Saturday, January 18, 2014

Valentine's Day String Globe {tutorial}

Well folks, we are halfway through January already; can you believe it?  Although I'm not as crazy about Valentine's Day as say, Christmas, Halloween or Independence Day... I always try to make a few crafts with love to celebrate the season and to inspire you to create as well!

I am crazy about those string/balloon globes that seem to be everywhere now.  I have been wanting to try them out for a while, so I added a little "love" and...

Love them?  Here's how to make them:

- balloons
- string (I used thin jute twine)
- paper
- scissors or heart shaped punch
- Mod Podge

STEP 1: Blow up a few balloons to whatever size you want the finished globes to be.  Try to keep them "round" shaped instead of regular balloon shape.  Tie them closed and set aside.

STEP 2: Cut small hearts from the paper.  I chose to cut them out by hand (fold small pieces of paper in half and then cut the "half heart" shape and unfold!) but feel free to use a heart shaped punch if you have one.

Do this with multiple colors and sizes if you desire.  The amount of hearts varies on how full you want them to be on your final globe.  It is entirely up to you as it looks good either way.  I have between 5-10 hearts on each one of mine.

STEP 3: Wrap the string around the balloon to get an idea of how much you will need.  I ended up cutting a HUGE amount of string and then, because it kept getting tangled, ended up shortening it on the balloon.

I also wrapped it around my hand, thinking that this would prevent the string from getting tangled.  I. was. wrong.  It might still work if you can pull from around the loop instead of straight up but once it is covered in Mod Podge, it gets more difficult to untangle. 

STEP 4: Pour some Mod Podge into a shallow bowl and place the cut string inside of it, allowing the Mod Podge to cover all parts of the string.

This is about the time I realized that this craft was not going to be as fun as I had expected.  Given, I hate having anything goopy or sticky on my hands (I use a napkin to hold doughnuts and can't put hand sanitizer or lotion on my hands without washing it off... really) so I should have known better.

STEP 5: Set the balloons on a plastic bag or other surface where the balloons will be able to sit overnight when finished.  Next, slowly pull the string out of the bowl and wrap it around the balloon.  Try to tuck the ends of the string when you get to the end.

Looking back, I have a big piece of advice so listen up!  Try not to slop around the Mod Podge all over the balloon.  I thought that it would not make a difference but it made the finish product much more difficult to produce.  The more you keep on the string alone, the better.

Do you also see the Ernie (my dog) hair on the balloon?  Sneaky little guy got a few of those in while I was crafting.  Don't worry, they come right off when the balloon is popped!

Also try to keep your strings spaced out.  I ended up with a group of strings in one spot and although it doesn't hurt it, it looks a little sloppy.  That's probably because I had no clue what I was doing!

STEP 6: While the Mod Podge is still wet, place the paper hearts onto the string, pressing lightly.  If you need to add more Mod Podge to the back of the heart to make it stick, go right ahead.  Once finished, let it dry overnight.

I also found that the bottom of the balloon will still be wet the next morning.  Feel free to turn it over and let that last bit dry for a few hours or until it appears dry.

STEP 7:  Once dry, hold the balloon and pop it with a pin.  This could go very well or very badly (I did both) so pay attention:

{I asked my husband to pop the first one while I held it... I expected a loud POP!}

The WRONG way: When I popped the first one, I had not considered all the Mod Podge that was covering the balloon (here is why I said to try and avoid it!) It stuck to the sides and as the balloon deflated, it took the string with it:

...Yep, that's not good.  I managed to bend it back into a round (ish) shape but it would have been much easier if it had just worked the first time.

It also left large areas of Mod Podge in between the strings:

Not quite the look I was going for.  Learn from my mistakes please!

The RIGHT way:  If you have already covered your balloon in Mod Podge (mistake #1) there is still a way to prevent the above situation.  I give full credit to my amazing husband for suggesting that I try this on the next balloon.  Gently place your finger under the strings to release them from the balloon before popping it.  Be careful not to pop the balloon with your fingernail!  This also helps to break up the large sections of Mod Podge that would have filled the space between strings.

It's not perfect but it is much better.  Again, not making a mess of the Mod Podge in the first place should prevent this problem all together.

This time when I popped the balloon...

... it kept it's shape! Halleluiah!

Simply pull the balloon out from the top or wherever you are able.

{That's it!}
Add a string to the top if you want to hang it (sorry for the terrible picture- these are eventually going to hang in my office at work since I obviously have no good hanging spot for them in the house) or let them sit on a table or in a basket if small enough.

{Ignore the glare from the television... I just couldn't ask my husband to stop watching so that I could take a picture! He's been working hard all day.}

I like how they look lying down as well. Maybe I will make some mini ones for a table setting!

I still have some work ahead of me (especially on the first one) to remove all that left over Mod Podge. I repeat... learn from my mistakes!

I hope you have enjoyed this lovely addition to the string+balloons globe craft and have a very happy Valentine's Day!

 Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann


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