After seeing some adorable baby pictures on Facebook with a little hot air balloon, I decided I really wanted one for Alexa's 6 month pictures! Unfortunately when I looked at buying one, but the prices were a bit prohibitive for a one time use, so I came up with a do-it-yourself version!
To start with I got a giant balloon from Hobby Lobby and paper mâché it using newspaper and paste (flour and water). Due to the size of the balloon I had to paper mâché in parts. I started with the top half and the let it dry over night. The next day, I flipped it over and did the bottom, leaving the very bottom open. I repeated this over the next come days. I would have liked to get another layer one it to smooth it out a little, but somehow my husband managed pop the balloon when he was trying to see how thick the paper layers were!
The next step is to spray paint your balloon. I used a big bowl to hold it up off the ground during the painting step, but you have to be sure it is a bowl you don't care about as it will also be painted! I actually ended up painting mine twice because something possessed me to paint it lilac the first time which ended up looking more grey. So I went back over it with a sunny yellow!
Next I hot glued very wide ribbon around the bottom. Where it overlapped was a little messy, but I just made sure to turn it to the back for the pictures.
To set it up I also bought a basket (with a loose weave), a matching flower garland, and 4 dowel rods (1/2 inch or larger). I had tulle and fishing line at home that I also used. My husband threaded the dowel rods through the basket weave and into the ground to anchor the basket. I wrapped the fishing line around all the dowels to form a sort of basket to hold the balloon. Then I gently placed the balloon in and finished the look with the tulle and flower garland.
I kept my husband around for the photo shoot too, so he could make sure the balloon wasn't going to blow off (it was a pretty windy day)! Of course the baby wasn't extremely cooperative, but we still ended up with some cute pictures!
And the balloon survived; I am hoping to hang it up in her bedroom somehow! I think my DIY version of this little hot air balloon photo prop worked out great for one photo shoot (probably wouldn't work too well for many more) with much less cost. What is your favorite baby photo prop?
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, by Ashley