Sunday, June 24, 2012
water balloon dart painting!
My favorite photo from this experience is above...a balloon popped as I was taking this picture - it was purely unintentional!!!
I spent New Year's 2002 in Houston, travelling by minivan with my Mom, sister, and my sister's two kids. That week, and pretty much the entire road trip home, we watched The Princess Diaries - over and over and over, something like nineteen times. Halfway through the road trip back to Indiana, it just became a game of knowing all the dialogue. And then seven-year-old Katie and I loved this scene:
It was sometime way back then, that I told her we would make a balloon dart painting, too...at her high school graduation party. So we did.
We practiced the weekend before, thinking you could just put pour acrylic paint into water balloons and then tie them and be ready. It isn't that easy, the paint just thickly drips out and fills the balloon without stretching at all. After failing multiple times and turning parts of her yard blue with paint, Katie found a blog that mentioned using a pressurized bottle and watering down the paint. I wish I could find this blog, because I want to credit it - that advice was so helpful! We went out and bought six Ice Mountain water bottles with sport caps, and then I diluted the paint to about 50% paint, 50% water.
On the day of the event, we made sure all the balloons were stretched. She poured paint, then I tied balloons. We made the balloons small, about 2-3 inches, and mostly full of paint. It was a great system! The process of setting up was so, so messy. Paint was everywhere! I would definitely advise that all balloon filling should take place outside, unless you're some kind of expert balloon tier. Some of the balloons were just a little too full and splattered all over me! It was comedic at that point.
I brought string to tie to each knot, then individually duct taped each string to the back of the canvas, so the string hung over the top. Then, whenever a balloon would pop, we could just pull the string to the back, to minimize mess and the risk that balloon pieces would dry on the canvas in the sun.
The backyard setup was simple. We folded a piece of burlap over the fence, taping it around the fence loops with more duct tape, because it was windy outside. We put two paper ream boxes on the ground, and covered them with plastic tablecloths from the dollar store, which made excellent tarps. The canvas sat on top of the boxes, but It was also duct taped around the fence loops from behind, so the wind wouldn't move it.
The day of Katie's party was warm. Ninety-three degrees. What I learned while I was still setting up is that a water balloon resting on a black canvas surface in the hot sun will pop all on its own. No darts necessary!
Many of the balloons stayed intact in time for her friends to arrive. They had a great time throwing darts and watching the colors flow! We used a pack of three cheap metal darts. We also coiled neon chenille stems around the bases, because otherwise, we may have lost them in the grass.
The finished product turned out awesome. We were so happy with it! It's going to make an incredible addition to Katie's dorm room this fall!