How to Make a Solar Hot Air Balloon

It's easy to make a solar hot air balloon using normal household items. All you need are a few trash bags, tape, and some free time.

Steps

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    Separate the 4 trash bags.
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    Cut off the sealed end (as close to the seal as possible), and find the long edge of the folded bag that is folded several times over.
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    Insert the blade of a pair of scissors into one of the folds and cut all the way to the other end. You should be able to spread the bag open into a 3 feet (0.9 m) x 5 feet (1.5 m) sheet of plastic. Repeat this procedure for all 4 bags.
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    Join 2 bags together with masking tape, along the long (5ft) side of the sheets. You should have a 5x6ft sheet of plastic. Attach another bag to one of the 5 feet (1.5 m) sides, and then the last bag. You should have a long, 12x5ft sheet of plastic.
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    Join the two shorter (5ft) ends with the masking tape. You should now have a flat tube that measures 6 feet (1.8 m) x 5 feet (1.5 m).
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    Seal one of the open ends with masking tape. This is Seam A. There should be a seam at the center of the new seam.
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    At the other end of this seam, take the remaining open end and pull it open.
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    Seal this opening, so the seam is perpendicular to seam A. There should be 3 corners of the balloon.
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    Cut about 5 inches (12.7 cm) off of one of the corners, and invert the entire balloon like a sock.
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    Use a blow dryer to inflate. The sun will keep the balloon hot and can be flown on any sunny, calm day. A small fan will work, but since this is a small balloon it is hard, especially in wind, to heat up very fast. The balloon should be triangular in shape, or a tetrahedron.

Tips

  • Try attaching a message to the balloon and let it go. See if someone finds it and how far it goes!

Warnings

  • Avoid trees, houses or power lines. If a balloon gets stuck in a tree, chances are it will be there for several years.
  • Please check first with your local authorities regarding any flying devices.

Things You'll Need

  • Black 30 gallon (113.6 L) trash bags - 0.5 MIL
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors

Article Info

Categories: Balloon Crafts