik 

      5 years ago

      Never would have thought you could find so much info on balloon hats - good fun! Maybe I should wear one in the kitchen for inspiration...

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 

      5 years ago

      This is a champion article on the fun of imaginative balloon hats.

    • Kimberley Vico profile image

      Kimberley Vico 

      5 years ago

      I love balloons although I never considered a balloon hat until now!

    • michelleroe profile image

      michelleroe 

      5 years ago

      Very original and fun lens! Reading it brought me memories and made me smile!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      5 years ago from Houston

      Enjoyed this lens. Love those balloon hats. Who'd a thunk?

    • JoyfulMom LM profile image

      JoyfulMom LM 

      5 years ago

      Cute! I tried this once, but never got very far. Maybe I'll give it another try! :)

    • profile image

      like-an-angel 

      5 years ago

      Funny hats! So amusing! Thanks for sharing us all these great ideas! I'll use them on my next kid's party.

    • Find-Online profile image

      Find-Online 

      5 years ago

      What a fun lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      These balloons looking so nice

    • graphite75 profile image

      Tom 

      5 years ago

      Those balloon hats are cool. I've always wanted to be able to make them and balloon animals too!

    • profile image

      crstnblue 

      5 years ago

      Sooo cute!

      Thanks for sharing & smile! : ))

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 

      5 years ago

      I love watching the man at farmers' markets make the most incredible hats for children.

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 

      5 years ago

      great lens , fun for party or birthday functions.

    • Steve Dizmon profile image

      Steve Dizmon 

      5 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Fun Lens. I've tried balloon "whatevers" before and found that I am not a natural at the art.

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 

      5 years ago

      Very cute lens great job!

    • giftsandgadgets profile image

      giftsandgadgets 

      5 years ago

      Great idea for a lens. Lots of good stuff here!

    • Jillynn profile image

      Jillynn 

      5 years ago

      Fun hat ideas. Good job on lens.

    • profile image

      The-Quirky-Banana 

      5 years ago

      This is great! I like the Winnie the Pooh quote, that guy is such a nostalgic character from my childhood. Balloon make for great hats- so colourful!

    • Miratex profile image

      Miratex 

      5 years ago

      Nice heads, very funny page.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      5 years ago from USA

      Very cool! The guy on Martha makes it looks so easy.

    • Trudy Hanley profile image

      Trudy 

      5 years ago

      This lens makes me smile:) Great fun. Who doesn't enjoy watching a person making things out of balloons. Thanks! Great job.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      Balloon hats! Well if someone else blows them up I'm down with the idea. Blessed.

    • Jawill profile image

      Jawill 

      5 years ago

      What a cute idea for a lens, looks like a ton of fun. I have to share this with my grandkids in the morning. Thanks for sharing, I Love It!

    • profile image

      Ray701 

      5 years ago

      this is the first time I've seen something like this I've seen blue hats for years but never thought anything about it other good information here keep up the good work I enjoy it.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 

      5 years ago

      I love these... but I have a weird "thing" about popping balloons. No matter how prepared I am that a balloon might pop, it still startles me. :)

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 

      5 years ago

      This is really a fun lens! Love it! Makes me feel like a kid again. Thanks for writing it.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      What a fun lens - love the photos of all of the balloon hats!

    • Stratagem profile image

      Stratagem 

      5 years ago

      Enjoyed the read and the picture tour. It felt good to experience a change of mood for even a few moments. Thanks for the experience.

    • schwarz profile imageAUTHOR

      Rae Schwarz 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @Spirality: I have walked around with a balloon hat on for no special reason... And it's super fun! I highly recommend you try it sometime.

    • Blkeeslar profile image

      Billie Keeslar 

      5 years ago from Mississippi

      Love this lens. I always wondered how they made things from balloons?

    • profile image

      DanielBica 

      5 years ago

      wow .. this is greate

    • Spirality profile image

      Spirality 

      5 years ago

      Great lens! Growing up, my balloon hats were never that cool! Would it be weird if I walked around in a balloon hat even if there wasn't some kind of a party?

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      5 years ago

      A friend of mine and I used to have an events and party company and we used to do balloon animals and hats.. etc... so much FUN!!!!! Squid Angel Blessings!!!!

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 

      5 years ago

      I once saw balloon hats being made at a festival. Have seen *animals* made with balloons too. Delightful!

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 

      5 years ago

      Cool ideas!

    • profile image

      DebW07 

      5 years ago

      Loved all the balloon hats!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 

      5 years ago

      Such fun. Especially if you have some kids to impress!

    • Kathy Eickenberg profile image

      Kathy Eickenberg 

      5 years ago

      Hee, hee :) definitely a unique lens :)

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This is really a fun lens with a lot of information.

    • profile image

      RetireAt57 

      5 years ago

      Fun lens!

    • MifuneGoon profile image

      MifuneGoon 

      5 years ago

      Balloons are the best, and the fact that they can serve so many purposes (a pet, a sword, a hat, etc.) makes them even better. Thanks for showing off the latest in balloon fashion!

