• Made by Desirae W.

Paper Plate Hot Air Balloon

Ready to create and design your own hot air balloon using common household materials? This activity is geared toward school-aged kids who are looking for a creative art project to do. This craft requires creativity and imagination to put together a hot air balloon using paper plates and straws, while decorating the finished product. Fine motor skills are demonstrated while cutting the paper plates, gluing the paper straws to the plates, and painting/coloring the plates. The end product is a fun craft that can be shared with family and friends!


  • 3 Paper plates (one used for paint)

  • Straws, preferably paper straws

  • Scissors

  • Glue, hot glue would work best

  • Paint/markers/glitter (brown and colors of your choice)

  • Paint brush

Activity Steps:

Step 1: Materials and Workspace

First, gather all your materials and check with your parents or guardians about using scissors and hot glue. Also, keep in mind that you will need more space to work and time for the piece to dry if you are using paint. Then, find a clean space to get creative.

Step 2: Balloon Basket

Next, you are going to start with putting together the balloon basket. Take one of the paper plates and cut it in half. Then, hold the paper plate with the flat edge to the ceiling and the rounded edge to the ground, so that it looks like a smile or slice of watermelon. From here, you are going to cut both sides of the plate off. You don’t have to cut a lot off, just enough to make a rectangular shape.

Step 3: Cutting Stripes to Weave

For this step, you are going to hold the plate the same way as in Step 2. This time, you are going to cut vertical lines starting at the top of the straight edge and down to the curved part of the plate. Do this about 4 or 5 times, keeping the space in between each cut as even as possible. Remember not to cut the plate all the way through to the bottom.

Now, take the other half of the paper plate that was not cut. Cut strips horizontally, or the long way, making sure to keep them evenly.

Then, cut the curved ends off the stripes so that they are all flat.

Step 4: Weaving the Basket

Now you will begin to weave your basket. Next, take the strips from Step 3 and weave them through the slits in the plate, going over, under, over and under. With each additional scrap piece, go opposite of the piece below it, meaning if the bottom piece is over, under, over, the piece above it should be under, over, under.

Then, secure the ends of the scrap pieces and the plate with the glue. I placed a small amount of glue on the outermost ends of each scrap piece.

Repeat this step until there is no more room to weave any more scraps and cut the ends off of the sides to make a smooth straight edge.

Step 5: Paper Straw ‘Rope’

Now, you are going to glue the paper straws to the bottom of the basket. Position each straw on the sides of the basket, with the bottoms of the straw in the middle of the paper plate. Add a thin layer of glue to one side of the straw and stick it on. Allow time for the glue to dry before moving on!

Step 6: Connecting the Plates

This step is going to connect the bottom basket to the full paper plate that serves as the balloon. Add glue to the other end of the paper straw and glue it to the back of the paper plate. Again, allow the glue to dry before moving on.

Step 7: Coloring the Basket

Decide if you are going to use paint or markers to decorate your balloon and basket. Pick a color brown and use that to paint or color your basket. If using paint, pour a nickel size amount of paint onto a separate paper plate; you can always pour more if needed.

Step 8: Decorating the Balloon

Pick colors of your choosing to decorate the balloon part of the craft. Feel free to get creative here and decorate with solid colors, zig-zag patterns, flowers, glitter, etc. Have fun with it! Whether you use paint or markers, allow time to dry before showing off your new creation.

~Made by Desirae W.

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