With Google’s balloon-powered internet in the news, you might be wondering what else a balloon can do. The answer is, a heck of a lot. Check out these creative uses for balloons:
#1 Give Yourself Waterproof Pockets
Simplest waterproofing ever: carry a balloon in your pocket. When you need to keep your cash and other small objects dry, stuff them inside the balloon and tie off the neck,
#2 Support Your Papier Maché Creations
Paste newspaper strips over your balloon, let the whole thing dry, then pop the balloon and trim the stiffened paper to the shape you want. You could make a giant egg, a bowl, or even a candy-filled piñata.
#3 Play Water Darts
This one is easy and a lot of fun on a hot day! Fill balloons with water, hang them from a wall, and throw darts at them until they burst. Darts are sharp — duh — so watch out for children, animals, and other innocent bystanders.
#4 Make Your Own Stress Ball
Fill a balloon with grains of rice or wheat and tie a knot in the neck. Squeeze and squish for instant stress relief!
#5 Help Your Garden Grow
A balloon used in place of a gardening tie will support your plants without cutting into them, because it stretches as they grow.
#6 Go Cluster Ballooning
This is like something from the movie Up: fill lots and lots of balloons with helium, then use them to lift you into the sky. You need large, super-strong balloons to pull off this stunt, so maybe start with a trial at home using normal balloons and an action figure.
#7 Exercise With Balloons
You might think a balloon isn’t heavy enough or resistant enough to exercise with. You’d be wrong. Holding a balloon between your hands or between your knees during push-ups, for example, makes you more aware of your posture and muscle tension, improving your form.
#8 Hold on to Your Glasses
Use a long, thin balloon as a strap for your eyeglasses or sunglasses—just tie one end of the balloon to the end of each glasses arm, stretch the balloon around the back of your head, and it’ll hold your glasses firmly in place.
#9 Make Chocolate Eggs
You can use small, rounded balloons as the support for your chocolate creations. Inflate them enough to hold a firm shape, then dip and roll in just-melted chocolate before hanging from a line to set. Stick a piece of tape over the exposed rubber near the neck and push a pin through it to let the air out gently before removing the balloon.
#10 Power a Car
Yes, really. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory held a balloon car contest in 1998 and the fastest vehicle reached speeds greater than 10 feet per second.
#11 Make Cola Explosions
You remember the Mentos-and-cola fun of a few years ago, right? Well, this uses the same chemistry with a bit of extra physics. Put your Mentos inside a balloon and stretch the balloon neck over the neck of your cola bottle, then push the mints down through the balloon into the bottle. The balloon lets pressure build up inside it until it either pops off the bottle or bursts, showering the surrounding area with minty cola foam. [Fun but potentially dangerous. Play responsibly!]
#12 Pipe Frosting
If you fill a long balloon with frosting or buttercream icing, then prick a hole in the bottom end, you can use it as a piping bag to decorate cakes and cookies. Don’t apply too much pressure, or the exit hole will stretch and give you uneven lines.
#13 Give Your Pens Grip
Trim the neck from a balloon, or cut a tube from the midsection of a narrow balloon, then slip it over the body of your pen to give it extra grip. Also works on drumsticks, laser pointers, and other stuff you need to hold.
#14 Paint With Colour Bombs
Fill some balloons with liquid paint, stretch a large canvas or sheet of paper over a hard backing, then throw your balloons at the canvas to make a fun work of art.
#15 Pee Anywhere
You’ll need a large balloon and a small funnel. Put the funnel neck inside the balloon neck, pee into the funnel, then carefully remove the funnel and tie off the balloon. [Hygiene note: clean your funnel after each use and dispose of the filled balloons responsibly!]
#16 Make Your Own UFO
Activate a glowstick and push it inside the body of a balloon before inflating with helium. Tie off the balloon and add a long string so you can float it above your house to freak people out.
#17 Keep Your Drinks Cold
Fill balloons with water and freeze them. On a hot day, keep your drinks in a bucket surrounded by ice balloons and they’ll stay chilled for hours. Perfect for picnics and garden parties!
#18 Build a Terrarium
Use a funnel to put soil, seeds and water into a clear balloon, then inflate it and tie off the neck. Stand it in a spot that gets some sun each day, and watch your seeds sprout inside.
#19 Make Floating Gift Bags
To balloon-wrap a small gift, push it inside a balloon along with some confetti and then inflate the balloon with helium before tying it off. Tie a ribbon to the neck and add a gift tag, then leave the balloon tied to the recipient’s bedpost or door handle to surprise them. [If you use this trick to propose, wrap the ring in a scrap of cloth or crepe paper first and tie it up with a piece of ribbon. Cut jewels can burst balloons!]
#20 Create Your Own Cloud
Inflate several balloons with helium and tape them all together, then cover with glue and roll the balloons in lightweight polystyrene pieces or cushion wadding that you’ve pulled apart and fluffed up. Add a string and you can take your cloud with you wherever you go.
#21 Make Balloon Porn
It happens. If you don’t believe me, see Rule 34: “If it exists, there is porn of it“.