    • cyberflutist profile image

      cyberflutist 

      5 years ago

      This is an inexpensive way to have a lot of fun, especially at a children's party.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      I've always enjoyed seeing someone make things out of balloons. Very informative page.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      On my one and only trip to Vegas with another beyond-middle-age-friend, one of the highlights of a particular evening was wearing balloon hats made and purchased from a street vendor. Feeling and looking like kids was just plain fun. One is never to old or young to enjoy a good old-fashioned balloon hat. Great lens. :)

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 

      5 years ago

      Wow I always wanted to make these but I'm nervous of a balloon going bang! lol Never got over that from my younger years... blessed.

    • donaldwilson profile image

      Don Wilson 

      5 years ago from Yakima, WA

      It's fascinating how something as simple as a balloon can bring us so much joy.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 

      5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      What fun

    • Gardenerman profile image

      Gardenerman 

      5 years ago

      Your lens made me laugh. Especially Martha Stewart being goofy!

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 

      5 years ago

      In our area, there's a balloon guy that comes to parties and makes all sorts of things out of balloons. He's got a nice little business going.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 

      5 years ago

      I love these Balloon Hats

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I've seen animals twisted out of balloons, but never hats. They look actually interesting....

    • squidlydoo profile image

      squidlydoo 

      5 years ago

      Great inspirations. Kids really love them :)

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 

      6 years ago

      Very pretty creations. Balloons make such beautiful art.

    • profile image

      naomiyoung 

      6 years ago

      I love balloons. I wish you would put some more instructions of how to make these hats.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      6 years ago

      So much fun! Thanks for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I think these are so cool and lots of fun for kids. Or adults:)

    • makemoneyonline5 profile image

      makemoneyonline5 

      6 years ago

      love this lens, so cool!!! Well done :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Aren't these amazing? I'm not sure who the other artist is but the one at the top goes by the name "Beny the Balloon Guy," He came to our daughters birthday party a few weeks ago and his hats, animals and everything else were spectacular! here's his website: www.seattleballoonguy.com

    • ResearchAddict profile image

      ResearchAddict 

      6 years ago

      I always wanted to learn to do this. Awesome

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful. Like this style.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 

      6 years ago from Australia

      What crazy, colourful, uninhibited fun. Blessings for brightening my day.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Balloon hats are sure winner at kids... and adults too:-)

    • Inkhand profile image

      Inkhand 

      6 years ago

      Very creative and looks like lots of fun!

    • CircusRunaway profile image

      CircusRunaway 

      6 years ago

      Love the lens!

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 

      6 years ago

      Well, they are not too good for winter, but very good for fun!

    • snazzify lm profile image

      Katie Harp 

      6 years ago

      blessed by a squid angel :) <3

    • MayaBella LM profile image

      MayaBella LM 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful! Balloons are just so happy. Especially when you can wear them!

    • jodijoyous profile image

      jodijoyous 

      6 years ago from New York

      Love that intro photo! And I wonder who got Martha to wear that hat (and if they lived).

    • profile image

      HalloweenLady 

      7 years ago

      I like your intro picture! I just learned this summer how to twist a dog and a swan so perhaps this is gonna be my next step... or perhaps something a little bit easier will satisfy my little boy too.

    • profile image

      tienlove 

      7 years ago

      Way cool!! I've always wanted to learn how to twist balloons. I love the winnie the pooh quote, too. :) Good job on this lens.

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 

      7 years ago

      Its nice to read your informative knowledge. Thanks

    • mahimattphoto profile image

      mahimattphoto 

      7 years ago

      Cool lens, would be so perfect at a kids birthday party!

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I want a balloon tophat like in the image at the top of the page. Very fun lens!

    • profile image

      diseasesymptoms 

      7 years ago

      very different.. sure to try :)

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 

      8 years ago

      There's nothing as fashionable as a balloon hat!

    • RuntFarmSeries profile image

      RuntFarmSeries 

      8 years ago

      Amanda Lorenzo is stunned speechless by the wonderfulness of your balloon hats! What a marvtastic joy! May you flourish in every way. Lensrolling and 5 stars.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 

      9 years ago

      How cute! Love the hats. 5*

    • drresearch profile image

      drresearch 

      9 years ago

      This is an awesome lens!!

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 

      10 years ago

      What a fun idea for a lens--enjoyed the videos too :)

    • profile image

      totalhealth 

      10 years ago

      very artistic and creative balloon hats.

    • profile image

      arcook 

      10 years ago

      Very nice work.

      I have been doing balloon twisting for about 20 years now and have always been an "anti-hat" person. The hats tend to take too many balloons, too much time, and don't always generate an appropriate tip.

      My hat (non balloon)is off to those who do balloon hats.

      I currently have about 300 different characters that I do. I plan to post instructions for some of my favorites soon.

    • Barkely profile image

      Barkely 

      10 years ago

      Cute stuff! Balloon animals and hats have always amazed me. Love the pics.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 

      10 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I made a beautiful balloon boquet of red flowers on green stems for Valentine's Day this year. Hats are fun. It is amazing how much fun someone can get from a $.06 balloon!

    • schwarz profile imageAUTHOR

      Rae Schwarz 

      10 years ago from Seattle, WA

      It's been interesting to see how easy they can be and how many are just embellishments on a simple framework. And of course, now that I've challenged myself to make a Squidoo balloon hat, I have to learn to "think in balloon."

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      10 years ago from USA

      Very cute and inventive balloon hats! I've always been awed by the people who can make such geat things with twisty balloons.

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