Day 8 – Chapter 12 – Multiple Designs

The penultimate chapter. Multiple Balloon Designs.

Seeing as how almost everything in the latex world these days falls under this category, it might be helpful to say more about how this chapter is structured and the pieces are chosen. There have been multiple balloon designs all through this book. Almost all the hats are multiples. The heart designs are too. What this chapter begins to get into are the type of balloon sculptures where you may only use a piece of a balloon as opposed to finding a way to weave in the whole thing inflated. The benefit here is that using different color balloons gives more detail to the sculpture. It of course also allows for bigger pieces. Bigger isn’t always necessarily better, but having options is always a benefit in twisting.

Oh yes, and in doing this chapter, I finally boned the duck! I did a successful pop twist on the mermaid. In the interest of being complete, after I post chapter 13’s figures, I will go back to the ones I skipped previously with my pop-twist phobia.

The first multi-balloon sculpture in the chapter is the penguin.It is just three balloons, but with the distinct colors, and the use of uninflated tail as a beak, there’s no mistaking what this is. To make this, you start out much like you are making a swan.



Next up isn’t a rock. It’s a rock…. lobster!! (Couldn’t resist.)


I just wish  the Captain had included figures in the book for a cup of drawn butter and some claw crackers. (Sorry vegans, but even in latex it looks yummy to me.)

Continuing the nautical theme, a mermaid is next. Now, as the father of a 6-year old girl, let me tell you, 99% of mermaids in twisting get called Ariel. This book was published a few years after the Disney movie. Since then, mermaids have red hair. I have completely changed my view of the Little Mermaid since becoming a Daddy of a little girl, but that’s for another blog. Sing it with me. Ah ah ah….. ah ah ah……. ah ah ah ah ah ah……


(have you spotted my successful use of the pop twist yet?)

I’m going with more water themes here…. Octopus is next. I love the Don Caldwell hat with the big eyes and the bubbles. It uses a polka dotted large round. Here is a simple octopus with just the round and the legs and it’s very obviously an octopus, which is, I think, the first criteria in twisting. If there’s doubt as to “what it is” – rethink the design. The first picture here is my plain octopus, the second includes my daughter’s artwork for a face.


Face by Olivia

Use a similar technique with a couple of bird body roll-throughs and some pinch twists, and your friendly octopus becomes a hairy scary spider.

Giant Brown Recluse


I just started and I haven’t even had many gigs, but even I have heard this one repeatedly. Anyone who saw Wedding Crashers remembers that moment. Well, I have patterns for 3 different bicycles in my library. One nice small one is on Frank Strigham’s 4 DVD set, one enormous detailed on is in Thelma Levett’s Ebook “Something for Everyone,” and the one in the middle that was surprisingly easy once I looked at the diagrams closely, was this one from Captain Visual. It’s on the cover of the book with a kickstand, here I just made it as-is from the book.


I couldn’t resist going further and adding a rider.

Alien Easy Rider

That is of course, Ken Stillman’s “hitchhiker body” with an alien head. I got this idea from Don Caldwell’s Mad Hatz and Wild Wearables Vol I.

And finally, the little red wagon.

Little Red Wagon

Only one more chapter to go, and the figures will all be done. This has been an interesting discipline for me. The kids have enjoyed it too, and some of these pieces will be in my online portfolio and pomotional materials. Never assume that because a design is over 10 years old that the newer is always better. At Twist & Shout 2010, I attended a class on making balloons for girls. Royal Sorrell filled in for Stretch the Balloon Dude who couldn’t make it from Texas. Two pieces he taught were straight out of this book. One was the royal crown, and one was this mermaid. In each case, he made a small addition. They were both valuable additions, but the fundamental piece was still there, and still quite relevant and delightful for the recipient.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: just like a magician scouring the thousands of new products that come out yearly needs to go back to Tarbell repeatedly, twisters with big DVD libraries should probably consult this book regularly.



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