This is a version of the butterfly which I particularly like.
Indeed, there are many versions of balloon butterflies, often made in an artistic and elaborated way. But this particular model is quick to make in a line work, and furthermore, it faithfully conveys the lightweight and simple beauty of this tiny creature.
Video in French, with English subtitles
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How would you like to learn how to make a little butterfly?
You need to inflate a balloon all the way, then let out a bit of air to bring pressure down.
The balloon should be fairly soft.
Then, tie both ends together to form a large loop, make sure that the air is evenly distributed along the loop, mark the middle of the loop, on the opposite side from the knot, and divide the loop into two segments of equal length.
Hold both segments together, side by side, and mark, roughly, the third of their length.
But careful ! You need to divide the two segments together, at slightly -more- than a third of their length, so that one side is made larger, and the other… smaller.
Bend the balloon to bring both ends together, then, bring them towards the central crease, so as to form four loops.
Next, twist them together at their base several times, to lock all four loops in place.
It’s practically the same sequence as for creating the petals of the flower, only it’s easier as there are only four loops, rather than six.
We have just made the butterfly’s wings, which we will set aside for now, for example by wedging them under one arm.
Next, take another balloon, preferably one in a lighter colour, as we’ll be drawing on it later on.
Inflate it in the middle, about a finger long (in length, or about four fingers in width).
So… as a reminder, if you are not yet able to inflate the balloon straight in the middle, you can always inflate the balloon normally, then push the bubble forward manually, until it is positioned at the center of the balloon, and the two lengths of balloon left deflated are, roughly, of the same size, on either side of the bubble.
Next, curve the bubble at the center of the balloon, to form a small loop.
Then tie each end of the balloon at the base of this loop.
We now have the two antennae!
However, air pressure shouldn’t be too high in this small loop, because we are now about to divide it as well into two more bubbles, a larger one… and a smaller one… like this!
Then, you turn the smaller bubble into a pinch-twist.
The bigger bubble will automatically become a tiny… little… mini loop.
We now have the head, body, and antennae of our butterfly.
All that’s left is to assemble this part with the wings.
The easiest solution is to hold the pinch-twist and antennae in your twisting hand, while leaving the mini loop stick out from between your middle finger and forefinger.
We are going to twist this mini loop around the crease of the butterfly wings, to block the two balloons together.
A single twist should be enough.
Having the antennae tucked away in your hand will help prevent them from getting tangled in the loops.
Next, adjust everything in place, the two larger wings facing upward, the head pinch-twist also facing upward, as well as the two antennae, which should stick out between the head and the upper wings.
Draw on its eyes, eyebrows, a big smile, and that does the trick!
Butterflies... are cute!
Even cuter when they’re sitting on a flower!
So… see you soon!
For another lesson with... Môssieur Ballon!
Step-By-Step Photo Guide
Basic balloon twisting techniques used in this tutorial:
- How to tie a balloon knot
- How to make a bubble
- How to make a pinch-twist
- How to manage air pressure in a balloon sculpture
- How to make a loop