wikiHow to Reuse Balloons

Balloons... so wonderful for celebrations and entertaining but what do you do with them after? Deflating balloons lying around the house taking up space and slowly shriveling are a somewhat sorrowful sight. And simply letting them go is irresponsible, as many deaths of wild animals, especially marine animals, are caused by the ingestion of balloons mistaken for food.[1]

Instead of watching your used balloon shrink unceremoniously in the coming days, why not make the most of it by giving it a new lease of life?


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    Play a game with the old balloon. What better way to put it to use? There are many popular games you can play using a balloon. Some of them you may even know of already. Balloon games include:
    • "Keep it up": When the balloon is beginning to deflate and it begins to fall instead of float, play "keep it up" with a couple of friends, and "keep it up"! That's right; hit it up in the air, and don't let it hit the ground. Make sure to do it when it is soggy, but not completely deflated.
    • "Balloon Soccer": Play soccer with your balloon, just make sure not to step on it!
    • "Volleyballoon": Play volleyball the way you normally would, but with a balloon. This is a great activity for a rainy day of some sort. If you don't have a net, improvise, make a line, and set a goal between two chairs to hit it into.
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    Make a pinata out of the old balloon. To do this, mix eight cups of flour, two cups of water and one cup of glue, and dip old newspaper strips into it. Lay the gooey paper strips onto the balloon, laying bout three or four layers, and allow it to air dry. Then, when it is dry, paint it different colors and take a swing at it.
    • A piñata can be kept for a long time until the next party occasion – just add the candies at the time it is going to be used.
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    Cut it up and use it for party confetti.This is not an idea to do if you have young children or animals in the area for balloon safety.
    • This works especially well when you have many colored balloons, so you don't just have one colored confetti.
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    Use it for balloon darts. Hang the used balloons up and purchase some (safe) darts, and then take aim. Make prizes and give them to those who win. Check out How to create your own balloon dart carnival game for more information.
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    Draw a face on it. Smiles, frowns, and blank expressions all around! Put them on the body of a scarecrow, create a birth certificate, etc. This may not sound like fun until you really get into it. You can even name your balloon and make it a "pet" or a "friend". The possibilities of these blank faces are endless.
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    Make a stress ball out of the old balloon. Carefully undo the knot and let the air out. Then follow How to create a stress ball for the instructions on making one from a balloon. Stress balls provide a little light stress relief and it's also therapeutic making them.
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    Make a sculpture or art project using unwanted or old balloons. Here the limit is your imagination but as you can see from the image, a lot of incredible things are possible for the artist using balloons as their material.
    • Read How to get started in balloon modeling for more ideas.
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    Let it go, and watch it fly. Make up a pretend story of what will happen to it. Watch it go higher and higher, the balloon you always loved. Only do this with a latex balloons though, as this kind will shatter at the extreme cold temperatures it hits as it floats above and not cause problems for wildlife. Don't use Mylar balloons this way or bunches of balloons.

Reusing Mylar balloons

  1. If you have Mylar (foil) balloons, it should be possible to use them as balloons again and to stop throwing them away. This requires carefully cutting them across the base and storing them carefully for re-inflation by a party store for the next party use.[2] Also be sure to keep the valve inside the balloon in one piece.[3]
  2. Consider other ways to reuse Mylar balloons, including:
    • Gift wrap: Use the Mylar balloon like a bag to wrap around a gift such as a bottle of wine. These balloons can also be used as wrapping for any gift the right size.
    • Streamers or packaging for a gift basket: Cut the Mylar balloon into strips and either hang as decorations or line a gift basket with the strips.
    • Use the image on the Mylar balloon as a keepsake: Mylar balloons can be kept framed or in a scrapbook or used in some other keepsake method to bring back memories of a special event, anniversary or celebration. Simply cut carefully at the base, deflate the air and use as you would normally in the keepsake project.
    • Make jewelry or craft items from the used balloon: Turn the images and colored foil into long-lasting decorative and wearable items.
    • Throw them into the home or class craft basket for all sorts of future uses.
    • Hang the limp balloons or shredded forms in the trees to deter bird pests from the garden or hang them to deter woodpeckers from having a go at your house![4] Strips of Mylar balloons can also be hung on windows to deter birds from banging into them.[5]

Things You'll Need

  • Old, unwanted balloons
  • Craft materials
  • Wrapping materials
  • Somewhere to keep old balloons before reusing them

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