Friday, January 1, 2016

Quick Craft: Better Mini Hot Air Balloon Baskets

You guys have seen me turn Christmas ornaments into hot air balloons before, but I added some new models this year with an upgraded basket that I'm really loving:


My friend Sharyn showed me how to make it, and then I experimented a little and found a way to streamline the design further:

It only takes a few minutes of cutting and folding some metal filigree to make, and it hangs so much better than the wicker dollhouse baskets I used last time.

And hey, these aren't just for Christmas! Depending on the ornaments you choose, you could hang your balloons year round in front of a window, in a nursery, as part of a mobile, etc.

So let's make some baskets!

You Will Need:


-  Bead Landing "Found Objects" filigrees, I believe available at Michael's 
(It only takes one filigree per basket, so this pack will make two.)
-  Small cutting nips
- Small flat pliers
- [Optional] colorful nail rhinestones, for bling!


Step 1) Cut through the filigree joints at the red lines indicated, using your small nips. (This may mangle the soft metal a little. That's ok.)



Step 2) Fold up only two opposing side panels at the teal lines indicated, leaving the other two panels down for now. Your piece will look like this:


Step 3) On the two raised panels, use your pliers to fold the side edges IN, forming a right angle:



Sorry the focus is off! The bit you're folding will form a pie wedge, because it's fatter at the top. Here, my next photo is a little clearer:

 

Step 4) Cut at the red lines indicated, and discard the pieces outside the lines. (Or save them to decorate your balloon!)

When you've done both sides, your piece should look like this:
 
 
Step 5) Now fold up those two panels, and your basket is done!
 

As you can see, cutting the excess off in Step 4 allows the last two flaps to fit seamlessly into the design, with almost no overlap. Pretty, right?


 Optional Step 6) Glue on tiny nail gems for sparkle!

I like to use colors that match the balloon.


Now you can hang the basket from your balloon ornament using string, chain, or even wire:


 I've tried all three options and have no clear favorite, so just use whatever works for you!

Happy basket making!


Or, want to see ALL my craft projects and tutorials? Then check out my Craft Page!

*****

Bonus Behind The Scenes Outtake:


This is why I have to do such extreme close-ups: I usually have a Lily grabbing the other hand, demanding ear scratches. ;)

11 comments:

  1. I was just talking to a friend about you this morning, saying how much I admire people like who who are super-creative because they think outside the box (pardon the cliche, please).

    Clearly, that applies to Sharon as well!

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  2. Those filigrees are most definitely from Michaels; I work there. I'm so glad you updated this as I wanted to make some but never found any baskets. Love this, and the bonus Lily cuteness is amazing.

    Karen from Mpls

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  3. Crafting is definitely the best way to bring in the new year. Just finished a small quilted wall hanging and am planning the next project. Thinking about an octopus similar to the pillow you have. Thanks for sharing this new project - will have to put aside a few ornaments before packing them all away until next Christmas.

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  4. Wow those are so pretty! So is your cat, heh. Is Lily named after Lily Potter or the flower? I assumed the Harry Potter character since you guys have Tonks, too. I have a cat named Fred but I don't think anyone has guessed he's named for Fred Weasley!

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    Replies
    1. Our Lily predates our love of HP, so technically she's named for the flower - but I like that folks assume she's named after Harry's mom. And Tonks completes the set. ;) (Tonks had a GIANT nose as a kitten, so I immediately thought of Tonks' nose-changing scene. Heh.)

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    2. Hah! Now we need kitten pictures! Tonks and Lily are both awesome names for a cat. Lily is such a pretty name, at one point I considered changing mine to Lily.

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  5. Love this one! I have a TON of filigrees left over from another project (and boughtbin bulk on eBay) that I could do this with! These would make great gifts!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love this one! I have a TON of filigrees left over from another project (and boughtbin bulk on eBay) that I could do this with! These would make great gifts!

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  7. Pretty baskets and so clever! You and Sharyn rock! Also, thanks for the Lily picture, which makes my day.

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  8. Pretty baskets and so clever! You and Sharyn rock! Also, thanks for the Lily picture, which makes my day.

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  9. Thanks for the cool idea, Sharyn, and thanks for the excellent tutorial, Jen!

    Lily's the cutest little attention hog ever. Don't know how you get anything at all done with her around though!

    KW

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