Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Steam: Hot Air Balloons!

I think you guys have been picking up on my oh-so-subtle clues that I really like hot air balloons. Which must be why so many of you have sent me a link to these leggings over on Etsy this week:

They're handmade and printed on 95% cotton, and even though I've never worn patterned tights before, I am seriously tempted.

Anyway, after seeing that link for the fourth or fifth time, I figured, hey, why not do a whole post on hot air balloons? That way I have an excuse to show you guys my latest Etsy purchase!

Ta-da! Isn't it preeetty? I just got it last week, and it looks just as amazing in person.

I've been looking for some new art for my steampunk dining room this month, and this was one of the final contenders:

It's a little too small and soft for the space I needed to fill, but I really love the dreamy quality to it, don't you? And see the faded out type-written letters hidden in the background?

Forgive me if I've posted these before, but these balloons made from old lightbulbs are going around again online, and they're awesome enough to warrant a second mention even if I have:

It took me ages to hunt down the proper source last year, but I'm happy to report they're by a couple named Steve & Susie, and you can actually purchase the balloons at their website. Prices range from $45 to over $300, and there are lots of different styles to choose from:

I see these a lot on DIY inspiration boards, but that's all hand-soldered copper wiring on there. Not exactly an easy DIY!

But if you're looking for a steampunk design you *can* make at home, check out this one from The Gentleman Crafter:

 Hit the link for a video where he explains exactly how he made everything. (Those little sand bags!!)

And of course I have to mention my own balloon ornament tutorial. HAVE TO. ;) In fact, check out these three that reader Kate W. made using my instructions!

SO PRETTY. The quilted texture is just perfect! (Since my tutorial inspired them, that means I get credit for these, right, Kate? That's how it works, right?)

Oh, and check this out: Kate wove the little baskets herself. Yep. She used hemp cord and wire and I am totally jealous. Look how perfect they are! LOOK AT THEM!!

Plus, don't let the Christmas tree throw you, guys; these balloons are equally awesome on a mobile or hanging by themselves from a wall bracket year-round.

Here's a nifty wire version you could use as a planter or mail carrier:

$58 at BHLDN

I'm eyeing every corner in my house right now, seeing where this would fit.

This next one made me smile:

"Dark Voyage" 8X10 art print, $18 by Eric Fan (Larger prints available as well.)


And finally, check out this amazing chandelier hanging in a Japanese chocolate factory, of all places:

If you google "hot air balloon chandelier" you'll find lots of similar styles out there, but I thought this one was the most grand.

Well, I think that's all I've got for now, guys! If you're looking for more jewelry, don't miss the glass balloon earrings I featured here - they're the best I've seen of their kind, and Elaina Louise is a super sweet seller. And if you missed the hot air balloon purse I featured earlier this month, well, what are you waiting for? GO SEE!

So what'd I miss, guys? Share your favorite balloon goodies in the comments!


  1. those leggings are so fun, and that painting is lovely. i really like the whale flying up there with them -- it had me scrutinizing the rest of it, to see if it was an intentional hitchhiker's reference. =) as always, thanks for curating & sharing!

  2. Not really a hot air balloon (actually gas, as the correction states), but too good to not share with this post. :)

  3. Technically, the round ones with sandbags on the baskets are gas balloons, not hot air. They both look cool, but there is a big difference. :) No fire on gas balloons, and no sandbags on hot air balloons.

  4. Love these little cards :)

  5. I haven't made one yet but it's on my to do list when I can decide which one

  6. You should go to Balloon Fiesta here in Albuquerque! Hot air balloons are like our unofficial state symbol :-) There are entire stores all hot air balloons... I get a balloon ornament for my sister's tree about every other year. Pretty cool huh?

    1. Bwahaha I was JUST going to ask Jen if she knew of it!

      I tend to forget and I live in NM.

  7. Hi Jen,

    I wondered if you had ever come across the adventures of Uncle Lubin, illustrated by William Heath Robinson. I love his illustrations, but most particularly Uncle Lubin travels in the most amazing crazy ballon. Links to the pictures here

  8. So, have you actually been up in a hot air balloon?

  9. Hi Jen,

    Not a hot air balloon (love all the ones you posted btw!), but pretty cool steampunk gear wedding ring :)


  10. Love the selection. Here's a little self-promo, but "Dances with Clouds" is my entry into the category of hot air balloon snow globes. It took nearly FOREVER to get the tiny 2" tall balloon to look the way I wanted it to!

  11. I think the leggings would look great with the steampunk outfit you made. I hope you give them a shot. I've never worn fancy leggings either, but got myself some patterned ones for work and always feel just a little bit silly when I wear them. I plan to wear more patterned and printed tights in the future.

  12. We went to my husband's grandparents 80th birthday party today and, instead of a sign in book, I painted a tree on archive paper and had it framed and then as everyone came in they placed their fingerprints on the branches as leaves and signed in a dark brown pen.. that way they can hang it on their wall as a momento..

    The other option I considered was basing it on this and doing a hot air balloon instead? Maybe for the next family reunion or a baby shower or something like that... I think maybe the shower and have a stork flying by the balloon carrying its bundle!

  13. Love this post. My mom loved hot air balloons and once went to New Mexico to attend one of those ginormous hot air balloon events. She was in heaven. Now you've got me all excited about them... paper crafts, earrings/pendants, etc.

    Check this out, I found another cool tut for a hot air balloon craft and it uses Ikea stuff! from next to nicx.

    She also has an *awesome* robot omgsocute! paper folded advent! squeeee... :)

  14. believe it or not IKEA has a new dinnerware series where one plate has hot air balloons on it. Unfortunately I couldn*t find a picture online but i try snapping one next time I go there. It's actually really pretty.

  15. While browsing around on Pinterest, I found these:
    I especially like the book-paper baskets!

  16. Thank you so much for mentioning my hot air balloon earrings again. I have some new colors coming soon in very limited quantities.
    I can't wait to try some of these tutorials for making larger ones. They are definitely going on my tree next year.
    Lisa of Elaina Louise Studios

  17. I didn't know you'd already found the source of the light bulb balloons when I posted it on your FB! Sorry!

    Camryn, that is AMAZING!!!

    Those leggings are adorable!

  18. Thank you! That necklace has just been ordered for my mother in law who loves hot air balloons AND the Wizard of Oz! Got her birthday present early!


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