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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 Tutorial

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


1- Inflate one balloon all the way, then let a little air out before tying a knot, so that the balloon is especially supple and workable
2- Take the end of the balloon and press it to push back a little air; this gives you back a short length of latex to work with.
3- Bring both ends of the balloon together.
4- Tie both ends of the balloon together to form a large loop
5- Bring each side of the loop flat against the other and find the middle of the loop, across from the knot.
6- Make a crease...
7- and form two large bubbles at the level of this crease
8- Mark a rough third of the length of the loops.
9- Press and twist the two smaller segments together to form two sets of two bubbles each.
10- Bend both sets of bubbles...
11- and bring together the end of the two larger bubbles and the end of the two smaller ones.
12- Flatten each side against the other to form four loops....
13- Like the flower petals, the idea here is to bring the creases of the bubbles together, and doing so, to fold all 4 bubbles to turn them into small loops (these will be the wings of the butterfly).
14- The support hand has to grip all of the creases between its thumb and forefinger and be able to hold all 4 bubbles on its own.
15- With the twisting hand, take two loops from one end, and twist them together at the base of the folds held in the support hand.
16- The wings of the butterfly are ready.
17- Take another balloon, preferably in a lighter color than the wings, and inflate it only in the middle, about 4 to 5 fingers wide.
18- Fold it into two equal parts.
19- Bring the base of both segments of deflated balloon close to each other.
20- Tie a knot to form a loop with the inflated part of the balloon. The two segments of deflated balloon will form the antennae of the butterfly.
21- Form a small bubble on one side of the loop.
22- We now have two bubbles, one against the other. The larger bubble should be about twice the size of the smaller one.
23- Pull the bubbles apart from each other...
24- and turn the smaller bubble into a pinch-twist, taking care not to get the antennae tangled up.
25- We can now clearly make out the antennae, head, and abdomen of the butterfly. Now we need to attach them to the wings.
26- First we need to protect the head and wings of the butterfly by holding them securely in the palm of the twisting hand.
27- Then, holding the abdomen and wings of the butterfly in the support hand, roll the head of the butterfly around the crease located between the four loops of the butterfly wings.
28- One turn should be enough. Clear the space around the head and antennae so they stick out clearly from the wings
29- The head should naturally be positioned just above the abdomen, and the antennae should stick out behind the top of the head, resting against the upper wings.
30- Draw a nice-looking face onto the head for the finishing touch.
There you go!

And that was the end of this lesson!


Document pdf Download the PDF guide sheet with detailed photos of each step


Basic balloon twisting techniques used in this tutorial: