How to Make a Tiger Balloon Animal

  • 01 of 08

    The Tiger Balloon Animal

    The Tiger Balloon Animal
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Here’s an adorable tiger balloon animal that is sure to be a hit at any event.

    Video Instructions

    The face of the tiger balloon is fairly complex and we think it helps if you first watch a video of the tiger being made, and then follow the instructions here. 

    Starring in Stripes

    Beyond the stripes, however, the head portion is rather sophisticated and detailed. Admittedly, it’s the stripes and drawn-on details that make this balloon. If you like, you can leave off the stripes and you’ll have a lion cub after you draw on eyes. Or, if you add another balloon around the head, you can make a mane to turn this guy into a lion. Yellow works great for the tiger but if you can use pink, purple and other colors. Also, try on some spots to make this one a leopard or cheetah. Use your imagination.

    We think that beginners will be frustrated trying to make this one without a decent amount of experience working with balloons. It’s best tackled by those who have mastered the balloon basics. Note that since this is an advanced balloon animal, the steps here are rather streamlined. We're assuming that you already know the basics.

    Skills Needed

    To make the tiger balloon animal, you’ll need to have mastered the following:


    • One 260 balloon. Yellow works great for this one.
    • A Black Marker
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  • 02 of 08

    Starting the Tiger Balloon Animal

    Starting the Tiger Balloon Animal
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Inflate the balloon leaving about six inches of ​the uninflated balloon at its end.

    Starting at the knotted end of the balloon, make the following in succession: a basic twist
    about an inch to an inch and a half in length; a second basic twist a tad smaller than the first basic twist; a pinch twist about an inch in length; a third basic twist the same size as the second basic twist; a pinch twist to match the first pinch twist and a fourth basic twist to match the second.

    You’ve formed the basic “head” of the tiger.

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  • 03 of 08

    Forming the Head

    Form the head
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Make a lock twist to finish the “head.” Note that this “lock twist” will look slightly different from that on a dog balloon animal, but it’s executed in the same manner and serves the exact same purpose.

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  • 04 of 08

    Make the Nose

    Make the nose
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Make a basic twist in the middle of the first twist effectively splitting it in half. Hold this twist in place.

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  • 05 of 08

    Finish the Head

    Finish the head
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Bend the first basic twist in half to form a “snout.” Push the knotted end of the balloon through the center of the head and out the back. To secure the “snout,” wrap the knotted end of the balloon around one of the pinch twisted “ears” several times.

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  • 06 of 08

    Start the Body

    Start the body
    Wayne Kawamoto

    From here, you’re basically making the body of a dog balloon animal. Twist three basic balloon twists, each about two inches. The first twist will form the tiger’s neck. The second and third twists will form the tiger’s front legs. Create a lock twist to hold the front legs together.

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  • 07 of 08

    Finish the Body

    Finish the body
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Twist three more basic balloon twists, each about two inches. The first twist will form the tiger’s body. The second and third twists will form the tiger’s back legs. The remaining balloon segment will form the tail. Create a lock twist to hold the body and back legs together. You’re done with the twisting.

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  • 08 of 08

    Finish the Tiger Balloon Animal

    Final thoughts about the tiger balloon
    Wayne Kawamoto

    Using the marker, paint eyes and stripes on your tiger.

    You’ve created a tiger balloon animal.

    This one is sure to be a hit at parties but keep in mind that with the relatively complex set of twists and the need to add the stripes, this one takes a lot of effort to make. If you have lots of kids and too little time, this is one to probably not introduce as an option.

    You'll notice that without the stripes, the balloon animal looks much like a lion cub. Simple forgo the stripes and use a marker to add eyes and you'll have a lion cub that kids will be happy with.

    Another option, apply spots instead of stripes and you'll have a cheetah or jaguar. Or make the tiger out of a pink balloon and you'll have a "pink panther."

    One thought on markers. We prefer to use erasable markers as opposed to Sharpie and other markers. Early on, we were told by an experienced balloon twister that there's less balloon popping when one uses an erasable (whiteboard) marker. Since then, we have used Sharpies to draw on a balloon and haven't experienced any significant popping. But we still mostly use erasable (whiteboard) markers when drawing on balloons.

    Because of the way the tiger balloon sits, you can mount him on the end of a balloon so you end up with something that is a "tiger on a stick." This is easier for kids to carry around and it increases the height and visibility of the balloon sculpture at an event.