How to Make a Fun Helicopter Backpack Out of Balloons

  • 01 of 09

    How to Make a Helicopter Backpack Out of Balloons - Intro


    Here's a great balloon sculpture that all kids will love. With this helicopter backpack balloon sculpture strapped to their backs, kids will run and play and pretend to fly. There's something about this balloon sculpture that fires the imaginations of the kids. After all, who hasn't dreamed of flying in the sky?

    Watch the Process in Video

    You can learn how to make a jetpack balloon by watching our video. (This one is a variation but the idea is the same.) Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel to learn new balloon animals as they become available.

    This one is not difficult to learn and make but it does take time-most of it blowing up the several balloons and making adjustments along the way. This balloon sculpture uses one of the larger 350 balloons - beyond the usual 260 balloons - to form the power pack itself. You normally purchase 350-size balloons from dealers in quantities of 100 per bag.


    To make the helicopter backpack balloon you’ll need to know how to make a basic balloon twist and a pinch twist.


    Five 260 Balloons and one 360 balloon. You can use and customize any colors that you wish but I think it looks better if there are two balloons of the same color to make the shoulder straps.

    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Starting the Helicopter Backpack Balloon


    Inflate the 360 balloon almost to its end.

    Find the center of the balloon and make a basic balloon twist.

    Take the ends of the balloon at the nozzle and unused end and tie them together. This forms two “tanks” that make up the main power or fuel pack for the helicopter.

    You now have two tanks for your balloon helicopter backpack.

    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Continue Working on the Pack


    Inflate a 260 balloon and leave about three inches un-inflated at its end.    

    Make a basic balloon twist about two inches in length. This forms section one in the picture.

    Wrap the balloon around the jet pack tanks and twist section one to enclose the “tanks” with a section of balloon. This forms section two - wrapping around the tanks - in the picture.

    Make a basic balloon twist about three-inches in length. This forms section three in the picture.

    Wrap the next balloon section around the tanks and then make an additional basic twist (section four) and attach it to section three to hold the frame together.

    After making section three, wrap the balloon around the tanks (forming section four) and make sure that there’s enough balloon to enclose the tanks. If necessary, I adjust the length of section three as needed to give me enough balloon to wrap the tanks and finish the frame.

    You now have tanks or a power pack for helicopter backpack.

    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Add a Shoulder Strap


    Inflate a 260 balloon for the first shoulder strap and leave about three inches uninflated at its end. Attach the nozzle end to the frame at the intersection of sections one and two (see prior step).

    Estimate the length of the shoulder strap - you’ll probably require more than you think you will and it’s best to make the shoulder strap too large rather than too small. Of course, if you’re making the jet pack for a kid, the shoulder strap won’t have to be as long as it would if you were making the jet pack for an adult.

    Make a balloon twist and attach the shoulder strap to the frame at the intersection of sections three and four.

    You can leave the remaining end of the balloon if you wish. In the image, I have cut off the remaining balloon and discarded it to allow for a cleaner look.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Add the Second Shoulder Strap


    Take a second balloon (same color?) and repeat what you did in the prior step to make and add the second shoulder strap.

    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Begin Work on the Propeller


    Here you’ll be making what I have called a “balloon stick” in other balloon animals, such as those with hearts (click here to see the heart balloon with swans).

    Inflate the fourth balloon almost to the end. Make a basic balloon twist at the center of the balloon.

    Thread the balloon between the “tanks” at the top. Make sure that the basic twist from the "propeller shaft" balloon is resting at the intersection between the two tanks.

    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Continue Work on the Propeller Shaft


    Make two pinch twists on both sides of the “propeller shaft" balloon where it meets the “tanks.” This stabilizes the “propeller shaft” and keeps it in place.

    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Finish the Propeller Shaft


    Twist the balloon segments together through their lengths to create a spiral design.

    Twist the ends of the balloons with a basic twist to lock the full-length spiral/twist. The remaining ends should be about an inch.

    Note, if you like, you can twist a small section of this balloon and then leave untended ends, say about six inches long, to approximate the look of a "propeller." However, I think that fully finishing the propeller provides a taller and far better looking propeller for the helicopter backpack. You'll learn how in the next step.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Add the Propeller


    Inflate the final balloon almost to the end. Tie the end of the balloon to the nozzle to form a circle. Twist the center of the circle to create a "propeller."

    Twist the center of "propeller" to the free ends of the "propeller shaft" to attach it.

    You have made a personal backpack helicopter out of balloons.

    This is a particularly good balloon to make at parties. The kids will love the sculptures and run around and play. The adults will be impressed as well. One other positive factor is that since the propellers stand tall above the kids, the helicopter backpack balloon sculpture is quite visible at an event.

    If you're being paid to entertain with balloons, you'll be able to look over the crowd and see your balloons everywhere. And this isn't for your personal satisfaction. If you're being paid to be there, the person who hired you will also notice and will proclaim you a "hit" with the crowd. By making a visual impact at an event, there's more of a chance that you will be rehired next year and and noticed by others at the party.