Oh. My. Goodness. I am totally in love with the Balloon Animal Pillows I found on the Little Inspiration blog! Seriously, I want them for my couch or maybe my bed. Like a whole litter of Balloon Puppy Pillows. I suppose they’re really for children, but . . .
There are several things I noticed that Angie suggests you need for successful Balloon Animal Pillows. To make it easy, I’m outlining them for you below!
- Knit Fabric! It’s the stretchy quality of a knit that will enable you to create that “blown up balloon” look for your pillows. Look for solid, balloon style colors at your local fabric shop and plan on about 1/4 yard for each animal you want to make. I’m pretty sure these are addictive, so make sure you get plenty. If you’re making these for the children in your life, think about their favorite colors and choose accordingly.
- Strong Thread! You’ll be using this to hand sew the “pinches” that imitate the twists you see in Balloon Animals. Those pinches will make the tubes you’ll create into animals so they’re super-important and you want them to hold well. I really love Coats Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread when I need extra strength. It’s a core spun polyester that works well for anywhere you need extra security in your stitching and you’ll find a great selection of colors to use. Click here to learn more and download the color card!
- Dowel or Stick! Angie used a dowel to push the fiberfill stuffing into the “balloon” tubes. In a pinch, if you don’t have a dowel, I’ve found that a wooden spoon handle can be quite handy. Don’t try to stuff without something to push with though. The tubes are just too narrow to get a hand in and firm, even stuffing will be key.
Once you’ve assembled the essential supplies, you’ll find a nice rhythm to your Balloon Animal Pillows. Sew, stuff, tie and repeat. This makes the shape possibilities endless! The doggies that Angie created are sweet and charming, but I thought we could try a few other critters and objects, too. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to plan a hand sewn “pinch” to mimic each twist that would be made if actual balloons were used.
This would be an engaging activity to do with the kids this summer. You could make unique party favors or “hostess” gifts if you’re visiting family or friends with young kids this summer. There are a lot of advantages to this kind of “balloon” craft! They won’t pop and, best of all, you don’t have to wear a clown costume while you’re making Balloon Animal Pillows. Although . . . you could . . . if you want to. . . just sayin’! Do whatever makes it fun because sewing, above all, should be FUN!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.