Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to make hand signs (Like! Thumb up) out of balloons

Supplies: balloons, disposable gloves, an air pump and double coated sticky tape.
I think it's possible to make virtually everything out of balloons. It takes time, balloons, balloon twisting skills and imagination. As my regular readers know, I use only 260's (usually the least possible number of balloons) to make all my balloon instructions. The use of exclusively 260's balloons limits what I can make. It does not mean that you have to restrict yourself anyhow. You, as a balloon twister, can and should use whatever you believe is better suitable for your work. You can use any inflatables: 160's, 260's, 350's, round balloons of any sizes and so on.
Since I published a balloon instruction how to make piece hand sign I've been asked many times by different people if I can make some other hand signs out of balloons. In this instruction I want to share with you probably the quickest, the easiest way to make almost any hand sing for your balloon sculpture. We are going to use gloves to make hands! Let's start by making the arms. There are different ways to make arms. We can use one balloon to make one simple arm. We can use one balloon to make two simple arms. Or we can make arms using balloon fabric as I did in piece hand sign. In this example I am going to use one balloon to make two arms. Inflate a balloon leaving about 3 - 5 cm flat tail (Pic 1).

Twist the first and the second soft about 3 - 5 cm bubbles (Pic 2).

Lock all ends of the first two bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 3). We made one arm.

Squeeze the balloon to make it soft. Leave about 0.5 cm flat tail (Pic 4).

Twist two soft about 3 - 5 cm bubbles at the end of the balloon (Pic 5).

Lock all ends of the last two bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 6). We have made two arms.

We can split the balloon at the middle. Also, we can make two small bubbles in the middle and lock them in one lock twist (Pic 7 -  8).

You can make elbow bubbles or just bend the arm bubbles in the middle to make the elbow (Pic 8).

In this example I am going to use disposable synthetic medical gloves and double coated sticky tape to make hands (Pic 9). Gloves may come in boxes of 100 gloves or even wrapped each glove in separate package. 

The gloves come in different sizes and different colors (white, clear, blue, orange, green and etc). In this example I use blue color glove (Pic 10).

Inflate the glove to desirable size and tie it in the same way as you would do a balloon. Congratulations, we have made the simplest open hand (Pic 11).

Attach the hand between two small bubbles of the arm (Pic 12 and 13).

Here is another example of arms made of a blue balloon and hands made of white gloves (Pic 14). Interesting observation: most people (adults and kids) tent to use this sculpture to clap, pat or punch some one.

We can use gloves and double sided sticky tape to make different hand signs. There could be one problem - the sticky tape does not stick to the glove! Usually  gloves covered with some powder or coated with something that will prevent gloves from sticking to each other and any surface. Disposable gloves were designed for general use - not for balloon twisting! Nevertheless, there are many gloves that we can use for balloon twisting.
The external and inner sides of the glove looks exactly the same. However the inner part of the glove may not be coated! If the sticky tape does not stick securely to the glove, then you should turn the glove inside out. And check if the sticky tape will stay attached to the glove. Otherwise you have to look for different kind of gloves.
In the following example I am going to make the thumb up sign. Normally inflated glove has all fingers and thumb pointed forward (Pic 15).

If you apply some kind of pressure at the base of the thumb it will point the thumb up (Pic 16). We can pinch the base of the thumb between small bubbles of the arm to force the thumb up.

Cut piece of sticky tape of about 7 cm (Pic 17). 

Apply the sticky tape across the palm about 1 cm below the base of all fingers (Pic 18).

Bend all four fingers right above the base of the fingers and press them hard to the sticky tape. Make sure the point of each finger overlap the sticky tape (Pic 19). Congratulations, we have made the thumb up hand sign!

Here is an example of both arms with thumb ups (Pic 20 and 21).

Below you will find examples of some hand signs (Pic 22 through 27). Be aware!! The fingers may unstick at any time! As a result you may end up with very different (or even inappropriate) hand sign.  The only really working solution for it is to use your balloon twisting skills and imagination to make hand signs out of balloons. Have fun and happy twisting :)

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