The stationery and art supply shop, Castle in the Air in Berkeley, CA recently hosted an "Ironcraft" event that I was glad to participate in. The store invited all who were willing to pick up, or be mailed a free "mystery" crafting supply item which you would then transform into something amazing and unique. After submitting pictures of the final art, everyone who participated in Ironcraft was rewarded with a special prize.
The mystery item we all received was a bulbous spun-cotton (watte) shape.
After opening the package, my first thought was "What on earth am I supposed to do with this??!!" After staring at it for a few minutes I realized that it is most likely supposed to be a snowman. But I wanted to get away from the obvious and turn it into something else. I turned it upside down and it was clear what I had to make it into - a hot air balloon ornament! I already make hot air balloons using paper mache so it was a fun challenge figuring out how to work with this new medium. Here is a tutorial with steps on how to make one yourself.
Step 1 -Cut away the middle of the "neck" area of the shape with a blade. This will create the bottom (basket) and the top (balloon) of your hot air balloon. Seal and flatten down the rough cut edges with glue.
Step 5 - Paint the hot air balloon using acrylic paints. Finish off with paper flags and/or bunting. Glue a ribbon into a hole in the top for hanging.
If you'd like to read more about the Ironcraft challenge, here is the link to the Castle in the Air blog.