I have been wanting to try to make the beautiful woven paper hot air balloons from PaperMatrix for a long time now, and finishing up the nursery gave me the motivation to give it a shot. PaperMatrix generously provides free pdf templates that you can print off, cut out, and weave into amazing 3D works of art.
If you have a Silhouette or some other kind of cutting machine, this project will be a lot quicker for you. However, it is definitely possible to cut this project by hand, and, honestly, it's kind of a relaxing thing to do.
Copy paper is a bit flimsy for this project. A slightly thicker paper works better, but cardstock might be too thick. PaperMatrix has videos on their site to demonstrate the weaving technique, which are very helpful but may be a bit overwhelming if (like me) you have never tried paper weaving before. I would recommend just getting your hands on some paper if you are feeling confused. For me, it all made a lot more sense when I could play around with the paper a bit.
You will need some paper clips to hold your project in place while you weave.
At the end you simply secure your project with a little bit of glue. It's really kind of amazing.
I probably spend a couple hours cutting, weaving, and gluing each balloon. It got easier the more balloons I had made. The piece that connects the basket to the balloon will cover a lot of imperfections, so you can definitely get away with less-than-precise weaving and cutting. My balloons are a bit wonky, but they're my wonky balloons, and I love them.
To make the mobile, I hung the balloons from fishing line leftover from this project hung from dowel rods cut and painted white. I followed the basic mobile layout at PaperMatrix, which worked just fine. It took a bit of fussing to get it to balance, but it got there eventually.
Now it is happily spinning and dancing over the crib in the nursery.
What do you guys think? Have you tried paper weaving? Is this a project you would tackle? There are some seriously fantastic projects over at PaperMatrix that I'd like to give a shot in the future. I may have to get a paper cutting machine first though.
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