(Closed) String Ball Disaster.. Help!

posted 8 years ago in DIY
Post # 3
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I tried something similar like this once and had a lot of problems too.. I used liquid starch/fabric stiffener without glue, and they had to sit for almost a week before they were hard enough to hold their shape.. took a lot of patience and mess!

Post # 4
1183 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I can’t imagine this will turn out good. My older brother made one around 1972 as a Christmas ornament and my mom still has it, though.  Here’s a different tutorial and one from Weddingbee.  Good luck.

Post # 5
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We used to make these at camp (I worked as a camp counselor for 7 years), and usually ran into some problems, but sometimes it does work! The trick is to use the balloon as a shaper and try to keep the string from sticking to the balloon too much.

My tips:
Your glue/water mixture should be more water than glue (we used off-brand elmer’s white glue).

Coating the balloon with spray oil (like Pam) or vaseline keeps the balloon from getting too stuck to the string

before you pop the balloon, gently press the balloon down, away from the string (seperating the two, while keeping the balloon in the string)

don’t just pop the balloon, snip it so it slowly deflates.

Wider string tends to work better than narrow. We always had the best luck with poly string that was thicker than embroidery floss.

We never soaked the string, we would just run the string through the glue right before applying.

I wouldn’t spray the finished product with spray adhesive – then you’re just encouraging the string to stick to the balloon, which isn’t what you want.

Post # 7
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Let it dry like 4 times longer then you think it needs to.  It needs to be super dry before you pop the balloon.  Like a PP said dont pop the balloon abruptly, make a little snip with scissors near the knot in the ballon and let the air out slowly.  As the balloon is shrinking gently peel it back from the string so it doesn’t collapse the string.  

Post # 8
575 posts
Busy bee

Just looking at the title of this thread made me laugh! I tried to make these for our fall decorations a couple weeks ago and it was a huge FAIL. I was so bummed. Let us know how the second attempt goes. Good luck!

Post # 9
47 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’ve never done string balls but I’ve made DIY lanterns with a baloon and some sort of paper (which looked to me a little bit like a fabric). I attached a couple of pics below.  At least on my personal experience, a lot of water in the glue mixture didn’t help at all. I think it will be mostly the glue that will give hardness to the string you’re using (by the way, is it cotton string? ’cause that’s the one I’ve heard is used for string balls). Also, you have to let the material dry TOTALLY. For my lanterns, yes, it took 24 hours to dry, But they were right in front of a fan all night long! Otherwise, if you wait to let it dry by itself, the baloon will probaly start deflating slowly by itself by the second day (trust me!), and these are not good news if the string is not totally dry Frown. Good luck for you and let us know how everything turns out, OK?


Post # 10
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

View original reply
@jwill4591:  I made these with jute twine once. I’d skip the Vaseline, it’s probably coating your string, too. 

When I made mine, I mixed tacky glue with a little water, soaked the string for a good 10 minutes and then wrapped the balloon. You want to make string is WET, don’t wring them out with your fingers while you wrap the balloon. Also, make sure the string “touches” in a lot of places. This is what holds it together, the contact of the string with itself held together by the glue. So try to do the wrapping in perpendicular directions, once lengthwise, then once width wise.

Hang them by the balloon knot to dry and other tacky glue held up just fine, even if I had to pull the balloon from a bit pin the inside. 

good luck!


Post # 11
2447 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

This DIY regularly makes an appearance on “interest fail” blogs. I think there’s something wrong with the recipe. Maybe try a different one? Let us know how it goes though and if you succeed.

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