How to Make Balloon Animals for Beginners

Balloon animals
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Knowing how to make balloon animals is a great skill for entertaining children. Whether you are a parent, magician, clown, or healthcare worker, you can delight kids with your custom creations. Learn how to get started as a beginner with the instructions below, which include the types of balloons to use, basic techniques, and step-by-step tutorials for easy balloon animals.

  • 01 of 07

    Get the Best Balloons and Balloon Pump

    The Best Balloons for Animal Balloons
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Rather than just buying any type of long balloons, use high-quality twisting balloons like those produced by Qualatex and Betallatex. You will have fewer problems with popping as these twisting balloons are thicker and designed to take the stress of multiple twists. Most standard sculptures are best made with size 260 balloons. There are also larger and smaller sizes, but a beginner should invest in packs of the 260 size.

    You will also want to buy a good balloon pump to save your lungs. Look for a dual-action hand pump. With this type of pump, air will be expelled both on the up and down stroke, inflating the balloon quicker. Once you have mastered balloon animals and want to do it frequently, a floor pump is a good investment.

  • 02 of 07

    Inflate the Balloon

    How to Inflate a Balloon to Make Balloon Animals
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Inflating a balloon to make balloon animals is far more than simply blowing it up. The most important thing is not to inflate the balloon too much. You need a good amount of uninflated balloon left to be able to finish your sculpture and ensure the twists are not under too much pressure.

    Leave a one-inch uninflated tip at the end of the balloon. This should provide enough leeway for twisting.

    Balloon artists often release a bit of air from an inflated balloon by releasing the nozzle that’s held in their fingers before tying it off. This valuable technique is known as “burping” a balloon.

  • 03 of 07

    Make a Basic Twist

    Basic Balloon Twist for Balloon Animals
    Wayne Kawamoto

    The basic balloon twist is the foundation for everything you make through the art of balloon animals. You hold the balloon in your non-dominant hand at one end. Then you grasp it farther along its length with your dominant hand and twist it. At this point, you must keep hold of the balloon to maintain the twist, otherwise, it will untwist itself.

  • 04 of 07

    Make a Lock Twist

    Balloon Lock Twist for Balloon Animals
    Wayne Kawamoto

    After the basic twist, the second fundamental skill in balloon twisting is the lock twist. The lock twist holds the balloon's segments in place securely and it is the basis for the head, ears, legs, and body of balloon animal sculptures.

    To make a lock twist, you make two basic twists along the length of the balloon so you have four balloon segments. Since you have to keep a grasp on the two twists, it's best to make them fairly close together. Then bend one end of the balloon against the other end of the balloon so it is bent between your second and third balloon segments. Grab the two middle segments and twist them together (three times at least) isolating them from the rest of the balloon.

    Now the twists should be locked and secure.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Make a Fold Twist

    The Balloon Fold Twist for Balloon Animals
    Wayne Kawamoto

    The fold twist (also called a loop twist) is a fundamental twist often used to make "ears" on animals and is the foundational twist in basic sword balloons. It is a lot like the lock twist, but your initial two twists are farther apart. You fold the longer middle segment in half so the two twists are aligned. Then you twist the two existing twists a few times. Now you have a loop segment.

  • 06 of 07

    Make Dog Balloon Animals

    How to Make Dog Balloon Animals
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Dog balloon animals are the fundamental sculpture in the art of balloon animals. Many balloon animals such as the deer and giraffe are variations on the dog. You’ll find that the basics you master when twisting dog balloon animals will apply to more difficult animals as well.

  • 07 of 07

    Practice With Easy Balloon Animals

    Instructions for Balloon Animals
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Once you've mastered the basic techniques and can easily make dog balloon animals, practice with other types of balloon animals, like monkeys or parrots, or try your hand at making swords, flowers, and hearts.