Up, Up, Up Away – Paper Mache Ballons

Summer programming has come to the end at my branch. I’m not in the process of documenting what’s been going on. We had great program attendance – probably the best ever – all thanks to two creative children’s librarians!

Up, Up, Up Away was probably my favourite program that we ran all summer. The hot air balloons turned out so well! This is the kind of program that you can run, low budget, with great results.

NOTE: This was a two day project. The balloons needed to dry for at least 24 hours.

Paper Mache Balloons


  • balloons
  • Glue
  • shredded newspaper
  • mini aluminum pie plates
  • String
  • Paint and brushes

Paper Mache Mixture

  1. Pour Elmer’s Glue into a bowl and mix in water. Your mixture should be 1 part water and 3 part glue.

Day One: Instructions

  1. Rip up strips of discarded newspapers. You don’t want them to be too small, or two big. About 10 cm by 5 cms in length.
  2. Blow up balloons
  3. Dip newspaper strips into glue and cover the balloon. You want to make sure you’re covering the entire balloon. Cover the balloon at least four times. The thicker the paper, the more sturdy the balloon will be.
  4. Let it dry for at least 24 hours.

Paper Mache Balloons

Day Two: Instructions

  1. Once the balloon is dry, pop it! Don’t worry, it shouldn’t make a loud pop!
  2. Poke a hole at the top of the balloon and four holes at the opening of the balloon (two on each side). These holes allow for the basket to be strung.
  3. Hole punch four holes in the mini pie plate (two on each side).
  4. Paint the balloon!
  5. Once dry, string the basket, and you’re done!
  6. Take four pieces of

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