Glowing Hot Air Balloon - made from a paper bag

As you know we love upcycling, & when we heard of Tinkerlab's latest creative challenge we jumped at the chance to join in.


Tinkerlab's previous challenges have inspired some amazing creativity across the globe, & I'm sure this paper bag challenge will too! Yep, for this challenge all you need is a paper bag & a little imagination!

I found a paper bag at the bottom of our recycling craft box & Minnie suggested we make a hot air balloon with it!! She then proceeded to tell me what she needed to make it; "Glue, scissors, coloured paper & sparkles!!" I asked if she needed anything to make a basket for the balloon & she collected this pot from our recycling box.

Minnie started her creation by ripping up the tissue paper & gluing it to each side of the bag. Once the sides were covered she added tissue paper to the bottom.

Then it was time for the sparkles! Minnie added more glue & eagerly added handfuls of shiny sequins to the bag!

To create our hot air balloon shape we trimmed the bottom of the bag together, cutting off the handles, & I added a strip of thin card to the inside of the bag just to provide a little support. 

We talked about how we could add the 'basket' to the balloon & I suggested we used wooden skewers (with the sharp ends removed). Minnie added a few small balls of blu-tack to the bottom of the basket & positioned the skewers together in a cluster. We added the 'balloon' but obviously due to the lack support it fell over. This gave us the opportunity to explore weight distribution & where best to place the supports (skewers). Together we moved the skewers around the sides of the basket & attached the balloon again. 

Minnie used sticky tape to secure the skewers to the inside of the balloon & the basket. We also added a blob of blutack to the skewers at the top of the basket, which helped to hold them in place.

Our basic basket was complete & immediately passengers were jumping aboard!

To enable the hot air balloon to fly we just added a length of ribbon through a hole at the top of the balloon & hung from the ceiling. For a nighttime glow we added a few glow sticks to the bottom of the basket & turned the hot air balloon into a beautiful night light!

Minnie decorated the basket with foam stickers & her paper bag hot air balloon was complete!
Thank you Tinkerlab for the paper bag challenge & inspiring this creation! 

It's hung from the ceiling at night & played with during the day! Perfect!

Who'd a thought it started off looking like this...

Great for encouraging creativity, design, & imagination, exploring areas of maths & science, & introducing the concept of sustainability & care for the planet.

Be sure to check out the amazing paper bag creations linked below, & if you're taking part in the challenge add your creation to the collection. Tinkerlab have also got a great competition on their site, just add your photo or comment to win.

Here are some of the other blogs taking part in the Tinkerlab Creative Challenge

Paint Cut Paste, Imagination SoupHands On: As We Grow, Child Central Station, Putti Prapancha, Irresistible Ideas for Play-Based LearningTeach Preschool, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, Nurture Store, Small TypesThe Imagination Tree, Toddler Approved, Red Ted Art, Sun Hats and Wellie Boots, Come Together Kids, Mommy Labs, Kids in the Studio, Rainy Day Mum, Glittering Muffins, Sense of Wonder, Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas, Come Together Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, A Mom With A Lesson Plan, Angelique Felix, The Golden Gleam, Share and Remember, Clarion Wren, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Let Kids Create, De tout et de rien, PlayDrMomRainbows Within Reach, No Time for Flash Cards, Creativity My PassionMessy Kids, Kiwi Crate, Tinkerlab

Shared with: It's Playtime!


  1. AWESOME! So funny, my son was just saying that he wanted to make a hot air balloon for a project due for school. Thanks for the great ideas!

  2. Fabulous idea to make it into a hot-air balloon - I love hot-air balloons!