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Tissue Paper Balloons

Did you know that you can make tissue paper fly?

Have you ever seen a tissue paper balloon?

What does it take?
  • Tissue paper - 18 sheets, 20" x 30"
  • glue
  • 9 feet of drywall tape
  • a 12" piece of string
  • and... a way to heat the air!
That's all!

Tissue Paper Balloon Kits Available:

Are you interested in building your own Tissue Paper Balloon but didn't want to have to purchase a big stack of tissue paper to get a variety of colors? The Balloon Explorium has created a kit with just about everything you need. The are now available for purchase from the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum gift shop for $19.95+tax.

Tissue Paper Balloon

Other Instructions for building Tissue Paper Balloons

There have been several articles written on building tissue paper balloons. We are trying to collect everything we can and have it available here, just in case it disappears from the source location on the web.

Disclaimer: We recommend using something other than metal wire to hold the throat open as many of these articles indicate, due to the hazards involved if the wire comes in contact with power lines. Plastic wire ties, or drywall tape work very well.

We also do not recommend EVER sending a flame or heat source up in the air as may be written in some of these articles. Regardless of the "ideal" that the balloon will stay aloft only as long as the flame is present, we have seen winds take balloons sideways into trees or caused them to up-end, setting the entire envelope into flame.

The following documents may provide you with additional information for building and launching your tissue paper hot air balloons:

"Sixth-Grade Aeronauts" from Science and Children (Sept/89), National Science Teachers Association. Sixth-Grade Aeronauts Diagrams - these are diagrams/designs to build the 2' high balloons we made to go along with the text.

Instructions: for 6-foot Model Hot Air Balloon courtesy PAPER AIR, P.O. Box 602, Drexel Hill, PA 19026

"Backyard Ballooning" from Ballooning - The Complete Guide to Riding the Winds, by Dick Wirth and Jerry Young, 1980 Random House Inc.

"How to make a Fire Balloon" by C.E. Johnstone BA, "The Boys Own Paper", December 1891, London England.

Plans for Building a Tissue Paper Hot Air Balloon - The Sonic Junior Balloonist, local Sonic Drive-Ins of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.

"Tissue Paper Hot Air Balloon" - by Timothy Storey, a teacher at MICDS, who developed and uses these directions at the PEGASUS summer camp program for 4th through 6th graders.

"Tissue Paper Hot Air Balloon" - Science Alliance - Larry Schneidewind, Chris Shoup, Bill Colbert, Scott Hawley; Wichita Collegiate Middle School, 1996

"Building and Flying Paper Hot Air Balloons" -Brian Queen

"Hot Air Tissue Paper Balloon" - Roger Kramer, John Baker Elemementary School, Albuquerque, NM